Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Paris: View Art in 7 Unexpected Places


By Jacquelin Carnegie – (Paris, France)
Paris is a city filled with art everywhere you turn, not only in its famous museums, but also in some of the most unexpected places:
1) In a Department Store
Galerie des Galeries - Les Galeries Lafayette
40 Blvd Haussmann; Tel: 01/42-82-81-98; www.galeriedesgaleries.com


GL, Au dela du vetement  (photo: Marc Domange)

9th arrondissement, Metro: Chaussée d'Antin
Open: Tues-Sat, 11am-7pm; Free

Shop till you drop, then proceed to the 1st floor of the Galeries Lafayette’s main building. Across from the designers’ section, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find the Galerie des Galeries, an exhibition space that presents established and emerging talent. Four annual exhibits showcase French and international artists, highlighting the relationship between fashion, the visual arts, and design.
2) In a Park

Parc de Belleville
Rue des Couronnes (enter at rue Piat); http://bit.ly/1VmMXU2; 20th arrondissement, Metro: Belleville or Pyrénées
The Belleville neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures. In the park, at the top of a hill, is a lookout point decorated with wonderful street art, often the work of community projects. The park itself is beautiful, accessible from a staircase, then up winding pathways past vine-covered pergolas. It’s worth the climb for the street art and the spectacular views of Paris--yes, you can see the Eiffel Tower from here.
3) In a Fancy Restaurant
Maxim’s Museum

3 rue Royale; Tel: 01/42-65-30-47; www.maxims-musee-artnouveau.com

8th arrondissement, Metro: Concorde (Tours: 20€ - reservation required, but currently closed to the public for private events)
Ever wonder what it was like to be at Maxim’s in its heyday? Above the famous restaurant, there’s a recreated apartment of a Belle Époque courtesan. The 12 rooms are decorated with an exceptional collection of Art Nouveau objets d’art and furnishings by Tiffany, Gallé, Majorelle, Massier, and other notable artisans – all part of “La Collection 1900” presented by the restaurant’s current owner, renowned fashion designer Pierre Cardin. On the tour, you’ll see what entertaining was like during the Belle Époque.
4) In a Chic Hotel
Art District Gallery
- Le Royal Monceau Hotel
41 Ave Hoche; Tel: 01/42-99-98-81; www.leroyalmonceau.com
8th arrondissement, Metro: Charles de Gaulle Étoile or Ternes

Open: Tues-Sat, 11:30am-7pm; Free
Art lives at this snazzy hotel, renovated by famed designer Philippe Starck. The Art District Gallery puts on about four annual exhibits of contemporary work by important photographers, visual artists, and designers--retrospectives and premieres. The hotel also has an impressive art bookstore, La Librairie des Arts, and a dedicated “art concierge” to help guests get the most out of the Paris art scene.
5) In an Intimate Setting
Chez Grace
MeetUps 

Chez Grace (photo: Owen Franken)
Fee: Free - 20€, depending on the event
If you haven’t been to an event organized by Chez Grace, you’re missing out on one of the best things Paris has to offer—unexpected adventures. Almost every month, there’s an interesting, artsy event worth attending curated by Grace, an American who’s lived in Paris for years. She believes in bringing together a wide range of folks to experience contemporary culture in a friendly, intimate setting—attending will make you feel like a real Parisian.
6) In the Street
Le M.U.R.

Corner of rue Oberkampf & rue Saint Maur; 11th arrondissement, Metro: Parmentier or Rue St-Maur; www.lemur.fr

   Le M.U.R, Shuck2
Artist Jean Faucheur, founder of “The Wall” - Le M.U.R. (Modulable, Urbain, Réactif), came up with the concept of putting original works of art by contemporary, urban artists up on a wall on the rue Oberkampf in the 11th arrondissement. Every two weeks, the artwork changes. Since there are two great cafés, La Place Verte (105 rue Oberkampf), right in front of the wall, and the famous Café Charbon (109 rue Oberkampf), just behind it, you’ve got reason enough to stop by often to check out The Wall.



Les Frigos (photo: Mbzt/WikiCommons)
7) In a Renovated Neighborhood
Les Frigos
19 rue des Frigos; www.les-frigos.com; 13th arrondissement, Metro: Bibliothèque François Mitterrand

Open: On Open House days or by appointment with one of the artists


Les Frigos (photo: Prissantenbär/WikiCommons)

This former industrial area, on the Seine in the 13th arrondissement, was transformed into a neighborhood that looks like The Jetsons live here. One of the few buildings to survive gentrification is Les Frigos (The Refrigerators), a former storage depot for fresh produce brought into Paris by train. Now, it provides studio space for some 120 eclectic creatives. You can visit the artists' studios on Portes Ouvertes (Open House) days, usually at the end of May. At other times, certain artists hold Open Studio events. You can also view each artist’s work on the website and contact them directly. The fascinating sculptor, Jean-Paul Reti, is the unofficial “mayor” of Les Frigos and, if he’s not busy working on his art, he’s happy to explain the background of the building to visitors.





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