Francis Bacon: Three Studies For A Crucifixion

The Centre Pompidou in Paris is dedicated an exhibition to Francis Bacon after the one done by the Grand Palais in 1971 – let’s have a look back at an important figurative painting.

An Inspired Painter 

1944 was the most devastating year of the Second World War. That is the very year that Francis Bacon would paint a frightening triptych populated with anthropomorphised creatures twisting with anxiety. The artist had destroyed most of the pieces made before 1945 – this triptych is then an exceptional work. A work that sets the base for the iconic paintings of an artist that is out of the ordinary. 

Titled “Three Studies At The Base Of A Crucifixion” (1944) sketches the masterpieces to come..For Bacon was first and foremost a chronicler of the ruthless human condition. What do we see on this triptych? Monstrous figures, quasi-human bodies that seem closer to being meat carcasses. Why so? As Francis Bacon says, “we are all meat, we are all potential carcasses.” 

Crucifixion, A Human Subject 

To Bacon, the religious motif is an inexhaustible metaphor: in 1962, he completed his piece and “Three Studies For A Crucifixion” became a triptych in perfect echo with the preferred format of great religious works. To him, crucifixion is “a magnificent frame on which you can hang all types of sensations”.

The three panels are independent – the scenes do not follow a story, they are only bound by their colours. An intense orange-red, simple and uniform. This work, Francis Bacon would produce a second version in 1988 – kept at the Tate Modern. 

An Unmissable Painting

“What I enjoy doing the most are the triptychs and I think its may have something to do with wanting to shoot film – a desire I have sometimes fondled. The juxtaposition of the images divided on three different canvases interests me. If i consider my work to be of great quality, O generally have the idea that it is perhaps the triptychs which have the most importance” he said in 1979.

This work in three paintings reproduces, on the right, the composition of traditional scenes of Christian art. On the left, two men are faced with a body that shows everything. At the centre there is everything which links the artist: a bed, where a body lies as if convulsed by pain. 

Spread out over 198.1 x 144.8 cm, this iconic work would make Gilles Deleuze say that this is not about hysteria of the painter but rather a hysteria of painting. “Painting is hysterical, or converts hysteria, because it shows presence directly. By the colours, the lines it invests the eye. “But the eye does not treat it like a direct organs” he added, “By freeing the lines and colours of representation, it also frees the eye from belonging to the organism…That is Bacon, his outstanding feature”.

iPhone 11 and 11 Pro – Beauty and Tech

When smartphones reach the status of best phones in the world – they must be iconic.

Iphone 11, Elegant and Highlight Functional 

Available since the September 20th 2019, these new Apple smartphones have reached a new level of excellence. Goodbye beautiful but fragile phones – the iPhone 11 presents itself with an opaque finish, comfortable and practically unbreakable. 

Tinted with refreshing colors, the iPhone 11 also has the ability to capture photos and videos with unparalleled quality. Better colour and shadow quality and an ultra-powerful night mode – the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max have everything of the perfect phone!

The iPhone 11 Camera – The Best?

Clearer, more colorful, more detailed, the image quality of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max owes its strength to new lenses that can capture wide angles (13 mm). 

With the new 100% Focus Pixels integrated in the ultra wide angle, 12 Mpx, the automatic shot is three times quicker under poor lighting. Better and ideal for landscapes, large constructions, group photos, spacious interiors and action shots – the ultra wide angle also offers the ability to capture a sunset without removing any of its poetry. 

What is there to say about the slow motion selfie, baptised the “slofie” by Apple.. 120 images per second and the selfie captures gestures, movements or hair in the wind! Video side, the 4k quality is achieved with 60 images per second. Magnificent and inevitable more beautiful, life is recorded as in a film… when it isn’t lived as so! Otherwise the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max offer the ability to retouch images. Yes,  they truly offer everything. And when we know the impact of the innovations of Apple on fashion during the last ten years, we can only be more attentive to these new technologies. 

The iPhone and Fashion – An Efficient Duo

Making photo retouching accessible with incredible ease – that is the success of the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. And fashion was not late in quickly taking hold of these jewels of technology. 

Slofies, real-time editing, superior image and video quality coupled with true objects of design and elegance.. These new iPhones make up the perfect and indispensable tool in the production of the imagery of the coming decade. Spontaneous and nomadic. All we need to see is how fashion will embrace these new technologies signed Apple. 

The ‘Les Mots Dalle-Ore” Exhibition in Paris

She cites among her masters Basquiat and Twombly – Corinne Dalle-Ore invests the Marciano Contemporary Gallery until January 2nd 2020. 

The world of Corinne Dalle-Ore resonates like the very essence of her inspiration – this Parisian artist sources in her travels and her semi-nomadic lifestyle a myriad of impressions, sensations and emotions that she expresses on her canvas. Curious and observant, Corinne Dalle-Ore rips, glues, paints, writes, convolutes on the canvas in colours at once vibrant and toned down. The idea? To spark inspired visions from portraits that have entered popular culture. Justly so, it is precisely this pop culture that runs in the ink of her canvases. 

Advertising posters, comic books, Pop icons and fashion figure … What Corinne Dalle-Ore appreciates the most is the deliciously kitsch aesthetic of the 1950s and 60s. Turning it around enchants her even more! On her canvases the  particular hues, materials and grains come to give life to the senses – her works have a tactile dimension. 

Her gallery of portraits shows her desire to titillate the impressions of the public. Emblematic figures of the 20th century, engaged, political, love or hated … Corinne Dalle-Ore extracts them from their context in order to accentuate their traits! “My job builds itself around the icon, combination of collage and paint but paint takes over to forget the collage … a little bit like photo painting”. In her paintings, memory and past join with the present to inject a honest or new, poetic or funny vision onto the icons of our time. With an interesting subtlety, Corinne Dalle-Ore distilled a personal vision between nostalgia and modernity, provocation or adoration. 

Most of all, the art of Dalle-Ore wants to celebrate strong women with complex destinies and even stronger characters. Woman as the likes of Frida Kahlo, Coco Chanel or even Marilyn Monroe who have opened a path for a new vision of the woman, tentatively setting her place in art and culture”. “I identify a lot with these women. I like their beauty, this charisma. Marilyn, I transferred her into a saint. I transformed Kate Moss into Frida Kahlo” A group of figurative works, shown through fantasist and free perspectives. To be discovered with pleasure at 4 places des Vosges, until January 2nd 2020 at the Marciano Contemporary gallery

The Phantom Speakers Signed Devialet – Beauty and High Performance

Distributed in 2015, this jewel of technology Made In France combines the elegance of French savoir-faire to the highly technological. 

When studio Devialet revealed its connected speaker – the Phantom –  in 2015, it was quickly associated to the epithet of “best speaker in the world”. It is true that the 108 patents filed are a testimony of this: the Phantom has all the components to bring it to the level of an icon of the genre. Revolutionary, it is no longer only about diffusing sound but about living sound. 

Imagined in a way to make listening an emotional experience, intense and clearly booming, the Phantom from Devialet touches on a clarity of sound that is rarely achieved. The secret lies in the heart of its very innovative conception. By the front of the speaker, the highs and mediums play, combined to the low sounds emanating from the lateral speakers to give a powerful yet clear vibration! In other words, even at low volumes, the sounds that the ear cannot normally hear spring forth. With no distortion. 

The Phantom is unique. Its internal acoustic pressure of 174dB plays with the power of a rocket ship launch. Made for listening to music, this technological prowess is doubled by a very pleasant aesthetic. In its gold version, magnified by a 18 carat gold casting, the Phantom is a true object of desire. A technological revolution that comes, once again, to sublimate auditive emotion. This time, in its purest form. 

The Leica – Legendary Icon of Extraordinary Photographers

It has served to immortalise the most iconic photographs of our time – a look back at a camera that does more than only capture the passing of time.

When Oskar Barnack invented the Ur-Leica in 1914, he was unlikely to have realised the crucial impact his creation would have on the world. By using 35mm perforated cinema film for the first time, Oskar Barnack gave his camera the ability to transform photography into a true art. Better, for the first time in history, the transport of film and shutter technology were assembled into a single device – thus preventing double exposure and allowing the camera to be taken anywhere. 

Presented to the public in 1925, the Leica was quickly adopted by the most avant-gardes of eyes. From 1935, Henri Cartier-Bresson would capture Paris at night in the black and white nuances that are known to us today. From the Second World War Robert Capa would initiate photojournalism while being in the heart of conflict zones, with a Leica in his hand. August 26th 1944, it is his Leica that would capture the fervour of the liberation of Paris. 

In 1960 another iconic portrait would come from the Leica – the portrait of Che Guevara by Alberto Diaz Gutiérrez.. Some seven years later, in the United States this time, Marc Riboud would capture a photo that would become a universal symbol of pacifism .. A flower against guns, magistral image of a 17 year old girl facing soldiers in front of the Pentagon. A flower in her hand. 

All of this and more make the foundation for what is the legend of Leica – this and its part of desirability…often exploding…Just as was the case when a Leica M3D flew at auction for €1,680,000. It must be mentioned that the camera, previously under the ownership of American photographer David Douglas Duncan, was at the origin of many iconic images. Notably the photos which have built the incomparable reputation of Life Magazine. Here lies perhaps the key to what makes Leica an icon. A camera that has served to capture the greatest hours of history but also the darkest. 

The Samsung Galaxy Fold – Foldable Design and A Dream Accomplished

Some technological innovations seem at times like being in a waking dream – or when Samsun makes a smartphone with a foldable screen. 

It had to be done. Samsung did it. Ten years of research were necessary to elaborate the first foldable smartphone – part tablet part phone, the Korean giant couldn’t make a choice. And was right not to! The Galaxy Fold is thus the first phone in the world to present its entirely foldable Infinity Flex screen, a double interface and double screen. A system that is both ingenious and fascinating, with a simple gesture, the double screen is opened with the same grace as that of opening a book. 

The Galaxy Fold has a 4,6” external screen – adapted to everyday use; calls, messaging or taking snapshots on the go. On the inside, the InfinityFlex 7,3” screen, foldable, allows creative use proper to the technology of today. Videos, films, games… The Galaxy Fold is in fact a hybrid of clear and precise design. The successful combination of tablet and smartphone paves the way for new perspectives. Fascinating and flexible: the Galaxy Fold has a fluid and versatile character, very appreciated in 2019. Just as much as its six photographic captors, very wide angle and lens which all together bring the entire experience to new heights. To be continued… 

La Païva And Precursor Of The Belle Epoque Style

She wanted to build the “most beautiful hotel in Paris” – and it still resides 25 avenue des Champs Elysées. La Païva was both a grande horizontale and patron of the artists that made the grandeur of the Belle Epoque style. 

Esther Lachmann, aka La Païva (1819-1864) was without a doubt the most brilliant of the Parisian cocottes. Arrived alone and with empty pockets, she met the composer Henri Herz. Quickly, the later introduced her to all Paris. Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Théophile Gautier, Emile de Girardin, La Païva makes a sensational impression in all men of good taste but soon prefers a certain Portuguese Albino Francisco de Araújo de Païva. She married and took his name, but barely had the marriage been consummated that she took leave. She divorced in 1852 having caught her eye on a young Prussian lord, Guido Henckel Von Donnersmarck. A cousin of Bismarck and second largest fortune of Prussia, he was for La Païva the missing puzzle piece in accomplishing her dream. During her marriage in Passy, she is already honoured when the public notices her tiara – so remarkable that it rivalled in its splendour to that of the French Imperatrice. A few months later, her husband would begin the great works for her hotel particulier  in 25 avenue des Champs Elysées. Her influence on luxury and the arts was just beginning. 

Hence, as it were in bon tom at the time, La Païva would furnish and decorate her hotel in the pure pomp and splendour of the Belle Epoque. It took ten years of works for the edification of one of the most sumptuous hotels of the capital – and close to 40 million euros were spent. Commissioning artists that were unknown to the public, La Païva contributed to the reputation and to the elaboration of the Belle Epoque style. For example, there bathtub made from the same bloc of Algerian yellow onyx – equipped with three faucets. One for water, the second for lait d’ânesse, the third for champagne. It is also the artist Paul Baudry that was entrusted with the realisation of the high ceilings of this hotel particulier. An execution of such beauty that  he would receive the Prix de Rome in 1850. A few years later, Charles Garnier called on his talent to create the iconic foyer of the Opéra Garnier.

Once again the silverware is signed Christofle. The goldsmith maison at which César Ritz would later acquire the crockery for his palace. At the Musée d’Orsay are visible two console of a wild beauty – created in bronze by the illustrious Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and Aimé-Jules Dalou. A most accomplished incarnation of the taste of the Belle Epoque, La Païva’s hotel particulier became the place to be. Napoleon III himself would pass a few times to see with his own eyes the exceptional taste of which all of Paris was talking. However, the influence of La Païva was not only a question of taste for design. 

She was also a figure of fashion. Contributed to making khôl fashionable. It is towards her that, Charles Worth – pioneer of Haute Couture- turned to when he wanted to remove crinolines from his dresses – the fascination was so that La Païva would serve as a muse to the couturier for a long time. To jewellers as well! Her vision, all in extravagance, allowed the nascent reputation of today’s legendary houses. Among which Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arpels, La Païva had indeed very precise taste in jewellery. After having noticed a jewel at the exposition universelle in 1878, she passed an order for a collerette of 407 diamonds with François Boucheron! Her “babies” as she called them were part of one of the most spectacular sales at Sotheby’s. It was in 2003. The sale of two large yellow diamonds named Donnersmarck – they flew for 3 million euros. A sign that the inspiration of the greatest of the cocottes resides even today in the pantheon of objects of desire!

Icons of Art and Icons of Luxury: When the first Remodels the Latter

May iconic pieces of our universal heritage inspire themselves form art and artists in order to renew their character of desirability. A very inspiring affair!

If the connection between art and fashion leaves no doubt, the ability of one to replace the other is yet to be explored. Indeed, many artists and artistic practices have been able to depend on fashion to raise their throne. The more these worlds seem paradoxical at first, the more complete the revolution. If proof would be needed, we can look the most skilful of designers in the subject. In 2001, Marc Jacobs succeeded in bringing a once scorned discipline to the patrimony of one of the most respected maisons.

In 2001, he invites the artist and designer Stephen Sprouse to revamp the emblematic canvas of Louis Vuitton. In a few strokes of colourful graffiti with quasi-exaggerated movements on the monograme, the duo entered both the universe of luxury and another all while placing street art at the pantheon of the coolest practices of the beginning of this century. 

What follows is a string of artistic collaborations all reinventing the habillage of Louis Vuitton’s icons. In 2004, Takashi Murakami is given the same task. This time, Murakami’s pop and motley universe comes to play with the monogram to create a most psychedelic illusion. In 2012 we see the work of Daniel Buren and in 2017 we reach the apotheosis: Jeff Koons and Louis Vuitton reveal a series of bags offsetting a jumbled Titian, Da Vinci, Gaugin, Van Gogh and more on the iconic Speedy and Neverfall bags. 

In 2008, Fendi called the most sought out the most covetable artists on the contemporary art scene to reinvent the iconic Baguette bag. The first it-bag created in 1997 passed through the creative hands of André, Sylvie Fleury, Jeff Koons, Tom Sachs or even Damien Hirst – proving it’s ability to to be an image of it’s time. The roman’s maison’s double F logo fashions itself into “Fun Fur” by the digital artist Reilly. This makes sense for an age where art is experienced through Instagram. 

At 30 Avenue Montaigne, the arrival of Kim Jones and Maria Grazia Chiuri strengthened the connection of Dior with art. With Kim Jones we saw the return of the emblem, the lucky charm of Monsieur Dior. The bee, so dear to Christian makes a comeback in the Brit’s first collection. However, in 2018 it draws itself in the figure of Kaws, key artist of our time. Making an appearance on the Saddle imaged from the  brand’s iconic cannage, the bee like the other icons of Dior cosies up to the lightness of our time.

Here once again we can see the benefit of making the two meet – the latter help the first in staying desirable under commercial constraints. Take the example of Lady Dior as the perfect case. A bag that had stayed in the shadows of the ateliers until Bernadette Chirac took over the prototype in order to gift it to Princess Diana for her Paris visit. This is how an icon was created and then produced for the public. Even so, when the Art Lady Dior project came to life, it came under the creative licence of John Giorno, Jack Pierson and Lee Bul. In 2016, Maria Grazia Chuiri launches a feminine and feminist version, the result? A series of Lady Dior bags just as divine and revolutionary as the works of Olga De Amaral, Polly Apfelbaum, Burcak Bingol or even Pae White. 

In the same spirit, Hermes continues its quest for fantastical and original prints inspired by the same creative energy as Robert Duman. The spirit behind the very first Hermes carré. Under the name of “Hermes Editeur” the project sporadically calls upon artists to imagine new prints for the iconic carré. It is thus that Daniel Buren would imagine 365 carrés for Hermes, one for each day of the year. Definitely something to refresh the desirability of an icon born in 1937.

