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The 42nd edition of the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC, International Contemporary Art Fair) at the Grand Palais, in Paris, gathered the world’s greatest art galleries that took advantage of this event to unveil their artists’ latest creations. It was an opportunity for Le Collectionist to discover often remarkable contemporary works. Sculptures with punch, surprising paintings, or over-the-top installations, this fair, of great significance for the art market, allowed us to single out a few nuggets! Here are 10 of our favourites…
1- Gilles Barbier, A very old thing, 2015
A distressing encounter with the The Thing from the Fantastic Four. This one, dozing in his armchair for years, has been overtaken by nature!
2- Xu Zhen, Under heaven
This painting by Xu Zhen with touches of “whipped cream” complementing multiple shades of red is pure delight.
3- Damien Hirst, Washington, 2014
A big-format map of the city of Washington, D.C., in this work by Damien Hirst, composed of threatening objects: scalpel blades, needles, steel dowels, pins and hooks.
4- Evi Keller, Transformations silencieuses, 2010
Revealing different variations of shades ranging from black to gold, artist and poet Evi Keller unites reality and imagination in 6 eye-catching works.
5- Kehinde Wiley
A hyperrealistic work by Kehinde Wiley, an Amercian artist of Nigerian origin with a pictorial technique worthy of the greatest classic masters.
6- Jannis Kounellis, Senza titolo, 2007
Fashioned from industrial materials, the works of Jannis Kounellis create physical or cultural contrasts between elements: soft and hard, tar and steel, agricultural and industrial, steel and jute.
7- Julian Stanczak, Trespassing light, 1970
A true visual artist, Julian Stanczak creates geometrical compositions featuring modulations of lively or soothing colours.
8- Olafur Eliasson, Dark generosity
The work of Olafur Eliasson from Denmark explores the relationship between nature and technology while playing on light effects.
9- Davide Balula, Burnt paintings
Painting, sculpture, installation, music, performance… Davide Balula is a well-rounded artist. Here, a diptych consists of a panel assembling burnt-wood fragments and prints left by this burnt wood rubbed on canvas. A real play on positive and negative redolent of photography, with the original facing its print, creating a fascinating symmetry.
10- Juan Munoz, Two men with harmonica
Spanish sculptor Juan Munoz questions the validity of perceptions by playing on distortions of scale, viewpoint and gravity in this installation.
Bastien Lattanzio was born in Annecy, France. He embraced the world of photography at the age of 18 when his mother offered him his first camera. More drawn towards the artistic scene then to university, the young man developed his talent by walking the streets and taking pictures without preparation. From this period, he will retain an instinctive relationship with image: “the image is fixed for what it is”, a sort of snapshot of reality.
Not yet twenty, the young man arrives in Paris, a city where he doesn’t know anyone. A few pictures in his pocket, he knocks on the doors of publishers of magazines dedicated to urban and alternative cultures like Clark Magazine, Technikart or WAD Magazine. From one photos shot to the other, and driven by a real need to freeze “time in order to own it”, the clients he works with become more and more prestigious: Numero, Nike, M le monde, Chanel.
Today, Bastien Lattanzio still possesses the same desire of sincerity and wishes to explore further his own artistic world. Even if his maturity brings him to appreciate more complexity in an image, a specific frame or light for example, he still possesses the need of authenticity: “even if technique is important, it only serves as a tool to translate emotions”. And so his work englobes still life or pictures from a holiday spent in Ibiza. This last subject belongs to his favorite because it “brings people to the sea, the sun, the summer, it’s about spontaneity and freedom”. Inside the well-groomed photographer hides an instinctive character who loves the Dolce Vita – “life is what it is, no need to make it look like some pale artefact of itself”.
Bastien wants to continue to shoot fashion photos and also to develop his style through more personal work. He opened an online gallery called LABU LABU where he presents the work of different photographers he particularly appreciates, a way to democratize photography as an art and to make it accessible to all.
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Some thirty paradisiacal isles are strung out along a surface declining every shade of blue: these are the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory lodged in the middle of the Caribbean. Divided into two groups of islands in the Lucayan Archipelago, this “chain of islands” protects one of the world’s longest coral reefs. Lit up by the golden rays of the sun, kilometres of isolated white beaches fringed with lush preserved nature stretch out before the spellbound eyes of Le Collectionist as he steps off a plane onto this tiny ecological Eden.
