From your Parisian

Sharing my newest discoveries as I float through the streets of Paris. Restaurants, bars, events, all reviewed for you with love, from your Parisian.


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Street Art Exhibition in Malakoff: Le Grand 8 – L’infiniment Vivant

I know, I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything! I don’t have a very good excuse either, apart from the fact that I’ve felt very little motivation lately due to a combination of work being more stressful than usual and summer having finally arrived (and therefore going out a lot more to combat the stress of work)! Luckily, I found some inspiration recently in Malakoff, a suburb just South of Paris that is connected by Métro line 13. I don’t often venture outside of the comfort of my lovely Paris, but when I heard about a crazy street art exposition in an abandoned warehouse, I knew I had to cross the Périph and check it out!
le grand 8_malakoff_entranceLe Grand 8 – L’infiniment Vivant is located in La Réserve and my first impression: Wow! The courtyard itself is full of color and beauty and it reminded me of the warehouses in Berlin that have been turned into bars/clubs and that are covered in amazing works of art. Once inside there is a small bar to the left, but the bf and I decided to pay our 3 euro entry fee and start the tour directly. The exposition is presented as a succession of installations (created by an artist or group of artists) that follow one after the other and that are arranged in a figure 8. There were WAY too many exceptional works of street art to describe them all, so here are a few pictures of my favorites…to give you a small taste of what this place has to offer!le grand 8_malakoff_mr chatThe first installation we saw was by Jana & JS called “I’ll be Around to Guide you”. In the background you can see M. Chat’s famous “Le Chat”, grinning above the entrance as it does all around Paris!le grand 8_malakoff_interiorIn the middle of the 8 there is an open space where everyone is taking pictures and deciding which direction to go next…like an intersection on the street art highway! The large green, yellow and blue geometric panel is by Seize Happywallmaker and is entitled “Magnetiko-Glyphe”.le grand 8_malafoff_anisThis installation by Anis, entitled “L’Arbre enchanté” was one of my favorites! I loved the bright colors, the beautiful organic imagery and the playfulness of this piece. It has almost a magical, fairy tale feel to it, with a little door and a tunnel leading you to the next space.le grand 8_malafoff_moskoThis dark room (“L’Antre de Mosko”) was illuminated by glowing wild animals (painted by Mosko) that reflect through each other and disappear or reappear as you move throughout the space. le grand_8_photographéeAnother one of my favorites, entitled “Histoire du Cube”, is a collaborative project done by a group of artists called Photographée! Each of the four walls is covered in a beautiful work of art that starts with a paper print of a photo by Alex Perret and that is then transformed with spray paint and talent into a larger more complex work of street art. I love the idea of mixing graffiti with photography so that the two mediums merge into one! Powerful and breathtaking!le grand 8_malakoff_iza zaro2Finally, the bright and girly pop-art installation of Iza Zaro, called “L’identité d’une blonde” really caught my eye! Stencils, texts, prints and colors combine! Especially loved the cheerful daisies that blossomed on the walls and the ceiling!le grand 8_malakoff_cyclopsAfter finishing the tour, we grabbed a soft drink (1 Euro) and sat outside in the sun. I flopped down onto one of the really cool poufs made from an old tire and customized by Le Cyklop, the well-known street artist that has put eyeballs onto many of the street poles in Paris. le grand 8_malakoff_barFamilies and friends chilled in this welcoming environment and I could imagine us happily spending the rest of the day there. Drinks are cheap and there is plenty of space for everyone. We admired the street art that surrounded us in the courtyard and only wished that this wasn’t a temporary exhibit. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Make sure to take a quick trip to Malakoff before the end of October (don’t worry it’s easy to find)! You’ll be happy you did!