Christmas in the Sun, Luxury and Voluptuousness in the Canaries

From snow to sun, sand and volcanoes – the archipelago reveals itself as the best spot for the end of the year. At the same spot as the milky way. 

The most luxurious destination of this winter? The Canary Islands. Birthplace of the superb Manolo Blahnik, the Canary islands are above all the place where we can feel the softness and luxury of living! The seven-island archipelago is caressed by the winds, coiled in the anticyclone of the Acores. Small corner of absolute pleasure and softness at all times of the year, it is above all else the place to be for an inspiring end of the year. Between luck-bringing dips in the ocean at the stroke of midnight under the world’s most starry sky, passing by the traditional Nochebuana (New Year’s Eve) seafood – the Canaries have more than one delicacy to offer. 

leave your luggage at the Gran Hotel Bahia Del Duque or at the iconic Abama Ritz Carlton for an experience where tradition meets surprise. At the many Christmas Markets, the Mont Teide shows it’s fresh snows in the distance under a balmy 22°C in the middle of December. Even better is to watch the sunrise on Mont Teide in it’s white coat contrasting against the black lava – a breathtaking experience! This is Christmas celebrations at the Canaries. A touch less convoluted than Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” filmed for 17 years on the archipelago… but just as iconic!

Sarah Bernhardt, Actress, Cocotte and Fashion Icon

The Belle Epoque actresses are wrongly confined to the status of courtesans . After all, they are the ones who, through their extravagance, have made it possible for luxury and fashion to take off. Of which Sarah Bernhardt is an absolute icon!

At the age of 15, the Duke of Morny introduced her to the world of theatre. The man behind the founding of Deauville sets his eyes on Sarah Bernhardt – the first great international actress. Her count? More than 120 roles. It is said that she invented the “star” status; that she initiated countless extravagances in clothing, which today have become commonplace in women’s fashion. She was a woman that inspired women of the time but also those of the times that followed.

It must be said that during the Belle Epoque, the actress, at times cocotte, at times large and horizontal, represented everything that was impossible for a woman of high society. So much so that theatre and opera performances often distributed leaflets describing with fervent precision the outfits worn by the star artists. Among them, Sarah Bernhardt was an absolute icon!

Cocteau would say “un monster sacré!” It was for her that the most mundane of academics thought up the term… What can be found in the papers? The exact description of the pioneers of sewing who, for love of art and for the beautiful, also made theatre costumes. Before Chanel and Nijinsky, Dior and Grace Kelly, Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent… It is Sarah Bernhardt and Charles Worth and Jacques Doucet. Dresses, hats, perfumes, make-up – everything is described in such a way that the bourgeoisie copied and bought pieces of Sarah Bernhardt’s free and bohemian life.

It contributed to the launch of the S line in 1898. Soon, Fortuny’s Delphos dress became an icon. Better yet it became celebrated all over the world for the way she died on stage, in a negligee, a death so splendid that she made this outfit a basic part of domestic life. And this is true for women all over the world!

Having travelled ten times around the world; having travelled to the Amerindian tribes; performing throughout America… Sarah Bernhardt has greatly contributed to the reputation of these couturiers, and jewellers working in Paris. The fue de la Paix and the Place Vendôme owe their fame to her. Boucheron, in particular – with her, and for her, he created breathtaking jewellery… Of which, in 1882, the most iconic piece of Sarah Bernhardt’s outfits: a breastplate like a garland of flowers, set with 317 diamonds.

René Lalique was also a great collaborator. With the taste and audacity of Sarah Bernhardt, he refined a style that soon placed him in the pantheon of Art Deco artists. At the 1905 World Fair, he attracted praise and excitement. Sarah Bernhardt had the eye, and particularly the right eye, to notice the talents that still to this day provoke an unparalleled emotion. Take Alphonse Mucha, for example. It is Sarah Bernhardt who took notice of him and offered him to make the advertisements for his shows. Displayed on the Morris columns, the posters inaugurate the advertising, and the Art Nouveau style!

From rice powder to aperitifs, Sarah Bernhardt embodied the aspiration of the women of her time. And it is Marcel Proust who captured the character perfectly in his masterpiece A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu. She is “La Berma”… The one who launched the fashion for cinema in 1905. She ended her career shooting in one of the first films in history. But that, precisely, is another story!