Paris

How Things Have Changed in Paris Over the Last 8 Years

A photo I didn’t take at Musée de l’Orangerie. It wasn’t this empty, and everyone was snapping photos on their smartphones.

I recently took a short trip to Paris over the Easter week. This isn’t my first trip there, but it has been 8 years since I was in Paris last. The last time I was there the iPhone was still fairly new. Smartphones hadn’t taken over the universe. Instagram was still a newer social media platform and people were less obsessed with taking selfies.

Today it’s a different story. I’m going to use my visit to Musée d’Orsay as the backdrop for the biggest change I saw. Actually, it’s the same change that is happening everywhere, not just in Paris.

The change I’m talking about is the self-obsession and documentation that everyone does. And I do mean everyone. From the youngest kid with a smartphone to the oldest adult. 8 years ago at Musée d’Orsay people actually looked at the art. You could stand in front of a painting and look at it while the people next to you did the same thing.

Today however you look at the art through your smartphone, take a photo of it to prove you were there, upload it to social media, then turn around and snap a selfie in front of the same piece and move on. The engagement is no longer about the work of art. It’s about documenting your presence with the art and sharing it on a social platform. It’s not even about “Hey look at this beautiful painting I saw”. It’s about the desire to prove you were there and increase your popularity.

I say this because no one spent any time really looking at the pieces in the museum. They saw a Monet, walked up to it, snapped a couple of pics, then moved on to the next victim down the way. As I stood in the museum watching the activity, I began timing the length of interaction individuals had with the art. It was on average less than 10 seconds each. Not long enough to appreciate it, but long enough to capture it and then share it on social media.

This wasn’t isolated to Musée d’Orsay either. I saw the same thing at the Roden museum, Giverny, Musée de l’Orangerie, the burned remains of Notre Dame, and countless other spots in Paris. This was especially true at Atelier des Lumières where you are in an immersive experience with projection mapped animation and art surrounding you. The whole point of Atelier des Lumières is to be immersed in the art and experience it in 360 degrees. It’s a little hard to do when you are busy capturing a video of the experience rather than actually experiencing it.

The only location that seemed somewhat free of it was a section of the Roden museum that featured a series of plaster maquette’s in one of the upper rooms of the house.

I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeon, but I really wish all of these spaces would ban smartphones and selfie sticks. I know it’s a losing battle, and could probably never be enforced, but damn they totally ruin the experience for those of us that really want to enjoy the masterworks contained within.

Now, where is that photo I took on my phone of the…

Pull&Bear Bring VW Vans to the Citadium.

To mark the opening of Pull&Bear at the Citadium in Paris, the store contacted 4 international artist and asked them to unleash their creative juices on classic VW vans. The Vans were painted white and used as the canvas for each artist to work there magic.

Italian artist Michela Picchi, produces works for magazines, and multiple brands. She draws inspiration from collage works and psychedelia with a modern and sophisticated twist. Picchi is now based in Berlin Germany.

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Shoboshobo is a Paris native with a strong link to Japan and Japanese culture. He has worked in a range of disciplines within the field of graphic design as well as the music industry. His work is exhibited in multiple countries and can be seen in galleries through out Europe. His primary style features are a lack of color and a personal universe of half disturbing, half tender figures which he depicts with a pop touch.

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Martina Paukova is a Slovakian illustrator living and working out of London. Her career has provided illustrations for a wide range of clients ranging from international magazines, museums, ad agencies, schools and other institutions. Her colorful work is inspired by vintage images and texts.

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Kyle Platt is a prolific graphic artist and illustrator based in the UK. His career has taken many turns from entertainer to social critic, but he is primarily known for work he has done for such clients as the New York Times, and Vice. His work reminds me of artist Jim Nutt, and like Nutt’s works you will either love it or hate it, but you definitely won’t be left without an opinion on it.

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Paris / New York / Split Screen.

 has taken a creative and effective way to capture two of the greatest cities in the world, Paris and New York. The video below was shot on his Canon 5D Mk III and edited together in a split screen format to show the similarities and differences of these two modern metropolises. Using realtime and time-lapse sequences MATEL stitches the two cities together with images that merge, intersect, and juxtapose each other. I couldn’t find any information on the editing and post processing techniques used to finish the film. I’m thinking it was pretty straight forward since it was all shot on the same camera and edited by one individual. Once a gain a simple yet powerful and creative idea beats special effects and heavy post processing. Enjoy.

The Chocolate Factory.

This is the story of Alain Ducasse’s new chocolate factory. It is a visual feast of beautiful shots, exquisite lighting, and editing. Directed by , the 3 and a half minute short introduces you to the owner and his staff as the hand craft chocolate the old fashioned way in an old Renault Garage in the center of Paris. This makes me want to go back to Paris right now. It makes me want to go to Paris and visit Alain Ducasse’s chocolate factory.