Marie Laffont

Art, mode BASTA /



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Richard Prince: New Figures at Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, from October 20 to December 20, 2014

Born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1949, A remarkable artistic trajectory began during America’s bicentennial, 1976, when Jimmy Carter was running for President and New York City was bankrupt.

Living in a small East Village apartment he shot slides of advertisements without the blurb copy, and cataloged these commercial gestures as anthropological types: “mixed couples,” “girlfriends,” “cowboys,” etc. He used male escapist commercial art forms like jokes, sex cartoons, drag racing, and girly pictures, some of those from his carefully bought collection of pulp fiction novels. His blown up and framed “rephotographs,” as he called them, were shocking and unexpected artworks, and as puzzling as they were compelling. And this was the tip of an unfathomable artistic iceberg that would emerge. In the early 1980s he surprised us with his meticulously redrawn magazine cartoons, which were stylistically related to the rephotographs. No one thought he could draw—or paint! Then came silk-screens paintings of jokes and cartoons, hand-painted B-girl (bar girl) nurses, minimalist-styled sculptures constructed from custom car parts, and the countless collages pieced together from found images, now including— just after his extraordinary exhibition at Kunsthaus Bregenz—the scanned and over-drawn and collaged “New Figures” and Cutouts.”

The found photographs in the “Cutouts” and “New Figures” evoke the sex pictures mothers once called ”dirty,” but whose children would become the social revolutionaries of the Woodstock Generation; the drawn lines, pale colors, and collaged shapes look back further to Picasso’s elegant lines and Matisse’s scissor-snipped collages, before American art went Pop and life turned electronic. Some of the girls are covered with drawn bodies, another’s arms morph into geometric or schematic appendages in a freehand combination of image, design, and drawing. They also reveal an artist—perhaps the best of his generation— with the technical and artistic freedom to create an unexpected art from an earlier era’s techniques into one that is easily as good and yet wholly contemporary.

Early on Richard Prince explained his “rephotographs” with an alteration of American poet Ezra Pound’s modernist dictum, circa 1914, “Make It New,” in the phrase, circa 1980, “make it again.” Pound’s “it” expressed a modernist’s fedupness with “tradition”; Richard’s referred to modernism’s newness seen through the lens the television and space age. He always looked for subjects that hadn’t been co-opted by art, like jokes, car parts, and B-girls, then creating memory images with familiar photographs and objects as if someone or something else had made them. He made it look easy and natural, which is what television watchers and moviegoers wanted: an art made with the casual élan of Zorro sword-tickling a “Z” on Sargent Garcia’s blouse; an art that combined originality and the suspension of belief as in film’s special effects. The “New Figures” and Cutouts” combine ease, confidence, and special effects. More than that, they project a more complex and more diffident ego from Matisse or Picasso’s, in a manner more complex than their pictorially reductive modernism. Richard achieves newness using today’s complex imaging methods. Recently he said to me, “I’ve been incredibly lucky when it comes to making exactly what I want.” I’m always surprised at how well he draws, but particularly how seductively he can get into our complex minds.

Jeff Rian

The Spring-Summer Chanel fashion show

The Spring-Summer Chanel fashion show was an amazing surprise. Even if we are used to M. Lagerfeld’s recurrent brilliance and creativeness, this show was nonetheless extraordinary. It made me want to shout : « Yes, I am proud to be a woman, myself, the hero of my own story. ». Happening on the boulevard Chanel (a recreation of a Parisian looking street), it ended with a march of all the models carrying slogans. After so much emotions, I had the idea for these shoes, tribute to M. Lagerfeld. Enjoy!

For the Spring-Summer 2015 show, rather than focusing on the collection itself, I decided to focus on things that seemed frozen, as if time was standing still, like models’ faces for instance. Raf Simon collection had such a special atmosphere as if it was out of time. Volumes, shapes, white, light colours, a certain ethnic warmth…

After the show, i had fun taking pictures of the Dior Addicts.    

Dans un intérieur Meubles, œuvres murales & textiles d’artistes

06.09 — 11.10.14  /  Paris       

John Armleder, Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke, Matthias Bitzer, John Currin, Ayan Farah, Frank Gehry, Mark Hagen, Max Lamb, Peter Peri, Christopher Schanck, Francesco Vezzoli, Brent Wadden, Franz West, and japanese Boros.

What happens when a work of art also presents a functional purpose, when a sculpture serves as a piece of furniture, when a picture is painted, not on canvas, but on a curtain or carpet?

This exhibition puts into perspective the way in which many artists eschew categories and question the porous boundary that is meant to separate fine art from the decorative arts by reintroducing the notion of domesticity in their reflection.

These works – often considered as belonging in the margins of artistic practice – reveal other stakes, however. The most obvious of these consists in attributing to the object a function that goes beyond beauty or content.

This interest in the dialogue between form and function is present throughout history. It was revived in the late nineteenth century by the Arts and Crafts movement of William

Morris and John Ruskin, and some years later by Art Nouveau, which gave shape to this ideal of ‘beautiful and useful’ creations. This same objective was put forward in the 1920s and 1930s by avant-garde movements like Bauhaus and De Stijl, before once more losing in importance. Throughout the twentieth century, the question of the closeness or distance between fine art and the decorative arts has been hotly debated, just as, for that matter, the potential ‘decorative’ virtues of the work of art. For their part, designers stress this possible permeability between furniture and sculpture by creating pieces whose functionality vanishes behind form, and/or by increasingly producing limited series, and sometimes even unique pieces.

Today the presumed barrier between what allegedly falls under art and what has long been considered a minor art is gradually fading away. This change in perspective has been brought about by artists that have rekindled the dialogue between form and function by introducing in their practice materials that are generally used in the creation of domestic objects or craftwork. Thus, ceramic, wool, textile, glass and recycled materials, among others, are now an integral part of the contemporary language of the visual arts.

These materials induce techniques and gestures that have long been reserved for artistic craftwork or for the painstaking creations of women (from the myth of Penelope waiting for the return of Ulysses to the needlework of nuns behind convent walls or to knitting and embroidery, considered as feminine pastimes). This return to manual ‘fabrication’, this involvement in the practice of a craft requiring time and attention seems to steer the choice of some artists. Far from being regressive, this attitude can be seen as a response to the production of spectacular works whose technical perfection and sophistication erase any trace of manual intervention and discourage any form of emotion. More modest in appearance, these productions tolerate potential imperfections, irregularities, flaws that not only define their singularity, but also express a certain poetry and a proximity to those who contemplate them or make use of them. Moreover, these ‘functional’ pieces sometimes raise questions in relation to the body. The viewer-turned-user is invited to touch, move, sit on and experiment the object, while appreciating it for what it is, i.e., a work of art (whether it is a unique piece or is produced in a limited series).

At times the object created by the artist will generate a certain confusion born of the blurring of codes, notably when the artist confronts a pre-existing functional artefact with his own work. The same uncertainty occurs when paint is applied to a support other than a canvas, such as a carpet or a tapestry. These practices are as much evocative of the hybrid forms that painting can take as of the way in which we look at works that escape easy categorization.

In its diversity, the exhibition offers a contemporary outlook on creation in the broadest sense of the term. It also plays freely with the idea of a domestic installation that has more to do with the apartment of an amateur than the white cube that is the gallery.

Françoise-Claire Prodhon




Extraordinary city, useful and resourceful continually moving.

Made time to visit the Hamburger Bahnhof museum with choise amazing artists: andy warhol, joseph beuys, anselm kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg.


Jeff Koons: A Retrospective

June 27–Oct 19, 2014

Jeff Koons was born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania. He received his B.F.A. at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since his emergence in the 1980s Jeff Koons has blended the concerns and methods of Pop, Conceptual, and appropriation art with craft-making and popular culture to create his own unique iconography, often controversial and always engaging. His work explores contemporary obsessions with sex and desire; race and gender; and celebrity, media, commerce, and fame. A self-proclaimed “idea man,” Koons hires artisans and technicians to make the actual works. For him, the hand of the artist is not the important issue: “Art is really just communication of something and the more archetypal it is, the more communicative it is.”

Jeff Koons’ artworks rarely inspire moderate responses, and this is one signal of the importance of his achievement. Focusing on some of the most unexpected objects as models for his work, Koons’ works eschew typical standards of “good taste” in art and zero in rather precisely on the vulnerabilities of hierarchies and value systems. As critic Christopher Knight has written “He turns the traditional cliché of the work of art inside out: Rather than embodying a spiritual or expressive essence of a highly individuated artist, art here is composed from a distinctly American set of conventional middle-class values.”

Since his first solo show in 1980, Koons’ work has been widely exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo shows include the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (2003), the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo (2004), which traveled to the Helsinki City Art Museum (2005); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008); “Jeff Koons: Versailles,” château de Versailles, France (2008–09). In 2009 alone, Koons had four major solo exhibitions in public institutions: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; and the Serpentine Gallery, London. Most recently, the Beyeler Foundation hosted Koons’s first solo exhibition in a Swiss museum. Exhibitions also opened last June in Frankfurt where Koons’s paintings were presented at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt while his sculptures were shown with works from the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung permanent collection.  The Whitney plans a major retrospective of his work in 2014. Koons lives and works in New York City.

Art Basel

About the Show

Art Basel has been described as the ‘Olympics of the Art World’. Approximately 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa show the work of more than 4,000 artists, ranging from the great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars.

