We started the day by going to an area of Paris that holds hidden passages. At the end of the 18th century, the town planners of Paris decided to created a labyrinth of “passageways” across Paris. Many of these passages fell into disrepair, but some were saved and not demolished. Today they still stand and many of them hold restaurants, art galleries, belle époque arcades, tourist shops, and one even has an ancient courtyard.
As we walked down the passage, I saw a bookstore. One Man Ray book stood out to me. Ever since I read Lee Miller: A Life by Carolyn Burke, I became both a Lee Miller and Man Ray fan. Picking up the book, I leafed through and saw Lee Miller’s solarized side profile. On the opposite page was a quote by Man Ray:
There have always been, and still are, two themes in everything I do:
freedom and pleasure.
This is how I like to live my life as well. Living life with intention is necessary to have freedom and pleasure. It’s easy to get swept up into the “routine” of life. If you can remain intentional with your decisions – whether you are seeking freedom and/or pleasure – life becomes not easier, but full of ease. Decisions and goals are made more clear and simple; they match your intentions. Man Ray’s quote reminded me of living the intentional life.
After the passage, we reached a funky/quirky/small bookstore. Most of the books were art in genre – graphic novels, pulp fiction w/ illustrations, books about movies, art, comic books.
The owner was the only one in the shop, and the one sitting behind the desk peacefully reading. After checkout he sold Olivia a bookmark. The bookmark was a copied image of him making funny faces in a photo booth. Paul was given a paper fortune-teller made by the owner as well.
After our bookstore visit we headed to the Centre Pompidou to see the current David Hockney exhibit. Paul and I are Hockney fans. The exhibit was an extensive exploration of all Hockney’s work from the age of 15 to present day. It was inspiring to see how many different mediums of art Hockney has explored, and how he has created his art. Few artists can say they (1) Experimented with many different visual art mediums during their career (2) Had success in every area they explored in. He created art with not only the paint brush, but also w/ photos, digital film, and iPads!
Here were some paintings we saw in the exhibit:
After our Hockney high we went back to our place, grabbed a quick to-go crepe meal and trekked to our last stop of the day: 59 Rivoli.
59 Rivoli is an art collective in a former squat, with 30 artists’ studios, an exhibition space & a concert venue. This five-story, FREE art gallery/art studio was probably the coolest place I went to in Paris. Imagine a huge old mansion covered with art on every wall, and every room being an artist’s individual art studio you get to discover.
It’s hard not to like a city that cares so much about artistic culture. Art is what inspires us to live with freedom and pleasure!
See a trailer for a doc about Hockney here.: