An Afternoon at Art Capital 2020

I’m on vacation in Paris, and today I took a trip to the Grand Palais, which, as with what feels like every building here, is ornate with a delicate grandiosity. If you were to sculpt the froth on a hot cocoa, that’s what Paris feels like.

As with all the best museums, the art starts before you get in!

How long did this baby have to pose with his arm in this lion’s mouth to finish this sculpture, and where were his parents? Being a child model was so much rougher back then.

This dude with the mallet is like “I can absolutely fix your nose,” He fails to inform her of the likelihood that she could end up with what people in the biz call “the sphinx.”

There was a Toulouse Lautrec exhibit, but I chose to go to Art Capital, an annual exhibition of French contemporary art. It’s actually four shows in one, but walking around, I could never really tell where one show ended and another began.

It’s light and airy inside the gallery, which would make for a relaxing exhibition except for the fact that there are birds flying around. I was fully prepared to lose everything by running from a pigeon and destroying half the art in the gallery. Here are some of the pieces that stood out to me.

I liked the use of contrast here to create a tangle of lines that looked like a maze.

There were a lot of pieces that felt like they were channeling Hieronymus Bosch, but this one made me smile. I would say that a big criticism I had, overall, was that so much of the art seemed to be referencing other art, sometimes indirectly but often directly.

This may be one of my favorite pieces from the exhibition. I like the way the mixed media makes this feel both ancient and futuristic at the same time.

Alagraphy uses AI to create art. There is a transhumanist theme here. Transhumanism is using technology to advance mankind beyond our normal evolution, which is something that has figured in Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men series, It’s a piece where the medium and message really come together since this uses AI to advance the creation of art, something we think of as intrinsically human.

This one really bummed me out, which I felt was reason enough to include it. It seems kind of humorous at first – a bunch of animals posing for a kid’s photo, probably for the gram. The title of the photo, though, is endangered, so you’re immediately hit over the head with the idea that photos will be all we have left of these animals soon.

You can probably tell from the other things I’ve included in this blog post that I prefer representational art to abstractions. This, however, was my favorite piece of the day. The precision in the line work and the palette reminded me of Ed Ruscha, and it calls to mind a bridge with light traffic. I looked up Hoshida Harumi’s other work and saw that they have been working with this palette for years, but the earlier work looks a little more chaotic than this.

So those were the piece I liked, but what I liked even more than the art were the people.

Much respect to this woman dripping in red Chanel, walking around with a selfie stick to make sure she got the best images possible of everything she liked.

I loved this jacket this girl was wearing. I didn’t realize it was a thing until I got back to the hotel, looked it up, and saw that it had an IG (Angela Sauceda already knew because of course she did. By the way, if you’re looking for a personal stylist, I highly recommend Angela).

And this karate class. I can’t imagine how this went over with the kids. “Hey, we’re going on a field trip. Today you’re getting a black belts… in art appreciation! No. No, no one’s actually getting a black belt, and, yes, you do have to go.”

Before you think that Paris and the art has changed me, you should know that. for lunch, I had Subway. And for dinner, I ordered McDonald’s delivery.