Posts Tagged ‘59 rue de Rivoli’

Approaching Another Nuit Blanche

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Climbing up to the 6th floor of 59 rue de Rivoli.

Climbing up to the 6th floor of 59 rue de Rivoli.

This Saturday is the annual Nuit Blanche in Paris. In French Nuit Blanche means an all-nighter, staying out until you see the bright sun rise, and this night is a city-wide festival of art and installation, music and happenings. I am usually photographing at 59 rue de Rivoli, the former artist squat, and this year you can find me there again. In looking back over the past years’ images, these are a few of my favorites, all based on contemporary dance and performance.

Mattatoio Sospeso performing their trapeze act on the façade of 59 rue de Rivoli, with the audience seated on the sidewalk below.  Nuit Blanche 2011.

Mattatoio Sospeso performing their trapeze act on the façade of 59 rue de Rivoli, with the audience seated on the sidewalk below. Nuit Blanche 2011.

More images of Mattatoio Sospeso’s magical performance
here: Commedia Volante

Improvisational dance troupe performing in the 3rd floor studios. Nuit Blanche, 2012.

Improvisational dance troupe performing in the 3rd floor studios. Nuit Blanche 2012.

Paul Toupet's group of dancing & drinking rabbits.  Nuit Blanche 2010.

Paul Toupet’s group of dancing & drinking rabbits. Nuit Blanche 2010.

More photos from the night when 59 was visited by
Paul Toupet and the Zentai here.

Gaëlle Bourges and her collaboratrices performing a satirical striptease in and around a block of 3 phone booths in the center of Chatelet, on a night when there was an important soccer match and much testosterone flowing in the streets. Nuit Blanche 2007.

Gaëlle Bourges and her collaboratrices performing a satirical striptease in and around a block of 3 phone booths in the center of Chatelet, on a night when there was an important soccer match and much testosterone flowing in the streets. Nuit Blanche 2007.

More photos from that night here.
And more of Gaëlle’s work here.

Jazz Pas Grave II – day three

Monday, June 11th, 2012

After three days of sitting very close to the open mouths of saxophones and trumpets, today I’m editing photos in silence, saving my ears for tomorrow night when Nicolas Genest plays at the Zebre in Belleville, with many invited guests, Célinn (below) possibly being one of them.

Célinn et l’Arbre des Songes

Mario Forte, visually and musically captivating.

Surprise guest Jean-Loup Longnon blew me away with his trumpet playing, and then again after hours, spontaneously on the piano.

Not an easy place to play, but rather a rite of passage at 59 Rivoli… a jam session with Antoine Beux in the Musée Igor Balut, a creation of the artist inconnu, Suisse Marocain.

More info on the festival : Jazz Pas Grave.

Jazz Pas Grave II – day two

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Tony Tixier and his intense relationship with the piano.

3someSisters. They may look like clowns, but they have the most stunning and impeccably choreographed voices.

Louis Carrion, of the group Funkable

Singer performing with the group Funkable.

What are they doing in there?

Jazz Pas Grave II – day one

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

A few marvelous moments from the first of a three-day jazz festival at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris.

Nicolas Genest with his group Hati

Guest sax player with O.R.U.S. Quartet

Malamente and Frank Cosentini of Guappecarto

Store-front concert on rue de Rivoli being saved into a compact camera

D – 2 weeks: 40 hours of jazz

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Loosely defined, a plethora of genres, a place for musicians to meet and collaborations to form…. In two weeks I’ll be photographing a three-day jazz festival at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. These guys will be playing. Les Guappecarto. They are lovely subjects to have in front of the camera. Gorgeous music too.

Pierre La Braguette, Malamente, Professor, Frank Cosentini, & Dr. Zingarone

Frank Cosentini of Guappecarto

Dr. Zingarone of Guappecarto.

Manuel & Music

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Barry Desmond Jones, Manuel Baldassare and Schimon, playing music after a vernissage at 59 rue de Rivoli

When he makes art his insides come out – through his voice, through his hands, in painting, installation or music – and it appears to be as natural as breathing.

An illustrative story…one night we were at a jazz club. One of those on rue des Lombards. It was more or less a jam session night. He went out to smoke, and when he came back inside he made a B line straight for the stage and started playing the congas. I didn’t know he’d met one of the musicians outside, who invited him up to play. What I saw was my friend boldly going on stage without a word and playing like his life depended on it. Shy people like myself are in awe of such confidence and would like it to rub off.

