Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas in Paris!

Christmas tree at place de la Concorde, Paris
A giant Christmas tree and the Statue of Marseille at Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel tower

Paris is dressed for the festive season. Many Parisian sites and streets offer new decorations, as the Place of La Concorde, which presents a huge Christmas tree of 10 tons and 35 meters.

Christmas preparation at Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde

The big Wheel came back for the winter period, this time again, in the middle of the historical axis of Paris (the axis is little bit "spoiled" but the view at the top of the wheel is awesome!)

Big wheel - Place de la Concorde
The Christmas tree and the big wheel at Place de la Concorde, Eiffel tower and the obelisk of Louxor

The avenue of the Champs-Elysées is now totally enlightened and hosts for the fourth year the shops of very long Christmas market.

Champs Elysees - Festive season
Champs-Elysées

In the center of the Champs-Elysées, one can find the magnificent "Grand Palais" (Grand Palace), place of many splendid exhibitions. These year, from the 13th of December to the 6th of January, the Grand Palais hosts the biggest ice skating rink ever, under the sun lounge. This event is called the "Grand Palais des Glaces" (the Grand Palace of the Ice). Click here to know more about this event.

Other decorations in very famous places,

Christmas decorations in Paris
or in not so-touristic street:

Christmas decorations Rue Levourbe
Rue Lecourbe 15th Arrondissement (Lecourbe Street)

Will you be in Paris for Christmas or the New-year's Eve?
By the way, do you want to offer an original gift for Christmas? See here.

I wish you a very happy festive season!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Find your favorite "Buddy bear" at the bottom of the Eiffel tower

Buddy bears at the Champ de Mars Paris

Do you remember the very original Statue of Liberty at the end of the last post?
This "Ours of Liberty" lives now at the "Champ de Mars" (the park at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower) with his companions from all over the world.
This temporary exhibition is the expression of the "Art of tolerance". Go to this link to know more.
If you are in Paris, come at the "Champ de Mars" and enjoy. If not, come, they will stay there until the 18th of November.
If you can't be there in November, look at the pictures below and find your favorite one. They are classified in alphabetic order, from Afghanistan to Zambia.

You can click on the pictures to get a wide view then click on the obtained page, zoom and then scroll left or right with the horizontal scroll-bar. Be patient, the first display may be long because the pictures are big.
First pictures: from A (right) to J (left).





Buddy bears at the Champ de Mars Paris
The buddy bear dedicated to the 25 years of town twinning between Paris and Berlin



Buddy bears at the Champ de Mars Paris
The famous Golden buddy bears
On the other side (from right to left: Z):








Which one do you prefer?
I can't choose!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

How many Statues of Liberty in Paris?

Statue of Liberty on the Island of the swans in Paris
The Statue of Liberty in the Island of the swans ("L'île aux cygnes") in Paris

You certainly know that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States.
Of course, you know that the original Statue stands in Liberty Island near Manhattan in New York harbor.
The statue has numerous copies all around the word.

Did you know they are many in Paris?
The most famous is the one on the artificial Island of the Swans (see above), on the river Seine. Of 11.5 meters high, the statue was offered to Paris by the US Parisian community and inaugurated the 4th July 1889. This release in bronze was made from an original plaster model used as a study model.
The statue is now facing west toward New York City*.

Two other models stand in Paris:

  • The one at the "Arts et Métiers" museum (Museum of Arts and Crafts). Dating of 1878, this bronze was made from the "execution model" in plaster at 1/16.

Statue of the Liberty at the "arts et métiers" museum
The statue of Liberty in the "Arts et métiers" museum in Paris

  • Another version of 2.85 m melt in 1889 is in the "Musée d'Orsay" (moved there from the garden of Luxembourg in 2012)

Statue of Liberty in "Musée d'Orsay"
The statue of Liberty in the Orsay museum in Paris

To thank France for the restoration of the statue, an exact replica of the original flame was offered by the American newspaper "International Herald Tribune" to France. This flame commemorates the centenary of the original statue and the Franco-American friendship. The statue was put in "Place de l'Alma" on May 1989:

Replica of the flame of the statue of Liberty - Paris
Replica of the flame of the Statue of Liberty - Place de l'Alma, Paris

Here is now three funny representations of the Statue of Liberty:

Small Statue of Liberty on the Centaure created by the artist Cesar
"Le Centaure" created by the artist César - 1985 - Place Michel Debré - (See the small Statue of Liberty)

The statue of Liberty at the entrance of a Parisian restaurant near place Vendome
The Statue of Liberty at the entrance of an American restaurant near place Vendôme - Paris

and a very original one:

The USA buddy bear in the "Champs de Mars"
The USA buddy bear in the "Champ de Mars" Paris until 2012, November 18

How many other Statues of Liberty have you found in Paris?



*A special thought for our American friends recovering from the Hurricane Sandy...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Stonehenge is in Paris! The FIAC is here!

Sacrilege - 2012 - Jeremy Deller - Esplanade des Invalides
A prehistoric monument in the center of Paris, on the famous place of the Invalides?

Actually, these stones are an inflatable artwork called "Sacrilege" from the artist Jeremy Deller, another outdoor project of the FIAC (see my previous post).
"Sacrilege" is accessible:


and you can play with it:


Stonehenge, far off, the Dome of the Invalides!

Outdoor artworks are in the "Esplanade des Invalides", "Jardin des Tuileries", "Jardin des Plantes" and also "Place Vendôme" as said in the previous post:

Istanbul Blues, 2011 - Jaume Plensa, Vendôme Column (Napoleon the 1st at the top)

All the FIAC outdoor projects are now installed, but not for long, until next Sunday, October, 21st.
Come to Paris if you can!

