It’s always a little bit nerve racking to discover the work of someone you know. What if you hate it and can’t find the words to remain polite and flatter the artist? Well I had no problem this time, congratulating Marie Obegi, a young Lebanese French artist, who works in New York and was opening her first Paris exhibition at Galerie Kogan near the Pompidou center.
The space is airy and simple and the art is strong. Portraits are named after first names such as Anna, June or Adrien. Large paintings are made of mixed pastel and acrylic on slate, or miror and smaller etchings are shown along with their copper plates.
There is strength and extreme charm in theses portraits which are accompanied by a booklet where Marie wrote a story around each character. The painter writer, an old tradition of accomplished artists.
Trained at Parson’s School of design in New York, Marie plans on travelling to Argentina and Kyoto for the next two years. You can see her work curated by Margaux Bonopera until September 30 th at 96 rue Beaubourg.
Beforehand, I had the most perfect lunch at this discreet hideout, Le Hangar, hidden in impasse Berthaud, across the street from Centre Pompidou. Very fresh sardines and spaghetti with lemon and shrimps, hot foie gras, raviolis de Romans, this place has been serving simple food to trendy gallerists for thirty years and the quality is unchanged. (01 42 74 55 44)
Next to it, I discovered the most charming public garden, Square Anne Franck, where kids play on Wednesday afternoon and many people bring their lunch. What a good surprise in busy rue Beaubourg!
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