"Richard Prince: American Prayer" at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris

Courtesy Photo

“Lets reinvent the gods

All the myths of the ages

Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests”

-An American Prayer, The Doors

For Richard Prince, art is the overarching essence of the universe--it’s all he has. And he believes it’s all we have left in society.

Art in theory has become our only modern domain of sanctification. Prince, a painter, impressive art collector, and advocate of the phenomenon of “rephotography,” has an exhibit in Paris at “La Bibliothèque Nationale de France.”

After being inspired by such visionary rock heroes as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan, Prince named the exhibit “An American Prayer” after Jim Morrison’s famous book of poetry and the Doors’ last studio album. The display includes his remarkable collection of rock, pop, and funk memorabilia. In Price’s distinct style, it’s apparent that his artistic trend of “rephotography” has developed into not only a type of reproduction but a creatively sophisticated renovation.

Of course, playing in the background of the exhibit was the music of Mr. (Lizard King) Morrison.

Richard Prince made a career out of collecting the very thing he creates: art. His recent exhibit in Paris reveals his passion for the prosaically defining music of the 60’s and 70’s, along with this love for the likes of Kerouac’s liberating style and Rimbaud’s eternal prose.

Courtesy Photo

A technicolor museum of sorts, the show is littered with rare manuscripts of Burroughs, Cocteau, and Genet. “An American Prayer” very much resembles a satirical yet mythical materialization of an American culture full of cowboys, cigarettes, guitars, hippies, fast cars and pornographic magazines of the last 50 years.

If American society was defined by its “things,” you would find these “things” that symbolized, shaped, and altered the American ideal and lifestyle in this exhibit. “An American Prayer” runs until June 26.th Prince also has another display at “La Galerie Gagosian” in Paris.

 

BIBLIOTHÈQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE (BNF)

SITE FRANÇOIS MITTERRAND

Quai François-Mauriac

75013 Paris


Galliano Fires His Lawyer Before Pre-Trial

Attorney Stephane Zerbib with John Galliano

With his pending trial approaching, Galliano is in the news once again--this time for firing his lawyer of seven years because of some suspicious activity with his bank account.

Galliano is set to begin pre-trial hearings this week in Paris. The date of the anticipated trial will be announced May 12th.

Galliano better find a new lawyer fast. We have a feeling the French won’t go easy on him.


Art Obsessions: Shepard’s Fairey’s “The Print Show” in Paris

This Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to visit an exhibit from renowned street artist and perhaps even, philosophical campaigner, Shepard Fairey at the Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris.

Fairey, who is made famous for his creation of the Obama “hope” poster, is an artistic savant who has reshaped the whole concept of street art in a passionately and politically creative way. Fairey transforms his poignant views into a visually persuasive idiom.

Fairey emerged from the American skateboard scene and worked on the covers of many rock albums, like Smashing Pumpkin’s Zeitgeist, Led Zeppelin’s compilation Mothership, and Anthrax’s The Greater of Two Evils. Fairey’s artwork is intimate, powerful and controversial, and yet, sincerely accessible in its representation.

Shepard Fairey Album Covers

His recent “Print Show” in Paris, displaying more than 120 pieces, opened last Saturday and showed a versatile collection that encompassed a variety of psychedelically Andy Warhol inspired, and Chinese Communist propaganda motivated imagery. His prints mixed a postmodern, punk attitude with an inherit nostalgia to the American hippie movement.

The show also included his famous “Obey Giant” pieces, a mixture of pop-music prints, and an assortment of vibrant political posters advocating peace and an end to war. The center of the exhibit was a colorful correlation of images depicting individuals holding rose stuffed weapons. This ironic image is exemplary of Fairey’s prevailing style.

For Fairey, art is a call to social and political action. Each piece is enthused with energy and speaks wonders on important and worldly topics.

It was clear after seeing the exhibit that Fairey is not just an artist creating art. He seems to be reconstructing the very core of artistic expression. Set in exposing political oppression, picking apart social taboos, while all the while shocking his spectators into having at least some sort of emotional reaction, it’s clear that Fairey inhibits a new creative realm, approaching an overarching theme of political activism that triggers both astonishment and contemplation.

The "Print Show" will run until June 18th at the Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris’ 11th Arrondissement.

 

Magda Danysz Gallery

78 Rue Amelot

75011 Paris

01 45 83 38 51