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.