Details:

Le Grand 8: L’Infiniment Vivant

la Réserve Malakoff

7, rue Paul Bert

92 240 Malakoff

Open Tuesday-Sunday

Runs until the 30th of October, 2016

http://www.expo-legrand8.com

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Paris exhibits: Helena Almeida – Corpus

So before I start I’m going to be completely honest: I am not an art connoisseur, far from it, actually. I may live in Paris, where there are some of the most amazing art galleries and museums in the world, but I have not taken any courses in fine arts or art history. I enjoy wandering around a museum or checking out an exhibit from time to time but I do not know much about the various styles and techniques used by artists or what a canvas painted entirely blue could possibly symbolize (besides someone who wanted to test the color out or practice smooth brush strokes before painting their wall). I know what I like (and what touches me) and I know what I don’t, but that’s about it! I do, however, have huge respect for anyone who speaks and lives through their art. helena almeida_paris_exhibitionSo, here is my rather naive review of the Helena Almeida exhibition currently at the Jeu de Paume gallery. The exhibit is named Corpus, which either refers to the Portuguese artist’s body of work (spanning over almost 50 years) or the fact that her body is featured in almost all of her creations. I had seen the poster advertising this event for several weeks in the metro stations, but it wasn’t until last week when I was walking through the Tuileries Garden and my corpus told me that I had to go pee, that I decided to enter the gallery and check it out. Seriously, you can never find a public toilet in Paris when you need one!helena almeida_paris_exhibition 2
Surprisingly (because usually it is not the case), I was allowed to take photos, which will help me to briefly describe what I saw. Most of her work involves photos to which paint or another material is introduced, giving you the feeling that the image is coming to life and that Almeida herself is in a state of action. I loved her collection of work entitled Pinturas habitadas (inhabited paintings), that feature a splash or a layer of blue paint that can obscure her face, be handled and put in her pocket, or be inhaled like some sort of blue jelly. She comes to life in these photos with the blue paint being an extension of her feelings and her gestures.helena almeida_paris_exhibition 3There were other pieces that I found interesting too where she uses string made from horse hair in order for the line traced by her pen to become three-dimensional. Again, what she draws in the first image appears to become palpable to her touch in the next. helena almeida_paris_exhibition 4Another series of photos entitled ouve-me (“hear me” in English) depict the artist’s mouth with the words drawn across her lips. It is rather powerful to see the progression of the photos where the lips seem sealed shut in the majority of the shots and then a few where the mouth is open and we can imagine her screaming through the frame, trying to speak to us…so that we hear her message. The performance art video by the same name didn’t touch me as much, as it looked like someone trapped and trying to disentangle themselves from a bed sheet…but I have to admit that I don’t often understand performance art films. A second film, in which the name gives you no clue of what it represents (Sem titulo or no title…geez, thanks), films Almeida tying her right leg to the left leg of a man (her husband) with some sort of wire and then watching them painfully drag their feet as they walk together across her studio floor, to the wall and back, for what seems like an eternity. I kept waiting for something to happen but eventually lost interest and skipped off to the other side of the room. I hope there wasn’t some crazy twist at the end that I missed! In any case, I had a rather cynical interpretation of what she might be trying to say about a long-term relationships, but maybe the message was completely lost on me, once again.helena almeida_paris_exhibition 6My favorite work of Helena’s (we’re on a first name basis now, I guess) was a beautiful black and white photo of herself with her back to the camera, one of her black pumps laying on its side, and the sole of her foot painted with a thick brush stroke of red paint. It made me think of a fashion shot showcasing a pair of gorgeous Christian Louboutins and the movement captured in the photo is truly beautiful.helena almeida_paris_exhibition 5So there you have it: Corpus is a collection that is sure to delight, disturb, confuse and surprise as various mediums collide in some very expressive art. The exhibit runs until May 22nd, 2016, so I definitely recommend checking it out and then wandering around the Jardin des Tuileries, where you can take your own series of pretty pictures!jeu de paume_paris_view1

Details:

Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume

1 Place de la Concorde

75008 Paris

+33 (0)1 47 03 12 50

http://www.jeudepaume.org/

Closed Monday