human behavior

Art Buy: From a Paris Sidewalk

Posted in Art, Travel by humanb on March 18, 2012

Outside the hideous Centre Pompidou in Paris, we happened upon a sculptor fashioning figurative pieces out of aerated concrete. I didn’t like most of them, but I loved that he’d parked himself outside the famous and formidable museum to create, display (and sell) original art-in-the-making, with the use of simple materials. He was a quiet guy, very focused on his work.

But I got his attention when I finally selected a piece that piqued my interest. He was very helpful then, wrapped my piece with care in newspaper, and explained to me in broken but better English than was my French, that I needed to rinse the sculpture thoroughly to wash away the dust.

The sculpture was around $75 USD, maybe less. I can’t remember exactly. But it was the cheapest piece of original art I was ever going to bring back from Paris, I was sure.

And it stands proudly on my buffet, where I admire its variable moods at different angles.

Here, it seems shy.

But it becomes mournful from its right side.

And more feminine from behind.

This is his pose of shame. Yes, he’s a man now.

In the fashion of great art, I admire it more over time. I like that it’s made of concrete, porous and coarse, but paradoxically smooth.

And I love that it’s evocative – both of that very sidewalk in Paris upon which I first discovered it – and of that shy, soft-spoken artist hunched over his work.

Merci, Paree.

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