This was Manu last year.
He still smiles like he did when I met him.

Manuel singing Freedom with as much emotion as Richie Havens

Manu’s site, for a look into his twisted universe.

Commedia Volante

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

This year’s Nuit Blanche was as enchanting as last year’s was bizarre. In the center of Paris, on a shopping street across from an H&M and a McDonald’s, two Italian trapeze artists made us all feel like kids again.

On Saturday night, Monsieur Marco Mannucci and Madame Alessandra Lanciotti, of the group Mattatoio Sospeso, performed their piece entitled Commedia Volante, while suspended from the facade of 59 rue de Rivoli, accompanied by violin, accordion and roaring traffic.

It was one of the most fun & magical things I’ve seen quite some time.

Madame Alessandra Lanciotti, La Femme Volante, se prépare

Monsieur Marco Mannucci

Femme volante paniquée

Couple volante

Smiling Trapeze

Les Amants du Ciel

Flying au dessous de la rue


Friday, June 10th, 2011

I went up to the second floor to see one of my favorite people and he was gone. I hear he’s in Les Vosges or somewhere east, working for five months. I guess the tai chi lessons will be on hold for a while. This photo is from a few days before, when I found him making magic in the third floor kitchen.

You’re going to think I’m exaggerating but Slimane is sunshine. He’s gone through some difficult times since I’ve known him but I have never seen him down or upset. It must happen, for as far as I can tell he’s human, but he’s able to maintain a positive, balanced perspective. He is always quick with a joke, laughing, caring, smiling and Sincere. Usually when you walk into his studio he offers you a beer.

I have never walked away from him with a frown. And in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever walked towards him with a frown, for once I see him I can’t help smiling. As you do when the sun comes out on a cloudy day.

Slimane Hamadache...he sculpts, paints, cooks, coaches, writes, teaches and shines very bright. Often found making art at 59 rue de Rivoli, Paris.

Jazz heals all wounds

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Two weekends ago I photographed a 3-day jazz festival at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. During these days it occurred to me that jazz just may heal all wounds. There is music that can open wounds and even inflicts wounds, music that reminds you of old wounds, and music that reminds you of what has already healed.

In any mood, on any day, jazz is welcome to my ears. Of course, there is a huge range within it and I have a preference for the 50s (ah, imagine driving in a 1954 Panhard Dyna Z listening to Buddy Murrow…). But sometimes the right medicine is simply a freely traveling saxophone (Isaac Kemo can make his growl) or the muffled voice of a trumpet to take me away. And other times I crave jumping ragtime, funk or soul, something highly improvised or something slow and blue. The uniqueness of the genre, in my life, is that I will never say no to it.

Nicolas Moreau and Melvin Marquez playing with Tiss Rodriguez

Exception: free jazz is only desirable live.

Isaac Kemo, merci pour la danse

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

He discreetly introduced himself and his band members to a very full house at 59 Rivoli last night. He spoke of being told as a child in the Ivory Coast that music is a universal language and that tonight he was laying this offering at our feet. From then on he spoke mostly jazz to our grateful ears.

Carlos Gbaguidi, Isaac Kemo and Gbady X/Effi Armand

Isaac Kemo and guest appearance by Jean-Philippe Rykiel

Isaac Kemo, giving thanks

Near the end of the set, he suddenly leaned over me, gently picked up my camera and set it aside, and took my hand. For a lovely moment we danced. He, me and that beautiful sax.

A classical weekend at 59

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

I spent the weekend photographing a classical music festival at 59 (click here for the story of 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris). It was an ambitious undertaking, with concerts in the ground-floor gallery every hour, 10 hours a day, as well as performances on all six floors. It was open to the public and all completely free, or however much you felt like contributing.

A piano was somehow maneuvered into Suisse’s Musée Igor Balut, where Lise Charrin was playing Bach and Scarlatti.

Lise Charrin nestled in the Musée Igor Balut with piano

Rabbit-filled playground

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Delightfully bizarre. That was Nuit Blanche 2010 at cinquante-neuf in Paris. Live music playing off the second-floor balcony, and alternatively in the ground-floor gallery . . . 20-second street performances in the middle of rue de Rivoli . . . collaborative painting on trucks and toile . . . men dressed scalp to toe in spandex bodysuits, all colors of the rainbow, plus camouflage . . . artists invited for one-night shows throughout 30 ever-evolving studios . . . spontaneous musical collaborations . . . and weaving through all of it, Paul Toupet‘s tireless team of dancing, traffic-stopping rabbits.

