Louise Pressager, a busy bee


Two exhibitions in a row for artist Louise Pressager, who lives and works in Malakoff, a trendy artists suburb south of Paris, where Mediathèque Pablo Neruda shows a series of her drawings called « Les Ficelles » (strings) hanging on multicolour strings until December 17. An installation of hers selected for the « Biennale de jeune création européenne » was recently shown at the Beffroi, in Montrouge.

Louise Pressager preparing her baloons at Montrouge

Louise Pressager preparing her balloons at Montrouge

The diversity and talent of this young artist, has four leading colours like a four ball pen : work and competition, family and sexuality, health and madness, death and religion. Louise always uses her father and brother in her videos, her mother usually helps with decor and costumes ; her daily work in a internet company is a fertile ground for inspiration ; her short stay at Hôpital Sainte Anne gave her an insider’s look at medicine and doctors.

Causes, uses recurrent themes of sexuality, family and suicide

“Causes”, uses recurrent themes of sexuality, family and suicide

The very simple way this exhibition is hung on strings, transforms the banal library hall of an administrative building into an artistic playground. At the opening, children were watching the short Cowboy and Indian video « L’amour cache », lying on cushions, Louise’s work colleagues had come in numbers and were proud to be, in a way, the topic of some of her drawings which are darkly humorous and intellectually brilliant. The mayor, Jacqueline Belhomme, was present and cultural maire adjoint, Fatiha Alaudat spoke about how wonderfully Louise Pressager fitted in their community of many artists. (Christian Boltanski and Annette Messager live there) and how productive she is.

Le Chantage, (blackmail) 2014, Louise Pressager

Le Chantage, (blackmail) 2014, Louise Pressager

Louise, who has shown her work for the last five years, (she will be 30 in December) has a masters in law and in political science. She used to write for singers (parolière) but her parents being both art teachers in Lorraine, she answered her calling!  When a little old lady asked her if her life was as dark as the drawings, she laughed and said « No this is my way of evacuating tensions ».

Fatihla Alaudat, in charge of culture and Jacqueline Belhomme, mayor of Malakoff with Louise Pressager

Fatiha Alaudat, in charge of culture and Jacqueline Belhomme, mayor of Malakoff with Louise Pressager

Over the years, this artist has deepened her art and dug further into her favourite themes of love, death, doctors and religion. But also power and domination, where « the individual is like a puppet or a funambulist walking on a fine rope ». Her work is not shown at Centre Pompidou yet but you can see it at 24 rue Béranger, in Malakoff, and you will be proud to have discovered a great artist. (20 mms from the Champs Elysées by subway)

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Two couturiers who collected… very well

Andy Warhol, Portraits d’Yves Saint Laurent, 1972 Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

Andy Warhol, Portraits d’Yves Saint Laurent, 1972 Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

Visiting Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent on avenue Marceau, is always a treat. Exhibitions there are as varied as Tibetan art or David Hockney’s Ipad work, and they are very luxuriously scenographed. The new show of « Jacques Doucet-Yves Saint Laurent, Vivre pour l’art » (live for art) is bringing the space to a high point and letting us dream about a lost world of gratuitous esthetism and elegance.Read More

Spectre, a 007 film that makes you happy!

Racing on the Thames

Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux racing on the Thames at the end of the film


Léa Seydoux is overly sexy and elegant on the train in the Moroccan desert!

The best moment of the week in Paris has been going to see Spectre, the new James Bond movie with Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux and Monica Belluci. It is a long film, 2h 28 mms, and it takes you around the world, from Mexico City to London , Rome, the Austrian Alps, Tangiers and the Moroccan desert. The best entertainment in a long time.Read More

A book that opens houses

Le chat Polymorphe by François-Xavier Lalanne, 1968 in Peter Marino's Southampton garden

“Le chat Polymorphe” by François-Xavier Lalanne, 1968,  in Peter Marino’s Southampton garden, © Eric Jansen

The first time I was invited at Guy de Rothschild’s house in Normandy,  he graciously welcomed me in the parking and said : « It’s amusing to discover a new house isn’t it ? » This was the most understated remark he could make and I always remember his voice when I enter a new place. His stud farm of Meautry was a little paradise in modesty and excellence. Eric Jansen’s new book, « Nouveaux Cabinets d’amateurs » is a little bit like entering 24 new houses at once. Some are fairly predictable, but others are a true surprise, like Pierre Bergé’s light decor of « santibelli » in Saint Rémy or Peter Marino’s sculpture garden in Southampton.

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Victor Hugo, an erotic portrait

A superb portrait of Victor Hugo by Bonnat in his second floor apartment of Place des Vosges

A superb portrait of Victor Hugo by Léon Bonnat in his second floor apartment of Place des Vosges

We all know that Victor Hugo (1802-1885) is one of the greatest French writers and playwright, an ardent politician who had to go into exile to Guernesey after Napoléon III came to power in 1848. He was also a talented drawer and loved women. The exhibition in Hotel de Rohan-Guéménée, on place des Vosges where he lived for 16 years is great fun, very erotic and gives a good idea of the mid 19 th century artistic and intellectual connections. It could make for a good start of a romantic evening….

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Thank you to all of you who called, sent e mails and texted messages from Germany, Italy, Mexico, the USA, Great Britain, New Zealand and China. Each little message is like one of the thousand candles lit in the city of Paris on Saturday night, it is the proof that we still breathe,  think and fight.

Our heart goes to all the Foreign friends who wrote and called. Thank you and keep visiting Paris!

Our heart goes to all the foreign friends who wrote and called. Thank you and keep visiting Paris!

Famous French pianist and conductor Bruno Rigutto was saying on France Musique Radio Saturday morning, that only culture (and music especially) could save us from the savages who committed these crimes. Culture, the main focus of this blog and my passion.

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A pillow for foodies

The gigantic paté "Oreiller de la belle Aurore"

The gigantic paté “Oreiller de la belle Aurore” can be bought every last Saturday of the month

I was expecting to see a huge crust pyramide being brought on stage at Théâtre Edouard VII, and so I was slightly disappointed when I saw a very large pâté en croûte being carried in the adjacent restaurant. But my bad mood only lasted a few moments until I tried the « Oreiller de la Belle Aurore », a dish inspired to charcutier Gilles Verot by Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin, the famous gastronome who had started as a lawyer and politician.

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Lucien Clergue honored at grand Palais

"Née de la vague" Camargue,1966,© Atelier Lucien Clergue

“Née de la vague” Camargue,1966,© Atelier Lucien Clergue

Jean Paul Cluzel, President of the Grand Palais, had asked Lucien Clergue to prepare a retrospective of his work, but he died prematurely. So François Hébel and Christian Lacroix, a team of Arles lovers, took over and prepared « Les Premiers albums », a limpid and striking show of the photographer’s early pictures documented thanks to contact sheets glued daily in his many photo albums. « This is a subjective exhibition and affectionate tribute to someone we loved » said Hébel, a former director of Rencontres d’Arles, while introducing the visit.

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