For a recent assignement I had the pleasure to introduce to a Belgian couple and their young son to art galeries in Paris. Their request was simple, namely to see contemporary art in a selection of art galleries knowing they were thinking of starting an art collection (but they had not specific wishes). They had been in Paris before but did not know it very well.
I decided to take them to the Marais. That part of Paris famously dense with art galeries which allowed us to do everything on foot. Additionaly, we were able to enjoy the lesser visited upper side of the historical Marais district with it’s narrow streets and majestic hôtels particuliers (private mansions) and discover the original boutiques and many restaurants of this equally fashionable area.
Contrary to what some people think, most galeries are also welcoming to art novices and they can be the right alternative to those who are not keen on museums but like discovering art. I prepared a visit that would allow them to discover a range of different artists on the market at the moment. First I selected 10 galeries and met with the galery owner or managers. The selection included photography, mix media, painting, sculpture and installations of international and local artists. Some very famous others not.
The day of the visit I introduced them to the artists, what inspired them, their career path and of course the prices of the work on display. The aim was to supply them with the necessary information to be able to understand or come closer to the artists intentions whether they like the work or not. That three of the artists were Belgian was of course an element of pride !
For example, the Belgian multi-disciplinary artist Pieter Vermeersch showing his marble paintings at the Perrotin Galerie (a historical mansion hidden in a courtyard).
In two hours these visitors discovered a wide range of art works, acquired an insight in the world of art galeries, walked the streets of Paris and thanks to their wise and bold 10 year old son, were challenged to view art with a very open mind indeed. A delightful experience for me too !