Monday, June 17, 2013

In celebration of the "Accompagnateur de la Galerie"

I'm all about modern and contemporary art.  So today, I went to one of the great institutions of newer art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris.  As a result, I should be writing an intelligent, inspired, and insightful post about the artistic treasures included within.  (Hopefully, I'll get to that eventually.)  Instead, I want to write about my favorite thing about the Pompidou; the gallery attendants.

Let me start by saying, I'm a big fan of gallery attendants, even when I might be trying to steal a photo in a gallery that doesn't allow it. Whether it's the strict attendants at the Whitney, the tracksuit-clad attendants at the New Museum, or the encouraging attendants at SFMoMA, I value gallery attendants and I miss them when I'm at smaller museums who don't seem to feel the need.

So it was with a sense of wonder and delight, that I discovered the most bored, nonchalant, hipster-i-est gallery attendants I have ever encountered.  With no dress code and what seems to be no rules for attending to a gallery, I'm still wondering if the joke may be on me; maybe this is just another strange performance art piece.  The only thing that let you know they were attendants were the red badges hanging around their necks. The attendants were so delightful, I took to taking secret pictures of them. The images just got more amusing as my visit progressed.  One of the attendants was actually asleep.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you the Gallery Attendants of the Centre Pompidou:

As I exited the museum through the main hall I ran into this character.  OK, so he's not a gallery attendant.  It's actually a brilliant and subversive sculpture by Mark Jenkins and Sandra Fernandez titled Serie MOLES (2013).  And while I should be saving this for my intelligent, insightful discussion about the art, it somehow felt at home with the Centre Pompidou gallery attendants.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Romancing the Industrial Revolution.

Yes the Eiffel Tower is romantic.  Who wouldn't love wandering through Paris, even on a rainy day and catching that very first glimpse of one of the world's most iconic (and romantic) structures?

Who doesn't love taking delightful snapshots of and with friends while the tower looms beautifully in the background?

And who can possibly denounce the spectacular views of Paris seen from the Tower's staggering heights?

I won't belittle any of those things.  But what I loved most about the Eiffel Tower was its monumental tribute to the Industrial Age.  I loved the steel. I loved the geometric patterns of its engineering. I loved the gears and pulleys that defy gravity and hoist young and old lovers alike to new heights of romance.  So here are a few of my favorite photos from a visit to le Tour Eiffel in all its Industrial-Age glory.