Sometimes the lines between work and play blur at Beautiful/Decay. Such was the case last week when I joined premiere art supply manufacturers Royal Talens and Canson for a ten day excursion through Paris and Amsterdam to explore the sites, see the museums, and get a vip tour of the various factories that make the paints, pastels, and watercolors that the Royal Talens brand is known for. If you were keeping tabs of our Instagram (beautifuldecayofficial) and Facebook page last week you may have seen a picture or two from our trip but we thought it would be nice to give you an expanded glimpse into our travels through a three part blog post. Follow us as we start in Paris and make our way over to Amsterdam through out this week!
Our first stop in Paris was a tour de force marathon of art looking at the Louvre. We started by taking in a magnificent sculpture by Wim Delvoye in the main pyramid of the Louvre. More on Delvoye’s work in a second but for now take in some of the treasures from the Louvre’s private collection.
This relief was incredible in person. Check out the detail on the scarf!
This is one of the many courtyards at the Louvre that are now enclosed with a glass ceiling to protect the monumental sculptures it houses from the elements.
A quick peak outside and you’ll find these beasts protecting various entrances.
This sculpture was originally part of a large crucifix. Placing it horizontally in a glass cube made it even more macabre.
We finally stumbled onto the brilliant exhibit by Wim Delvoye. Everything from the exhibits signage (pictured above) to the layout and juxtaposition of objects was perfect.
The Louvre invited Delvoye to create site specific installations throughout the galleries various permanent exhibition spaces. The image above is a massive laser cut model of a cathedral spiraling in space.
Another catherdral sculpture, this time in the form of a seashell.
We almost walked right past this porcelain sculpture that was mixed in with a cabinet of antique china from the time of Napoleon.
After four hours at the Louvre we took a mid-day break and headed over to the Centre Pompidou for a very fast and efficient dash through the Gerhard Richter show as well as the Pompidou’s vast collection of modernist and contemporary art. The above Yves Klein sculpture was one of the first pieces to catch my eye.
I didn’t catch the name of this painter unfortunately but this was a real beauty filled with eye jarring color!
Speaking of bright colors this early Peter Saul painting was magnificent. It’s amazing how contemporary it feels even though it was painted decades ago.
I didn’t get the name of this installation artist but it was a beautiful.I just wish we were allowed to walk in.
Centre Pompidou also had a great assortment of iconic furniture for all you interior design fans. The above chair was one of my favorites.
Once we were done at the Pompidou we ran right back to the Louvre for what would be the highlight of the entire trip. The good folks at Canson had arranged a private after hours tour of the museum for us. If any of you have been to the Louvre before you know that it is one of the biggest museums in the world and holds the record for the highest number of visitors. Being able to walk through the entire museum with our group of 10 artists was a once in a lifetime experience that I won’t soon forget.
The only people in the museum were us and the nightly cleaning crew. I thought the juxtaposition of the above classic marble sculpture and hoover vacuum was quite interesting.
I’ve always loved the paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo but it was a treat to see these four incredible paintings in person. Each portrait represents one of the four seasons and is created out of the fruits, plants and vegetables found during that season. It’s incredible to think about how many contemporary artists have referenced this iconic body of work that was made in the 1500’s!
This is what the busiest museum in the world looks like when nobody is in it!
Gorgeously painted head on a platter.
Another head but this time the head of jesus floating on a sheet.
A sneak peak into the Louvre’s storage space where they house various large stone sculptures.
Didn’t catch this painters name but check out the nose warts. Amazing!
The highlight of the private tour had to be walking into the massive room where the Mona Lisa is located and having it be completely empty. This room is usually filled with hundreds of viewers clamoring to catch a glimpse of the iconic painting but we had so much room we decided to do some stretches in front of her.
The next day we wandered around the city to take in the street life. We found this handsome pig drinking Paris’ finest adult beverage.
All sorts of street art covered the walls of the city as well. Everything from stencils, tags, and massive posters were found.
As the day was nearing an end we ran into the above writing. It reminded us that we needed to hurry over to Paris’ ultimate tourist destination…
The Eiffel Tower! I was expecting to be underwhelmed by the iconic landmark but as we walked up to it we couldn’t believe how amazing the massive structure really was. If you’re ever in Paris make sure to visit this magnificent structure. It’s best seen at night when it’s completely lit up and can be seen from miles away.
A big thank you to the entire Canson and Royal Talens team in Paris and Amsterdam and especially to Kyle Richardson and Robert Toth from the US Canson/Royal Talens team for putting everything together.
Stay tuned for the second part of our trip in Amsterdam!