A lover of marvellous ocean depths, our adventurer ventures to Salt Cay, the second-largest island in the Turks, a haven of Caribbean scents. In the middle of the sea, the celadon blue suddenly changes colour, indicating the presence of a deep rift. Sure enough, canyons and caverns are part of the incredible underwater scenery. Over here, the unearthly wreck of the Endymion rests on a sandy bed. Over there, a thick forest of black coral protects multi-coloured fish and reefs: sponges, sea fans, sleepy sharks and turtles file past. Meanwhile, the surface is the playground of eagle rays, sperm whales, dolphins and humped-back whales that migrate as far as Silver Banks.
At the end of the day, our hedonist heads for Cockburn Town. This capital of Grand Turk flaunts an undeniable charm; the town is woven with little alleys edged with houses in white chalk or wood painted in pretty pastel shades. Circled by salt factories, this picturesque little town preserves the indelible traces of its various inhabitants in some of its buildings. It’s in a little restaurant serving Caribbean specialities that our hero tops off a day abounding in sensations. A recipe based on the island’s renowned conches; “jerk chicken”, a chicken breast marinated in spices with peas and rice; crayfish, crabs and lobster… a feast is served.
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Designer, scenographer, visual artist and sculptor, Hubert Le Gall is a self-taught creator. Based in the former studio of painter Pierre Bonnard in Montmartre, the versatile artist creates furniture from noble materials such as bronze or wood. His inspiration draws from all eras, giving birth to unique, dreamlike pieces that have seduced the world of decoration and design. These original and whimsical works represent a continuous alchemy between traditional furniture and optical illusions.
Gifted with a vibrant imagination, he made his debut in the 1990s with his first poetical art exhibition. In this show, he presented works, both original and practical, with vegetal inspirations, such as his iconic Flower Pot armchair or the renowned Daisy Tables based on the idea of bringing volume to Warhol’s screen-printed flowers. Later, this tireless worker would take new directions by creating a lyrical bestiary: take his Bull Cabinet, a work of stylistic and technical prowess, or his Igloo Chiffonier whose geometric abstraction conjures up the surrealists.
At the start of the 2000s, his name came up as a scenographer participating in a number of exhibitions, overturning the “white-cube” codes of the 1970s. Among other events, he designed the scenography of a retrospective on Bonnard, Painting Arcadie, presenting almost 150 paintings by the artist, including numerous exceptional loans. At the Musée du Luxembourg, he brought Tudor flamboyance back to life for an exhibition featuring a remarkable set of works from the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum, the Musée du Louvre and even the Royal Collection. Today, Hubert Le Gall has signed a poetic interpretation of the Blanc de Blancs vintage by Ruinart, declining – in the form of a calendar consisting of twelve blown-glass pieces produced in the workshops of Murano – one year in the vineyards of Champagne.
In southern Spain, on the Costa Del Sol, the sun explodes, lighting up chalk-whitened buildings in the historic district of Marbella. A gentle yet heady perfume embalms the twisty, narrow alleys of the old Andalusian city. Orange trees in bloom shade the terraces of the city’s famous square, and account for its name. The nerve centre of old Marbella, the Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square) shelters various historic monuments such as the Ermita de Santiago, a church constructed in the 15th century, or the Casa del Corregidor, a manor from the 16th century. At the heart of this setting, museums and galleries house the works of the greatest Spanish painters including Goya, Picasso, Chilida, Sempere and many others.
Flora and fauna also have their place here. Surrounded by the Sierra Blanca, a chain of grey-rock mountains, and the charismatic Concha, in the form of an enormous seashell, Marbella is discreetly protected from cold winds from the north. Nearby, the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, preciously preserves protected species in a mountainous territory carved by deep breaches and spectacular ravines.
Finally, from Rìo Real to the port of Cabopino, a range of beaches with fine golden sand stretch out. Well-known for their natural beauty, these beaches are also coveted by lovers of water sports. On some, such as the splendidly peaceful Playa Real de Zaragoza, chiringuitos (small stalls) cook up tasty aromas. Lying on a sundeck with an Ajoblanco (cold almond soup) accompanied by a sweet wine from the region, we let ourselves get carried away by the lilting music that marks the end of every day on the beaches of Andalusia.
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