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TOPIC: artists


Warhol Jackpot! Keep Your Day Job! A French Artist Takes On The "Dirty" Money Question

In a country where money is taboo and culture is sacred, French artist Aurélie Galois navigates the uneasy relationship between following your muse and paying your rent.


PARIS — "And...do you make a living from it?" That's the question I'm often asked when I say I'm a painter, before people even know what I paint. In a country where money matters are taboo, it's strange that artists are asked if they make a living from their art.

My response — "I'm not a painter to make a living; it's my life" — feeds the romantic vision behind this idea, a construction that I endure, like so many others, and which raises questions as intimate as they are enmeshed in society.

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Duchamp To Provoking Popes: The Contemporary Art Of Scandal

Avant-garde art projected itself through provocation in the 20th century, but has provocation simply become a great marketing ploy for artists?

BUENOS AIRES A white porcelain urinal turned around and signed R. Mutt 1917 on the lower edge: The work, called "Fountain", confounded the jury at the First Annual Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York and was rejected in spite of the event's own rule that anyone paying six dollars could exhibit.

The rejection prompted the resignation of one of the jury members, Marcel Duchamp, the artist who had used the pseudonym R. Mutt. His piece could be viewed for the last time in Gallery 291 on Fifth Avenue, and was photographed by Alfred Stieglitz before disappearing. The urinal was scandalous in 1917, but today is considered a revolutionary landmark in the history of art.

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Berlin To Bethlehem, When Art Takes Over Border Walls

PARIS — Its destruction, nearly three decades ago, sent waves of joy across the globe. And yet, tourists of all nationalities still come to photograph its remains. The object of this paradox is none other than the Berlin Wall, the historic Cold War symbol that became an artistic symbol, even after its fall on Nov. 9, 1989.

Because of its size, duration and what it represented, the structure attracted many artists versed in graffiti and mural painting. Today, it has evolved to become an open-air museum. This, after all, was the wall that was supposed to end all walls. Little wonder that it inspired so many graffiti artists across the world, some of them from places with their own concrete barriers in place.

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Worldwide Tour De Force, Why Top Museums Are Partnering Up

The grandest museums increasingly share their most prestigious exhibitions across borders for both aesthetic and economic reasons.

PARIS — A blockbuster exhibit that opened this month at the Grand Palais will draw art lovers to the French capital. But "Gauguin The Alchemist," which explores experimentation in the French artist's creative process, is very much an international affair.

Three entities, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musée d'Orsay and the Orangerie, and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais (Rmn-GP), a French Ministry of Culture agency, have organized the Gauguin show. Indeed, it was first unveiled in Chicago, where the concept for the show originated, and ultimately clocked some 220,000 visits. "There is a tacit rule that the exhibition begins in the museum that takes the initiative with the project," says Marion Mangon, head of the exhibitions department at Rmn-GP.

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David Brun-Lambert

Daft Punk To Elena Ferrante, The Rising Power Of Anonymity

Is the unnamed, faceless author the true superstar of the 21st century? A new book explores the history of anonymity in pop culture, and beyond.

GENEVA — Daft Punk and J. T. Leroy. Romain Gary and Gorillaz. Elena Ferrante and The Residents. You may have already spotted the element connecting these creators: all conceal their identities behind avatars, aliases or pseudonyms. It is either a way to play with our changing times or intensify public interest; and it can help trigger scandals, question the very concept of what it means to be a celebrity, or even illustrate a whole new mode of existing in the world. It is a new twist on the classic story of the one who wears the mask becomes a legend.

In the Odyssey, Homer recounts how Odysseus deceives the Cyclops by swearing to him, "My name is Nobody," which helps him escape a cruel fate by becoming anonymous, an "incognito: being complex, elusive, multifaceted, mysterious," as the French journalist Yann Perreau writes in his essay "Incognito."

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Smarter Cities
Stéphanie Lemoine

Where Poetry Meets City Planning: The French Art Of Urban Renewal

IVRY-SUR-SEINE — The Plateau special planning district in this small town south of Paris could almost be mistaken for a regular construction site. Since 2007 the multidisciplinary artist Stefan Shankland has guided the construction of some 1,000 apartments according to an “action research” program launched by the city government and developed over the course of 10 years.

The idea? “To integrate art with the transforming city,” by putting into place a HACQ ("high artistic and cultural quality") project.

This particular initiative, called Trans 305, is meant to open the construction site to the public for performances, expositions and guided visits. The installation of signs with information around the perimeter of the site — a legal obligation for the developers — has also become an opportunity to work with a graphic designer and art students, which resulted in signs that were publicly inaugurated.

Transdisciplinary approach

Last year a group of architects who call themselves YA+K opened a space on the edges of the special planning district that is meant to serve as an incubator. From April to June the spot hosted various workshops, inviting artists, local residents and student designers to come up with prototypes for the street fixtures.

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