In this time of being grounded at home in the United States due to the novel Coronavirus, American lovers of Paris can still enjoy the City of Light. Here’s how.
In this wing-clipped year of being grounded at home in the United States due to the novel Coronavirus, American lovers of Paris can still gaze eager eyes and open their hearts to the City of Light via Paris Chic, an elegantly hefty book published this month by stylish Assouline. With more than 200 photographs by Oliver Pilcher and text by Alexandra Senes, this heady tome abundantly delivers images and words artfully woven with sophistication and seduction: unfolding broad cityscapes and intimate corners, well-known hot spots and mysterious hideaways, lively action and lovely stillness, intriguing perspectives and personalities.
With Paris Chic, you can rejoice in the role of armchair traveler, taking flight while staying in place for now. Appreciate the thick feel-good paper as your fingertips turn 280 pages. Go slowly, as though you are strolling next to the River Seine, noticing every detail. Throughout Paris Chic, understand the appeal of the city’s tantalizing temptations as well as its poetic comfort, its centuries-old splendor and its of-the-moment energy. Revel in enchanting voyeurism, looking at behind-the-scenes gatherings in homes, offices and restaurants.
Imagine yourself (oui, fantasize!) slipping inside the images of Paris Chic as well: Peering over the edge of a hotel balcony; striding Avenue des Champs-Élysées; meandering public gardens; exploring galleries and workshops and bookstores; nosing around boutiques (a perfumerie!); indulging in treats (macarons!); relishing bistro meals that leisurely linger; meeting fab fresh amis. This is not a guidebook, although it certainly points in inviting directions. Like the best of travel-themed coffee table books, Paris Chic offers a sumptuous portal that woos and nurtures wanderlust.
Faced with the planned demolition of the housing project where she grew up, Mahye decided to organise an open-air photography exhibition. It takes residents of “Les Groux”, in the French suburb of Fresnes, on a journey through their shared childhoods. The Banlieue Project team went to meet her to find out more.
Banlieue Project is a platform for residents of France’s disadvantaged suburbs to tell their own stories. We provide the camera and they film their experiences to break down clichés about the French “banlieues”.
Over the past two decades, JR has expanded the meaning of public art through his ambitious projects that give visibility and agency to a broad spectrum of people around the world. Showcasing murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas, and archival materials, JR: Chronicles is the first major exhibition in North America of works by the French-born artist. Working at the intersections of photography, social engagement, and street art, JR collaborates with communities by taking individual portraits, reproducing them at a monumental scale, and wheat pasting them—sometimes illegally—in nearby public spaces.
This soaring multimedia installation traces JR’s career from his early documentation of graffiti artists as a teenager in Paris to his large-scale architectural interventions in cities worldwide to his more recent digitally collaged murals that create collective portraits of diverse publics. The centerpiece of the exhibition is The Chronicles of New York City, a new epic mural of more than one thousand New Yorkers that is accompanied by audio recordings of each person’s story. All of the projects on view honor the voices of everyday people and demonstrate JR’s ongoing commitment to community, collaboration, and civic discourse.
JR: Chronicles is part of the Brooklyn Falls for France cultural season and is curated by Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives, and Drew Sawyer, Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator, Photography, Brooklyn Museum.