What a fabulous present, Pierre et Gilles, have given us to start the year : a joyful and glittering exhibition at Galerie Templon, where every single of the 35 paintings are mindblowing and charming. Pierre Commoy, the photographer and Gilles Blanchard the painter, ally their talents to recreate popular culture on a grand scale. Last Saturday, the opening drew crowds on rue Beaubourg and there was an « after » party at the Silencio club for their friends and collectors.
They have been around as a couple for forty one years and started making illustrations for Thierry Mugler after they met at the opening of a Kenzo boutique. Pierre et Gilles have always been active in the fashion world (here with Jean-Paul Gaultier again) and the movie and music circles.
There are a few celebrities hanging on the walls of both galleries, 30 rue Beaubourg and impasse Beaubourg across the street, including Sylvie Vartan, Béatrice Dalle, Rossy de Palma and Isabelle Huppert, but they are not for me the most interesting of the works. Young and beautiful men are the most striking like Jhona Burjack in the Jungle book, Hugo Marquez as Gérard Depardieu on a moped, or three youngsters, Nassim Guizani, Angèle Metzger and Lukas Ionesco (Eva Ionesco’s son) in « Love From Paris ».
There is charm and poetry in some of these paintings especially in « Douce France », a portrait or Nicolas Dax playing the guitar with a sailor’s hat and a countryside as background. The sailor is on holiday at home. It is a timeless moment, a gentle melancholy that belongs to the past.
Amidst the bucolic pictures lies a dark one, « La Mort de Bernard Buffet » a tribute to the French painter whom Gilles revered when he was little. A Marianne portrayed by Zahia Dehar, a very sexy Algerian beauty, was revealed just before the November 13 events, two years ago. It suddenly became a symbol of racial tolerance.
Some of these paintings have already been shown in Le Havre last summer and in Amsterdam, but most are new to the public. They sell for 65 000 to 70 000€ and bring you a hundred times more happiness.
Until March 10, Galerie Templon, 30 rue Beaubourg. The beautiful catalog is at (only) 25€.
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