One of the lapin crew surveying pedestrian traffic

Mr Gaspard Delanoë welcoming guests at the front door

Crossing Rivoli, the facade of 59

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome...rabbit stopping traffic

Sidewalk view from the second-floor balcony/stage

Suisse Marocain finishing the collaborative truck painting

Spandex on parade

20-second street happening every time the traffic light turns red

Night of the living traffic

Three lapins and a Manuel Baldassare painting




Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

He was that guy over there with the moustache who I felt looking at me, sometimes smiling, but never speaking. Italian, French, Spanish?

I didn’t see him again.

Months later he is sitting suddenly in front of me, smiling, eager to talk, having just returned from Italy. A new resident artist at 59.

He often has a smile like the tip of an iceberg of a story.
A story he doesn’t reveal to me. Not in words.

Manuel Baldassare, musician and painter currently working at 59 rue de Rivoli, 6th floor

The inspectors

Monday, August 9th, 2010

While setting up to shoot some portraits yesterday, the inspectors passed through doing an état des lieux.

As they were standing in my line of fire, we took a couple of photos together. This is number two. After seeing number one, I said let’s do another, parce que j’ai des grosses fesses. Hence, the posture of Aliocha…

I adore these guys. They are good friends, talented artists, inspiring human beings and they make me laugh!

Moi, Aliocha, Thierry Hodebar, Francesco, Slimane Hamadache

Mr Fish doesn’t like to be photographed

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Or maybe he just likes to play…

Mister P times three

François Poisson works and plays at 59 rue de Rivoli.

He shares clay and paint,
and will make room for you at his table
if you’re nice.

Illegal poetry?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

So much happened since I last posted, it has left me at times without words, but now I’ll find them.

Front door of 59Rivoli on May 15, 2010

On my birthday, les Omnis arrived in Paris. Beautiful coincidence.

Poets, artists, musicians.
From Cuba, on a European tour.
An extension of their Festival de Poesia Sin Fin.

Friends of my friend Sara Roumette (journalist who spent much time in Cuba), it was arranged that they use my studio at 59 rue de Rivoli for one of their performances because the gallery was occupied by Ruban Vert. The magic of photo studios, you can transform them into anything you want. I was thrilled to be useful.

Amaury standing on his head, in the pot that he wears there, which reads in Spanish, 'this is not a casserole.'

From the moment Nilo, Amaury and Luis Eligio walked in (a 4th member didn’t get permission to leave Cuba), I could see these people were awake, alive, excited, participating in life with full hearts. They’ve worked together for 15 years, have friends all around the world and connect directly, hands-on. People so open are a strong contrast in Paris.

Luis Eligio, makes eye-contact with everyone, after each piece of clothing that he takes off on the sidewalk in front of 59.

Amaury and Nilo wrap Luis in Cuban newspapers so that he can barely move...

...nor talk, nor see

Performance continues upstairs with projections, poetry, music.

Amaury and Nilo

That evening after their performance it took us three hours to walk just over two miles. Everything was new for them, and their interaction with it was energizing for us.

After Paris, they went to Barcelona and there the trip was cut short. Papers. Bureaucracy. A premature return to Cuba. If that wasn’t disappointing enough, they just sent out an email with recent news. When they arrived in Havanna they were “randomly” searched (all three of them) and all of their belongings were confiscated : disk drives, computers, memory cards, cameras, poems, paintings, all images from their tour, all of their work and private correspondence. For 30 days their belongings will be held hostage.

Poets, artists, strip-searched and held for six hours. For what? For thinking differently? For behaving as free-thinkers? For inspiring people in Amsterdam, Denmark, Prague, Paris and Barcelona?

Thousands of kilometers away, this leaves me feeling helpless.

' ' Libres ' '

A night at the Vagabond : Barbès II.

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Sometimes, when you think life can’t get any better, a piano rolls through the door and everything changes.

Thursday night’s vernissage of Vagabond Gallery’s Barbès Pas Grave II found us painting on Gaki and dancing to rag-time. TOUT est possible à Paris, don’t listen to Parisiens who say otherwise.

The list of creatives showing work included myself, Gaki, Adulkid, Yasuyo Iso, Kana Ueno, Etsuko Kobayashi, Sebastien Lecca, Kim Quach and Michel Vray.