Friday, 12 October 2012

The FIAC is coming!

The Origin of the World (Cassis Madagascariensis) Indian Ocean, 310, 2012 Bronze - Marc Quinn
As said in the previous post, the FIAC is coming! FIAC=CAIF i.e. Contemporary Art International Fair.
The FIAC will take place in Paris next week from the 18 to the 21 October 2012. Art will be exposed in beautiful places in Paris like the "Grand Palais" but also outdoor as for instance, the splendid Garden of the Tuileries. If you are in Paris now, you can enjoy some artistic creations already there or being installed.
See, in place, The Origin of the World from Marc Quinn:

The Origin of the World (Cassis Madagascariensis) Indian Ocean, 310, 2012 Bronze - Marc Quinn

and, also, currently being installed, Threshold Resign from Mircea Cantor:

Threshold Resign - 2012 pine wood 7 × 5 × 7 m - Mircea Cantor 

Close to the pond, some strange benches are joining the traditional old chairs of the garden, as this one :

Modified Social Benches, 2012, Aluminium  galvanized, powder coated - Jeppe Hein


 
If you go to the other pond, near the "place de la Concorde", you will see a ballet of amazing creatures, Sinfonietta of Light, 2012, Susumu Shingu's creation, installation of 10 sculptures in carbon fiber, aluminum, stainless steel and polyester fabric:

video

Near the Tuileries garden, in the most luxurious place in the world, the Place Vendôme, stand the creations of Jaume Plensa :

Istanbul Blues, 2011 - Yorkshire Soul II, 2011 - Irma's White Head, 2008
Stainless steel (+stone for Yorshire Soul II)


 
Plan a week end in Paris, don't miss the FIAC!
If it is not possible this month, the garden of the Tuileries will still stay full of nice sculptures, there permanently, contemporary, modern or old :
 
L'arbre des voyelles 1999 G.Penone|Baigneuse se coiffant 1930 A.Maillol|Caïn venant de tuer son frère Abel 1896 H.Vidal 


 
Paris, city of Art!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

New modern work of art for a modern art museum in the historical center of Paris

Zinedine Zidane headbutt statue
"Zinedine Zidane headbutt statue" - Adel Abdessemed
On this Tuesday, 25th of September 2012, a strange new piece of Art was installed on the square of the Pompidou center. If you get closer, you can recognize an event that football-soccer fans can't forget (but even if you are not one, you may know it also because it was widely related in the French or Italian media).

Zinedine Zidane headbutt statue (different views)
"Zinedine Zidane headbutt statue" at the George Pompidou Center - Adel Abdessemed

Some explanations => here.
The statue is huge, have a look below, just before its installation:

Zinedine Zidane headbutt statue on a truck before installation
"Zinedine Zidane headbutt statue" on a truck before installation - Adel Abdessemed

Paris is an historic city, nevertheless a modern city, a city which regularly grows rich of new works of art, temporary or permanent. So, if you are use to walk (or run) in the city, you may be often surprised by new artistic appearances.
Have a walk in the district of Beaubourg for example and you'll discover how the city can be rich in history and in modernity.

Pompidou center
Modern art museum George Pompidou Center (also named "Beaubourg center" or "Beaubourg" as the district name)

The Pompidou Center, for instance, created in 1977, was the subject of a big controversy. Its detractors even said that it was the best place to see Paris, because it was the only spot where you can't see the Pompidou Center... (actually, it is a very nice viewpoint!).

In any case, the creation of the museum entailed an important artistic revival of the district.
See, very near, the "Niki de Saint-Phalle" fountain which pays tribute to the different works of the composer Stravinsky.

Niki de Saint-Phalle fountain
Stravinsky fountain or Automaton fountain 1983 - Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely
Near the fountain, see a recent huge street-art creation:
Wide wall art painting representing a man saying "hush"
"Chuuuttt !!!" ("Huuusssh") 2011 - Street art - Jef Aerosol
Close to the Pompidou center, we can admire old creations, as the Saint-Jacques tower, which was modern at the time!
Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie tower
"Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie" tower
If you in Paris in October, you will probably be amazed by the modern art outdoor creations, temporary sculptures or other kind or artistic expressions linked to the FIAC.
Enjoy!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Conciergerie - The first public clock


The tower of the clock
The tower of the Clock

If you visit Paris, do visit the Conciergerie.

We had to bear giant advertisements since 2011, big commercial images spoiling the river Seine. I guess there could be other ways to finance the restoration than allowing these huge advertising hoardings:


At least, it is now completely renovated. The result is beautiful.
The clock is now visible in all its beauty.
It was the first public clock being installed around 1370. This version dates from 1535.
The renovation seems to have restored the clock in a state more compliant with the original clock.

The clock

Gilts and paintings are redone. The most considerable change is the background restored in blue with fleur-de-lis (lily flowers).

The clock
The Clock

Go check, the clock is on time!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Paris Plages

Arc de Triomphe
Arc  of Triumph sunset - August 2nd 2012
Well, as said in the previous post, yesterday was really the best day of the year to see the sun "going trough" the Arc of Triumph but unfortunately the sky was very cloudy as you can see on the picture above...
Next August? Meanwhile, you can have a look of what happens here when the sky is without clouds...

August (and July) are also the time to go to "Paris Plages". "Paris Plages"?
Paris Plages 2012
Paris Plages 2012
Paris Plages 2012
Paris Plages 2011
Paris Plages 2011
Yes, sand beaches in Paris!

"Paris Plages" starts end of July and finishes end of August.
During the other periods, the banks are used by cars. Impossible to remark such details as below (unless you are in a traffic jam or running the Paris Marathon, well, not too fast...).

See also the official site here.
Welcome to "Paris Plages"!
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