From Lagniappe to Nana Power à Paris
It was obviously Louisiana. William Eggleston‘s photo of a sign on which was the word “Lagniappe” caught my eye and I knew immediately it had to be Louisiana. That’s the only place I know that uses this word.
Eggleston’s black and white and color photos are on display at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson on two levels of the art-deco contemporary renovated building (dating back to 1912) under the appropriate title, “From Black and White to Color” through December 21st. A lot of his slice-of-Southern-life taken in the 1960s and 1970s really hit home — that was when I was in high school and the hairstyles, style of dress and cars was like taking a ride through ‘memory lane.’
“Lagniappe” is Louisiana French for “a little extra” — like a baker’s dozen. It comes from a South American phrase “la yapa” or “ñapa” referring to a free extra item — usually a very cheap one. It’s an old and treasured tradition in Louisiana and there it was on the wall of the Fondation Cartier-Bresson. I failed to take a photo of the photo and a search has not turned up a copy, so you’ll just have to go see the the exhibition for yourself!
For those of you who love photography, bi-annually November is “Mois de la Photo” — every even year. This year is your chance to take in 50 exhibitions (and more) throughout the month. Download the full brochure of events.
The poster promoting the Niki de Saint Phalle exhibit at the Grand Palais (on until February 2, 2015 — grandpalais.fr/en/event/niki-de-saint-phalle) is misleading, considering the true nature of the work by the artist whose “nom de naissance” was Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle — quite a mouthful and what a woman! Her dream was to do away with capitalism and communism in lieu of a matriarchal society.
Great idea, lady! According to Saint Phalle, who was born in Paris in 1930 but raised in New York, she was the ultimate feminist “exalting the attributes of femininity” — a far cry from her beginnings as a fashion model. She wanted desperately to empower women, who give life, rather than take life (men) who she said have such a strong need to create and produce that they must become artists to stop having children!
Parisians know Saint Phalle from her work in collaboration with her husband, Jean Tinguely, the Igor Stravinsky Fountain at the Centre Georges Pompidou. The exhibition of her powerful and playful works, from giant Nanas to a film representation of her monumental “Giardino_dei_Tarocchi” in Tuscany, will both overwhelm and delight you. Be prepared to spend a lot of time to take it all in and when you’re exhausted from the sensory overload, feel as elated as her joyous sculptures.
Niki de Saint Phalle: “Life…is never the way one imagines it. It surprises you, it amazes you, and it makes you laugh or cry when you don´t expect it.”
A la prochaine,
(in Nana style)
P.S.If you missed Meredith Mullins and Richard Nahem’s photographic works in the two photo artists’ exhibition titled “Paris and Beyond,” you have another chance — visit the gallery between now and the “finissage” on Thursday evening October 2nd from 6-8 p.m. at Galerie 102, 102 rue du Cherche Midi, 75006 Paris.
P.P.S. Guests staying in any of our luxurious Parler Paris Apartments or Parler Nice Apartments who are considering the purchase of their own “pied-à-terre” can book a FREE one-hour consultation with me. Simply fill out our Consultation Request Form and we’ll schedule a meeting in person or by phone/Skype.