I went to Paris to represent.
My friend Cindy is in a group show in a gallery on rue de Charonne, in Paris. France. (It’s on until the 24th of November if you’re in town, or you can get a taste of Hey! the amazing publication that curates and produces these shows here. You can see Cindy’s own work stuff here). When she told me she was going to be in a show I didn’t quite understand the total groovinessence of the situation. I thought, Oooh, fun, I’ll go. I’ll be in Frankfurt, I’ll just, you know, pop over and see her work and the show…La-la-la lala. Paris is practically next door. I knew that Hey! is extraordinary, a superb mix of fine art, photography, and graphic design. And that it would be worth going to. I also knew that the Royal Indian Mounted Police would be up for anything, as long as it didn’t involve my cooking Indian food.
What I didn’t know was that this would be a once in a lifetime event. I somehow muscled my way into her spot in line. I mean, I thought I’d go to the opening but then it morphed into me representing her there, first at the private artist meet and greet the night before, and then at the opening, on FaceTime introducing Cindy to Anne le Hey who is the genius (along with her husband Julien and a few others) behind the whole thing, during the opening. I should say that Anne and the people at Hey! know Cindy, have published her work before and were on very friendly terms with her but had never met her.
This whole thing was beyond, way beyond, my imagining.
The meet and greet the night before was at the Hey! Atelier which is about the size of my living room was packed flush with the artists. (bottom pic—you can see me hiding behind Anne and the RIMP smiling, completely in his element with the art crowd). Although these people were extremely warm and welcoming my French is not sufficiently good to have been able to have elaborate conversations, about art anyway, so I was spared that. To be honest I don’t think they were talking about art so much. The most conversation I had was about climate change. But Anne’s English was good and when I suggested to her and her colleague Zoey that Cindy could FaceTime with them during the show they were ecstatic at the idea insisting I interrupt them no matter what they were doing or who they were talking to.
The next day somewhere around the appointed time we waltzed over toward the show stopping in the Place des Vosges to have a fortifying drink at Cafe Hugo (so beautiful) and while there we had a pre-vernissage test of FaceTime with Cindy before heading into the fray. As we approached the show and as soon as we turned onto the street we could see the crowd. It’s hard to miss this crowd. Tattoos, dreadlocks, pink hair, kitten ears (on my favorite artist, his husband was dressed like D’Artangan), cardigan sweaters (just kidding, there were none).
We did a tour of the show (really spectacular) and then found Zoey for the Face to Face. As fun as this had all been it was an absolute joy to see them meet for the first time. Even if it was a bit of a fracas, they were genuinely thrilled to meet her. They weren’t long conversations considering the crush of people but it was gratifying to witness and be a part of.
I would have to say that Cindy and Anne resemble each other in a number of ways. They have a similar means of locomotion, gliding rather than perambulating. And they both dress in ways that enhance that gait; long, dark, flowy clothes. Their personalities are matched, calm, open, easy going. And while Cindy is not tattooed (that I know of—Anne is) they both do have striking and unique hair styles. And of course, they are both very talented.
On the left the fabulous Anne de Hey.
The artist meet and greet