The Bic ballpoint pen gets dressed up by Pinel & Pinel

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The blue and nickel plated version of Cristal by Pinel & Pinel

I love coincidences and little daily happenings. I was trying out a new hairdresser highly recommended by my former one and as you do with hairdressers, we chatted for two hours non stop. And while Soad was telling me about her twin daughters, who sound like they are true characters, she described their apprenticeship in leather goods manufacturing companies. One has started with Dior leather while the other one works with Pinel & Pinel, a small but luxurious leather company on place de la Madeleine. Read More

Aurore Bagarry, an explorer with an eye

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Anse de Bréhec, Plouha, Côtes-d’Armor, 2016-2020 ©Aurore Bagarry courtesy galerie Sit Down

You will not see any water in these pictures of rocks and cliffs shot by Aurore Bagarry in Brittany, Normandy, Devon and Cornwall. After shooting glaciers and mountains for six years (because members of her family were mountaineers in Haute Savoie) she is now concentrating on the erosion by the sea, since her husband moved to Saint Brieuc for work. Aurore travels with a large argentic chamber camera and found it difficult to fight the tides, wind, salt, and bad weather  but the result of her four years of crossing over and searching for the perfect rock is here at Galerie Sit Down, until April 17.Read More

At Galerie Magnin-A, Omar Victor Diop takes us on a ride around Africa

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Omar Victor Diop, Alt + Shift + Ego, 2013,© Omar Victor Diop, Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

Magnin-A is located a few blocks from Bataclan in a superb space, a little North of the Marais. And it is specialized in contemporary African Art. This new exhibition “Heritage” curated by photographer Omar Victor Diop is a good sum up of the long lasting work its founder, André Magnin, has accomplished since he worked on Jean Hubert Martin‘s exhibition, “Les Magiciens de la Terre” at Beaubourg in 1989… Diop has selected works by Mama Casset, Seydou Keïta, Malick Sidibé… in the gallery’s collection, to show what his own photographic education was based on in the midst of studios in Senegal. And his large color photographs really stand out.Read More

New habits, new pleasures and lots to read.

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Arthur Dreyfus in a YouTube interview in 2014 when he was 28

Everything has changed in our lives in the last year and one positive detail is that we have more time to read. This week I enjoyed reading at last, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian’s biography of Tiger Woods and I was surprised at how excellent it is, even for non golfers. The golf champion was in an accident two weeks ago and seems more in danger than ever of not competing at his best again… I have been mesmerized by the few pages I read in the 2 300 page book  by Arthur Dreyfus “Sexual journal of a young man of today” published by the very literary publishing house P.O.L and I was very disappointed by “The Man in the red Coat” by Julian Barnes, which is superficial and full of mistakes.Read More

Musical chairs in the museums

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Jean François Hebert, new Directeur général des Patrimoines et de l’architecture

It all started with the departure of Jean François Hebert after eleven years spent as President of château de  Fontainebleau. He was very much loved and renovated many parts of the castle including the theatre. He has been named Directeur Général des Patrimoines et de l’architecture which includes all public museums, archives and architecture including listed landscapes.  To replace him, Marie Christine Labourdette, who is like him a graduate of l’ENA, former directeur des Musées de France (2008-2018) and presently President of Cité de l’Architecture at the Trocadero, will start on March 8.Read More

Three Ladies of the Arts have left us, a page is turning.

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Yvonne Brunhammer was the director of MAD from 1986 to 1991

Yvonne Brunhammer, former director of Musée des Arts Décoratifs, died on February 27 at 93. She was the author of many books on artists and designers from the 1920’s,  and she greatly influenced the conception of 20 th century decorative arts. Lise Toubon died on March 1 at 87. She was mostly known for being politician Jacques Toubon’s wife but as such she had a great influence on contemporary art in France in the 1980’s. She was an incredibly charismatic woman. Irène Ajer, great Priestess of theatre and music at the ministry of culture also died, on March 1 at 80. She was the inspiring character behind Jean Pierre Vincent, Patrice Chéreau, Ariane Mnouchkine in what she called the Ecole Française du Théâtre.

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In Switzerland, museums open up today!

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Previtali, Portrait of a young man with a black hat, early 16th century, Toulouse, Fondation Bemberg © RMN-Grand Palais | Fondation Bemberg | Mathieu Rabeau

In Lausanne the lovely Fondation de l’Hermitage is hosting an exhibition of 132 paintings and drawings from the Bemberg collection in Toulouse. In Martigny, just down from Verbier, Fondation Pierre Gianadda is showing photographer Michel Darbellay until June 13,  when Caillebotte will at last be alive again thanks to Daniel Marchesseau’s curatorial talents. In Basel, Fondation Beyeler is showing a dialogue between Rodin and Arp until May 16 with an excellent video presentation on their website by Raphael Bouvier.Read More

Bamiyan, twenty years later.

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Archeologist Ria Ackin on the site of Bamiyan in the 1930’s,© Archives photographiques du MNAAG

You probably remember the traumatic destruction by the Taliban of the two monumental buddhas (38 m and 55 m high) in Bamiyan, Afghanistan on March 11, 2001. Just a few months before 9-11. To celebrate the anniversary of this tragic event, Musée Guimet has organized a small but charming exhibition with the different elements it owns from the diggings by archeologists Alfred Foucher, André Godard and Joseph and Ria Hackin who died at sea, exactly eighty years ago. Also exhibited as a panoramic, are a series of photographs (4 000 scanned images) and a 20 mn video by photographer Pascal Convert who travelled there in March 2016. Read More