Saturday, March 6, 2010

Operation: Pictures for the Times II

The Story of the FLASH Closing Party Sunday Pot-Luck Brunch chez Grace tomorrow

One of the delights of life in Paris is having the time for continual discovery. Discovering new artists and venues and meeting new people makes my life here a joy. Aline Geller created the Box as an art space in a home setting and it is the summum of both discovery (of new artists and also the fact that her little place is on a countrified lane right in the very tawdry Pigalle) and an example of secret Paris that you might not find on your first trip here. She gives a dinner every month and the last time I went I met a journalist who was interviewing her for a piece in the travel section of the New York Times.

The show coming up here was Louisa Dusinberre's big paintings and Seth Sherwood, the New York Times journalist showed up, sat me down on my bed, and pulled out a tape recorder. I have no idea what I said because in the heat of the moment (and Louisa did interrupt because lo and behold, there had been a sale in my absence), I did rather babble. Several weeks later, the Times sent a photographer to take photos for the article.

By that time it was Jacqueline Desarmenien taking down her show and I had an eyepatch on my eye because of an injury. I also brought artist-in-residence Carl Labrosse into the pictures because I am very taken with his spray-painted stencil work (called "pochoirs" in French). The photographer spent several hours here and ever since the article was supposed to come out I have been checking the NY Times travel section online twice a day.

But the photo editor at the newspaper deemed that the photos were not dynamic enough and since the article was about a vernissage, they needed photos of a vernissage.

What do do? The problem of getting those photos was that the next vernissage is at the end of May - two months away.

The job of taking the photos has fallen to another Times photographer, Owen Franken, who is a friend and big fan of chez Grace, world traveller and canny political analyst whose photos of food and drink belie the fact that he really went to MIT to become a physicist. But he is a problem solver too, and when we put our heads together we came up with the logical solution to getting vernissage pictures: have a vernissage! (Tomorrow!)

Since Christian Gorget will be coming next week to take down his show, the next right thing seemed to be to have a closing party here and hope that everybody wasn't completely booked up on a Sunday afternoon. As I write, besides the the photographer, the artist, and me, there are two "maybes." Ha! We have a quorum.

I will end with an edited paragraph from Wikipedia's entry for the word "labyrinth":

"In colloquial English labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, ...but maze refers to a complex branching puzzle with choices of path and direction; while a...labyrinth has only a single, non-branching path, which leads to the center. A labyrinth...has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not designed to be difficult to navigate."

Life might seem to be a maze, but really, it is only a labyrinth.

In the picture: friends at Christian's vernissage. Among the paintings shown: "Rouge brun," "Ogre bleu," "Assemblage cyclopéen," and "Cancer 97."

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