Vincent Ange, Vagabond curator and catalyst. Vagabond entrance.

My wall of photos.

Kim Quach and Pascal Foucart watch as Yasuyo preps Gaki.


Gaki-zen getting cold on cement floor as we paint on him.

Sebastien Lecca, Kim Quach and Etsuko Kobyashi painting.

Slowly getting up from the collaboration, he finishes the painting, adds glue and other elements to the void where his body had been.

Gaki rechauffé, with Michel Vray.

During a pause in the action, I’m talking to a German artist about her self-explorations in super-8 while someone orders a piano.

Turns out, Philippe Bas doesn’t go anywhere without his upright.

And I thought my camera bag was heavy.
At least I don’t have to worry about parking.

The excitement and anticipation, while he pushes his piano into place, makes it feel like Christmas morning with Saint Nick making a surprise personal visit. And he hadn’t even played anything yet! Somehow we knew.

This music just makes people HAPPY.

Philippe Bas playing stride lit a fire under this woman.

Piano and good times

Painting in traffic

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

At 59 we sometimes paint on the walls.

Tonight the artist hosted by our gallery painted in the street.

Emmanuel Flipo likes to throw pigments to the wind.

Gaki arrives through a cloud of Flipo's performance

Flipo draws in the street in front of the 59 Rivoli gallery

Flipo making his déssin on rue de Rivoli

Flipo’s exhibition will be on view in the gallery until May 2nd.
59 rue de Rivoli, 75001. Paris.

My two walls

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Back from the sea with burnt forehead.

I moved my studio today.

By the grace of coincidence I’m taking over a small space just next to my old one at 59 Rivoli, that has been prematurely liberated. I will have a corner! I’ve been working in a rather small space, though I am quite used to working in closets. This one was basically a hallway.

Left-to-right, it was . . .

Back-left corner is where I'll now be working. The wall of photos is in the space where I've been the last several months

The full width of my space/hallway/studio, between the the walls. You can see the orange backside of a painting by Bruno Dumont that hangs in front of the entrance to the 4th floor. In the corner there is also the old bathroom door, provocatively painted by Hao, recuperated from the squat days.

The wall between my and Aliocha's studio. The b&w collage is staying, and growing. The other photos and black background are gone. Francesco's studio is in the distance, with his Don Quixote de la Mancha on the far wall.

One Woman One Day Show

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Demain soir je fête mes six mois de résidence au 59 rue de Rivoli,
j’exposerai le travail résultant de ce temps,
les images attendus mais plutôt inattendus,
autour d’un apéro, partagé avec des amis
nouveaux, de longtemps et pas encore connus.

A Paris? Vous êtes bienvenus.

Barbès – Pas Grave

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

The Vagabond Gallery is back!

For five days only, and with more events possibly to follow.

Tonight it opened with the usual suspects from 59 rue de Rivoli, plus a good crowd of friends and colleagues. The nomadic event is held in temporarily unused spaces in Paris and transformed for short-periods into a gallery. Terry Milgrom and Vincent Ange are the primary organizers, but it takes a village of artists to make it happen.

This one will be around until Sunday, with the finissage being Saturday night.

98 rue Doudeauville, 75018, Metro Château Rouge

Bruno Dumont sits underneath one of his paintings, with Suisse Marocain and Michel Vray, in the store-front section of the current Vagabond Gallery at 98 rue Doudeauville, Paris

The store-front Vagabond Gallery space at 98 rue Doudeauville contains works from Bruno Dumont, Etsuko Kobyashi, Suisse Marocain, Francesco10 and Sebastien Lecca

Artist Etsuko Kobyashi in front of Barbès-Pas Grave

Artist Emmanuel Flipo in front of the piece he made for the Vagabond Gallery

Michel Vray, neon-lit

La grande espace

Art installation, live music, beautiful solid stone walls...

love these lights, must get some...

L'Amour in front of Suisse's painting, C'est Pas Grave

Vincent Ange, a procurer of space and creator of the Vagabond Gallery

Le Suisse Marocain

Collaborative Door Painting

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I was looking at those brown doors last night, remembering their old red, yellow and purple and thought, when are we going to paint them?

A little while later, while contemplating my collage in the 4th floor hallway, Gaki walked by holding a tall paintbrush with a bright dab of yellow at the end. There was a matching dab on his cheek.

What are you up to? I asked.

