By Estelle Arielle Bouchet
Estelle Arielle Bouchet, artwork"Indigo Star" by Andy Robert (2022), Galerie Ever Presenhuber. Images copyright EAB PRESS &IMAGE. Flash Back
I liked the FIAC; I worked there in my younger years on behalf of the Etienne de Causans Gallery, when Paris was less serious and total carefreeness reigned. Large dinners were organized unexpectedly and at the height of the arrogance of my 20s, I would dine next to Master Botero represented at the time by the Colombian Gallery which belonged to the Quintana brothers. I asked Fernando with the naive impudence of extreme youth if the gargantuan women in his paintings - in my true Lyonnaise way - corresponded to his feminine ideal.
There he declined laughing and explained to me that it was only a style, he told me about his beginnings in New-York... FIAC was a cozy living room where the likes of Olivier Dassault walked nonchalantly linking arms with Mademoiselle Suarez d'Aulan, from one gallery to another with the sharp eye of a photographer and a searching art collector. I offered him three almonds...
Arman's son Yves would confide his heartaches in me. Antoine Javal would pass by to explore potentials for his Rue de Seine Gallery with my friend the painter Jean Clerté and his beautiful wife Jacqueline (Jean was part of the Cobra Group with Alechinsky).
The FIAC embodied the Golden Age of Contemporary Art. We spoke all languages and all while selling, trading, buying, drinking Champagne and having fun with the flair and the bold and insolent self-confidence of extreme youth, at the Grand Palais. October 2022: My erratic movements bring me to the Ephemeral Palace of the Champ de Mars for Art +PARIS, ART BASEL 2022.
"Géométrie Carrée" 2022 by Prune Nourry, French artist born in 1985-Galerie Templon.
A chaotic ride & Sunday stroll at Art +PARIS, ART BASEL 2022
The previous carefreeness is no longer as visible, although it’s true that the economic environment has changed over the years. Tragedies such as the Subprime mortgage crisis, the Madoff scandal, the September 11th attacks, the Nice terrorist attacks, Covid, and the war have passed, but the art market has continued to be organized like a digital and bulimic Mercury.
Messy jumble at Art +PARIS, ART BASEL 2022
It has also grown in strength and scale, though not necessarily in depth as you can’t ask for too much. However, this International yearly exhibition of contemporary art is worth stopping for.
All the big players visit: Simon de Pury, the "Mick Jagger" of this world stopped by a few days ago and a little birdie tells me that Art+ Art Basel are looking for new sponsors for 2023. The great Masters are all there - I even spotted a Soulages while he was still from this world, artistic scenes although certainly disorderly and sometimes even chaotic and noisy like an unruly schoolyard - but Art is alive and well, and even sometimes powerful at Art + PARIS, ART BASEL 2022. A narcissistic mirror of a world in redefinition that looks at itself and seeks itself out.
I am giving you a chaotic and rather disorderly jumbled image of my apprehension of this moment of unexpected discovery. Here's what I liked about this Sunday afternoon in Paris...
The Louis Vuitton Foundation (above) offered six contemporary artists the opportunity to interpret a limited edition of 200 Bags/Sculptures very naturally linking the Art Foundation and the Louis Vuitton Leather Goods House.
In essence, similar to when I was twenty years old, I had a lot of fun...