In spite of the rain, the much anticipated art fair Art Paris opened last Wednesday to a frenzy of excited visitors including Monsieur President himself, François Hollande. The Grand Palais — as monumental as ever — serves as home to 143 galleries from across the world until Sunday, April 3rd. We took a look at five booths not to be missed this weekend.
Galerie Madé founded in 2001, in Paris, and specializing in photo-based art since 2013, is particularly engaging. The expertly curated stand focused on work by artist Jean-François Lepage. Lepage’s photography is fresh and exciting, depicting portraits of women with a Patrick Heron — or Andy Warhol, if you will — cut-outs twist. Lepage’s technique is one of intrigue, once the photo is developed, he then deconstructs the original copy by cutting out the negative space and thus recomposing the subjects body and face.
London-based gallery 50 Golborne serves as one of the most memorable booths, specializing in emerging artists from the African continent and its Diaspora. Their mission to break-down and reconstruct the boundaries created by the superficiality of the art world is one of admiration. Emo de Medeiros’ shell helmet is beautifully executed, echoing his ambiguous attitude towards the laws, which require motorcycle-taxis to wear helmets.
Cédric Bacqueville, a young gallerist wise beyond his years, encourages you to not only appreciate the work that stands before you, but to rediscover it and feed the natural curiosity that art often evokes. “Accidental beauties” toys with this idea of pretty accidents, which despite starting with a different intention, end in the creation of spontaneous beauty. Aurélien Maillard’s work, situated on the booth’s entire back wall, consists of a smashed in, damaged wall – by what looks like a bulldozer – drawing you in and posing questions on the charm and allure of imperfections.
Klein Sun Gallery as ambitious as ever showcases Power and Games, illustrating work that plays with China’s new landscape in response to modern day media and the complicity of social media. Li Hongbo’s new body of work, constructed out of old textbooks, sheds a light on the education system, whilst Gao Rong’s embroidery expresses the intertwined and ever-evolving current existing in China today.
This serves as a welcome pause from the other booths, which may render you art blind. There is an air of calm associated with this gallery, where work by French artist Frédéric Bouffandeau beckons you in. The graphic sculpture dances with you as you enter, creating a fresh sense of intrigue. In compliment to this, the dance continues with artist Rainier Lericolais, who references art history and experimental music in his work.