07/05/2010

I’ve been in Paris for a few days now and have been enjoying its tasty pains au chocolat, its architecture, its art and fashion. I went to the Centre Pompidou a couple of days ago to check out Lucian Freud’s exhibit, L’atelier. His nude portraits are worth seeing. Also showing at the centre Pompidou is elles@pompidoucentre which features works from 200 international women artists in the collection of the national museums. The exhibit includes sculptures, drawings, paintings, installations, videos, and photography. You’ll find works from Sophie Calle, Louise Bourgeois, Frida Khalo, Barbara Kruger, Tacita Dean, ORLAN, to name a few. It is an excellent overview on the feminism movement and its influences in modern and contemporary art. It was a privilege to see works in the flesh of women artists whose works I admired and to discover works from completely unknown artists.  

One discovery was Katherina Bosse, a Finnish photographer whose series “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mother" was shown. I connected with her instantly as the series featured self-portraits. I love the boldness in her portraits and the use of natural light in an outdoor setting. I like this particular shot (see left), because its mythological referencing makes it very strong and powerful. Speaking of female artists, I fortuitously found out earlier in the day about the opening in Paris of Between Worlds (see image on right) of Polixeni Papapetrou which took place last evening at the Galerie L MD. I was familiar with Polixeni’s latest series, Between Worlds, as the Center for Contemporary Photography where I volunteer had been selling copies of her book of the same name. I arrived at the gallery right on time for the talk on the exhibit. I enjoy finding out about the  inspirations and influcences behind a body of work. I found out that Diane Arbus was the photographer who inspired her to take up photography. Interestingly, I am reading Diane Arbus’ biography by Patricia Bosworth. I had the chance to introduce myself to Polixeni and we chatted a bit. I really liked this series because of its simplicity yet well orchestrated compositions. The colourful photos were also beautifully printed. I found some similarities with her current series as there was use of masks, costumes, and props which make the shots very theatrical and humorous. The show runs until 26 June 2010.