Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Musée Carnavalet: We Salute You'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Musée Carnavalet: We Salute You ~

Nice to see one of Gregos' faces in the 4th just round the corner from the Musée Carnavalet which I visited for the first time this weekend. Can you believe it? seventeen and a half years in Paris and I had never been to the only museum which is actually dedicated to the city I love? Incredible! I didn't like it much.

OK, let's qualify that. I arrived near closing time, and only had time to do a limited part of it, consisting of the first floor in the main building. The bits I saw covered the 17th and 18th centuries principally, including the reigns of Louis XV, Louis XVI (no time) and someone called Madame de Sévigné, whoever she was. Just kidding, hahaha, obviously I know who she was..., tuh!

Unfortunately, I was hoping for a kind of cool living history book, not with interactive displays or anything, but lots of information in easy to understand bite-sized chunks, and perhaps some reconstructions of street scenes or hangings or the plague or something to liven things up a bit.

I got furniture. Really old and really lots of it. And clocks. Tick tock tick tock, look at me, I'm an old clock. Maybe in some of the other areas I didn't have time to explore, like the section on the French revolution or the prehistoric and Roman period might be more interesting.

So I'm not giving up hope or making final judgements just yet; let's just say I was expecting something... different. I'm sure I'll get into it after having explored it fully, but right now the expression on Gregos' face on the rue des Minimes might then be a fair reaction to my first visit.

I should say that I did like the first room, which was devoted to fantastic old street signs which have lost their original buildings. I liked the sleepy cat sign and the impressive old elm from near Saint-Gervais, and a superb deer from 1745 but I missed the famous Chat Noir, depicted on my all-time favourite Paris poster - next time!

Anyway, back to Gregos, the guy who is slowly but surely changing the Parisian streetscape with his multicoloured painted facecasts, including a smile, a kiss and the most common and popular, the sticking out tongue. I'm meeting up with him today for a joint project so soon you'll be able to see his face with my infinity squared paintings on the streets of the city for yourself - how about that!

As a matter of interest, in this photo you can also see another current street art phenomenon particularly prevalent in the Marais. It's top left, and consists of an upward-pointing arrow with a picture of someone famous on it, and the words 'Above' and the name of the artist or actor. I saw about four or five on just this one stroll, and I remember 'Above Brad' (Pitt) and possibly 'Above Brel'. Was there an 'Above Clooney'? Maybe. What else? Go see for yourself!

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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