He said, with his characteristic smile, on peins la porte, viens.
(We’re painting the door, come.)

You don’t have to tell me twice.

Details of the collaboration's rainbow of fruity flavors

Slimane paints a base coat in blue

Saverio Montella paints with two brushes simultaneously

Suisse Marocain and Barry, who accompanied the painters with song and dance

Suisse and Gaki at the door-painting party

Francesco adds his signautre style

Suisse Marocain closes the doors of 59 rue de Rivoli for the night. To be finished tomorrow...

“Also Women Can Paint” : Suisse Marocain


Monday, February 22nd, 2010

It’s been Italian week at 59. The gallery is hosting three artists (Antonio Bonura, Marianna Mendozza and Angelo Maisto) who drove up to Paris last weekend. We’ve simultaneously had Guappecarto (longtime friends of 59) play concerts here in the gallery, at New Morning and at L’International. The rhythm of the language is the air and the Tuscan wine is flowing.

Yesterday I arrived at 59 needing desperately to make photos. I set up my lights fast, trying not to trip visitors with my cables (high Sunday afternoon traffic), and ran down to the gallery to propose a quick shoot with Marianna, Saverio, Angelo, Tony and his dog Rocco before the concert started.

Marianna Mendozza and Saverio Montella

Marianna Mendozza and Saverio Montella

Antonio Bonura and Rocco

Antonio Bonura and Rocco

Angelo Maisto

Angelo Maisto

After those spontaneous portraits, I ran down to the gallery where Guappecarto had started playing. If you are in Paris and you don’t know them already, check ’em out. The first time I heard them play was also the day I entered 59 Rivoli for the first time. On the inspiration scale, this day was seriously high.

Frank Cosentini et Dr Zingarone, Guappecarto

The Guappecarto guys are charming as hell and play with a passion that translates emotion into sound in a direct line from their hearts to ours.  I’m kind of a fan. The music can be soothing, but it’s also got an energy inspiring to action, to creation, to dance, to do SOMETHING… and a bit of dreaming of the sea, and late nights in Italy. Their passion is matched by their humor and hearing their music live is some kind of nourishment that words can’t match.

Guappecarto: Malamente, Frank et Zingarone

Residents of 59 Exposed

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Thanks everyone who came by 59 last night for our residents’ group show! For those who couldn’t pass through the gallery at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris, you still have time! The show will hang until February 14th, when it will end with some young, energetic musical accompaniment.

And, a word about 59 and what it means to me, in a way I may have not said before…

It’s sort of a dream to me to be a resident in this building, a place I first encountered in maybe 2001 or 2002, a naive Midwestern girl roaming Paris, thinking “I will live here.” I couldn’t wrap my mind around how the existence of an artist squat was possible (you mean you just stay and not pay rent? how do you get away with that?), and I didn’t know that’s what this extravagantly decorated building at number 59 was.

What I saw that day, standing on the sidewalk among the shoppers on Rivoli, was freedom. Freedom manifested in a way I had never seen before. Freedom, action, creation, coming out of every window and crevice. My gut emotional response was, YES!

That day the front door was closed and I went about my dreamy wanderings. It wasn’t until 2005 that I saw the inside. It didn’t disappoint. Globally, it was colorful chaos, like a marathon five-hour French-style Christmas feast for the eyes. It was warm like sitting around a fire with friends. It had high collective energy and I wanted a key.

In 2006 I saw the building be emptied, in 2009 I saw it re-filled (sorry, skipping a lot in between), and now in 2010 it’s a place where my personal work is taking a new turn. 59, and the people who created and continue to create it, have inspired me with their talent, friendship and encouragement. My life wouldn’t be the same if we hadn’t crossed paths.

On that note, a few photos from the last couple days.


Sebastien Lecca contemplates his installation.

Fanny Duprat paints it black.

Can you find my head in Seb's collection of faces?


Jeff's son Diego, conquering his fear of dogs. He made his first canine friend on this night.

Camille, a frequenter of Parisian art events. Her maitresse, Pring, is behind her in gold ankle boots, which she created. My feet are in pink.

Fanny makes a killer belle blonde.

Resident artists Agnès de la Roncière and Gaki.

Kim, artist in residence, came decked out in angel's wings. Here photographed with Bernard, who always reminds me to consult his agent if I plan to sell a photo of him.

Yours truly, in a dress inspired by and borrowed from Lucie Belarbi, a long-time resident of 59.