One of the most memorable openings I have been to. After my hospitable encounter with the Galerie in Düsseldorf back in February, Droste invited me to their Grand Opening in Paris. Never having travelled abroad for an art exhibition on my own, I thought, “Why not?”. For their inaugural exhibition, Galerie Droste pompously presented a handful of the incredible artists on their roster. Already familiar with a couple of the artists, I was completely in awe by the artists new to me.
Not a fan of portraits myself, Brian Robertson changed that perception with his hyperrealistic monochrome paintings by substituting the head for a cactus, as a metaphor for the vast desert the Albuquerque-born was surrounded by in his youth. Furthermore, it portrays the cultural lens he inherited, which often unconsciously influences the decisions Robertson makes. Perchance the artist is secretly also a clothing designer because have you seen that garment?
One of my favourite paintings of the show was the hypnotizing vases surrounded by a flock of bluebirds by Andrew Schoultz. Through his densely packed paintings, the Milwaukee-born artist typically explores sociopolitical themes, which render thematically, but also visually enticing works. Known for creating profound paintings, however, Schoultz is also a talented skateboarder.
An artist which the works I was familiar with through IG but didn’t stagger me was Julien Jaca. But, oh boy, did he blow me away with his so-called Pots. The general rule of “you have to see this in person” applies to this artist like no other. Known as a tattoo artist before embarking further as a painter, Jaca’s work showcases aged pots, while hinting back at his past through figurative illustrations tattooed on skin. What looked like glazed ceramic was “just” acrylic, airbrush and fabrics on canvas.
My unconscious wish for glazed ceramic was immediately filled with 2 sculptures of Mira Makai. Reminiscing on the past through the process of each work, the Budapest-based artist creates comical, fluid sculptures. The artist takes inspiration ranging from imaginary creatures to the colours of the latest fashion trends. While being a creator, Makai is also privileged to be a viewer of the work due to, as she describes, the contingency of the material.
Tamara Malcher also surprised me with the intriguing perspective of the back of a jolly woman dancing towards, what looks like, just-erupted volcanoes. I got introduced to the young German artist through a painting at Düsseldorf, and this current painting got me eager to see more.
Focused on the arrangement of humans and their gestures, the Wuppertal-based artist Tim Sandow depicts a woman in a yoga pose. Sandow provides a great juxtaposition of the women noticeably wrestling to maintain the pose while being surrounded by an idyllic neighbourhood nearby the sea.
Amir H Fallah was one of the artists I hadn’t seen works of in person. Two small works were featured: One made in the midst of the pandemic, whilst the other was made during the LA riots. While being small, these works contain strong messages. Contrary to his usual vivid works, the dark background amplifies the messages even more.
Moving away from the usual mediums, we step into the colourful world Jody Paulsen with his felt collages. Depicted is a girl in front of a town covered by the stars. Creating an interesting perspective for the viewer, the radiant maximalist aesthetic is truly a pleasure for the eyes. The Cape Town-born and based artist illustrates themes of gender, sexuality, and identity in his laborious work.
Another artist who challenges the conventional mediums is artist Raphael Brunk by making use of a digital brush with his algorithmic photography. The Frankfurt-based snaps shots of in-game footage on YT and modifies the image with an algorithm, among other digital alterations. The outcome: surreal landscapes which discover the environment from a novel view.
While we were already chatting through IG for a couple of weeks, I first met the German artist, Wayne Horse, in Paris. Standing before the majestic B&W piece (for some bizarre reason, I don’t have a picture of it), Wayne told me everything about his approach and of his great inspiration: Rubens. The painting features a chaotic setting with a rather well-known woman standing in the middle, who was also depicted by Delacroix. Wayne also happens to live in Amsterdam, so we managed to plan a studio visit, just before he was leaving for two fairs in the US (https://www.instagram.com/p/CdGEA_UsZkD/).
Wanting to see his work for a long time, I finally caught a painting of #UmarRashid in the City on the Seine. This painting displays a crocodile, among other things. What strikes me was the exquisite background with colours flowing into each other. Recently, I visited a solo show by Umar, which I wrote a more in-depth text about on the collective. Check it out if you haven’t already!
At last, we got the incredible titan of an artist, Ákos Ezer. Having visited his solo show back in February, the artist astonished the Parisian audience with an even bigger work. While his past work carries a certain heaviness, the Budapest-based artist did an unbelievable job of spreading this greatness over a larger canvas. For me, the wonderful elongated characters of Ákos work never disappoint.
I thoroughly enjoyed this brief trip full of art. During this exhibition, I also caught some others in the French capital. Stay tuned for the next one!
this is great Asim!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. Makes me want to go!!
8 months ago·
I love Wayne! Since he started working in colour you can really see his technique develop as well 🚀
8 months ago·