The show’s individual sectors represent every artistic medium: paintings, sculpture, installations, videos, multiples, prints, photography, and performance. Each day offers a full program of events, including symposiums, films, and artist talks. Further afield, exhibitions and events are offered by cultural institutions in Basel and the surrounding area, creating an exciting, region-wide art week.

Gerhard Richter Fondation Beyeler

May 18-September 7 

Pictures / Series

Gerhard Richter is one of the most important artists of our time. In  a career spanning sixty years he has created an oeuvre of striking thematic and stylistic varety. On show at the Fondation Beyeler are figurative works, including portraits, still lifes, and landscapes, and abstract paintings, in which the artist draws on a large store of forms and colors.

The exhibition Pictures / Series explores for the first time works conceived as series, career.

Exhibitions / Lucio Fontana /

Lucio Fontana


April 25th – August 24 th 2014

The Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris presents a major Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) retrospective. Considered one of the greatest visionaries of the 20th century, his work deeply influenced several generations of artists, from Yves Klein to the present. For the first time in France since 1987, more than 200 sculptures, paintings, ceramics and installations provide an overall view of his atypical path and his ever changing styles.

For my stay in LA, I created Berverly Hills shoes inspired by the Bervely Hills Hotel wallpaper. Enjoy California girl!

For my stay in LA, I created Berverly Hills shoes inspired by the Bervely Hills Hotel wallpaper. Enjoy California girl!


"All the work is about the sea and the sky.

I would love to have somehow a magic saw, to cut out

large chunks of ocean and sky and say, HERE IT IS”

DeWain Valentine

I’m now having an affair with the sea and the sky

DeWain Valentine

At Almine Rech Gallery

Jannis Kounellis

13.03 — 17.04.14  /  BRUSSELS

I’m an old humanist, and for me man is an irreplaceable centrality and an open border.”

Jannis Kounellis

Born in Greece, but living in Italy since 1956, Kounellis has been a major figure in contemporary art for over fifty years. The artist is often referred to as one of the forefathers of the Arte Povera movement – a movement that arose in the 1960s and played a central role in redefining artistic practice with radical and highly original sculpture, performance and installation. Influenced by artists such as Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline, and both within the context of Arte Povera and outside of it, Kounellis has throughout his career interrogated and extended the boundaries of contemporary art, and in particular the possibilities of painting.

Although most of his works are three-dimensional and comprised of ready-made objects (sometimes even living objects – horses, birds and humans), Kounellis has always insisted he is a painter first and foremost. While still a student, Kounellis had his first solo show, titled L’alfabeto di Kounellis, at the Galleria la Tartaruga, Rome. The artist exhibited black-and-white canvases, which had stenciled numbers and letters on their surface, but otherwise demonstrated little painterliness. During 1960 Kounellis began to introduce found sculptural objects such as actual street signs into his work, and that same year he wore one of his paintings and created a performance in his studio to demonstrate himself literally becoming one with his painting. The work, like much that followed, addressed both the realities and frustrations of contemporary society, while simultaneously considering primitive, fundamental, human values. From the late 1960s onwards, found objects – sometimes physically and culturally antithetical to one another - such as earth and fire, burlap sacks and gold, were used in his work. Kounellis also started to use live animals – famously, in 1969, tethering horses to the exhibition space at Galleria l’Attico - thereby transforming the gallery into a stage where real life, exhibition and art could converge. People, too, began to enter his installations, adding a performative element to his practice. In the twenty-first century, Kounellis has continued to mine the world for new material possibilities, in each instance adding to a rich history of meaning within his practice. Kounellis has been honored with major exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1990); Museum Ludwig, Köln (1997); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2007); National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2011); and Today Art Museum, Beijing (201)1. His work has been included in iconic group exhibitions such as ‘Op losse schroeven’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1969); ‘When attitudes become form’, Kunsthalle, Bern (1969); and Documenta 5, Kassel (1972). Kounellis has participated in six Venice Bienniales (1976, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1993). His work is held in major institutional collections, including the Guggenheim, MOMA and Tate Modern. In recent years the artist has investigated architectural vocabulary, and his works appear increasingly sensitive to cultural, historical and site specificity.

Anna Dickie

#HERECOMESTHESUN @marielaffont

#HERECOMESTHESUN @marielaffont

At the moment, 2 exhibitions not to miss in Rome.
First, Hantai at the medici villa that leaves a very strong impression due as much to the location which is amazing as well as to the works exposed. After watching the video on Hantai’s technique, you are directed in a serie of room with works that are all close to masterpieces. Every format and colors are presented.
The second show is Alex Israel at Gagosian gallery. Other context and other location. Very modern. You could think you left Italy already, well… not really! Alex Israel reused props from great movies of which the plot takes place in Italy. Viva la dolce vita ! Viva Roma !