Paris

Paris Painters Take on Onslaught of Encroaching Cafes

Jack Hunter

For decades, the artists of Montmartre have dazzled sightseers with their rapidly delivered portraits, paintings of Parisian scenes and cartoonish caricatures. But now the painters are threatening to fold up their easels and relocate elsewhere in the French capital, accusing restaurateurs of encroaching on their space.“It’s very difficult to paint now – it’s almost impossible,” said painter Midani M’Barki, 70. “We are now working in the gutter. Is it normal for artists to be put in the gutter?”

Paris Makes Charlie Hebdo Honorary Citizen

Tom Heneghan

French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin said the government was ready to grant the struggling newspaper one million euros ($1.18 million) "so it can continue next week and the week after that and the week after that." Twelve people were killed in the attack on Charlie Hebdo's office on Wednesday, including its editor-in-chief and leading cartoonists, sending shockwaves around France and beyond. 

Smuggling Guns and Battling Fascism in Alan Furst’s ‘Midnight in Europe’

Lee Polevoi

No one can accuse Alan Furst of veering away from a successful formula. In Midnight in Europe, he once again sets his spy drama in the perilous realms of various European countries just before the Second World War. As any faithful reader will tell you, Furst has carved out a unique niche in espionage fiction, with an emphasis on deeply researched details of those times. But by now, in his 14th novel, a sort of underlying familiarity has set in, which the talented author does little to up-end in the course of the story. 

The Photographs of Charles Marville – The Eyes of Paris

Sandra Bertrand

Let’s face it—Paris is probably one of the most photographed places on the planet, so what’s all the fuss about one more photographer adding his own indelible images to the list?  A reasonable point of view perhaps, but when the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibit, Charles Marville:  Photographer of Paris is the subject, it’s worth a great deal of fuss.  Capturing the picturesque streets and alleyways, monuments and churches, lampposts and clouds of the City of Light in the mid-1800s was no easy assignment.

Wherefore Art Thou, Bohemia?

John McGovern

If living the bohemian lifestyle is about creating, than it would be reductive to dismiss the crusty guy selling newspaper clip art outside of Prospect Park on principle. Dismiss him for making crappy art, sure. True, Hemingway and Baldwin probably benefited from the community of artists that they interacted with, but Emily Dickinson never left her room. Where you are might not hurt, but it might not help much either. What you do matters more. 

The Great Race: An Author, a Coupe, and the Thrill of the Ride

Steven J. Chandler

Dina Bennet has an interesting take on American literature’s classic road trip. In her book, Peking to Paris, she recounts the 8,000 mile classic car rally which she undertook with her French-born husband Bernard in a 1940 GM LaSalle coupe nicknamed “Roxanne.” The race brought them from Beijing to Russia, across Central Europe and finally into Paris. It was a road rife with possibility for social, political and cultural insights. We don’t get much further, however, than the author’s anxieties and allegiance to a husband bent on winning gold at all costs. 

Lost in Paradise: The New Exhibition of A&E Projects

Tara Taghizadeh

Shezad Dawood’s Pakistani, Indian, Irish and British roots are the origin of his rich and mixed artistic approach. Dawood’s colorful installations made of neons and tribal textiles laid on canvas translate his interest in exoticism, poetry and joy. “The Jewels of Aptor” comprises a taxidermied bird suspended amongst fluorescent neon hoops. This work refers directly to the 12th century poem “The Conference of the Birds” by Farid Al-Din Attar as well as J.G. Ballard’s novel, The Unlimited Dream Company

Entr'ouvert: Man and the Urban/Rural Landscape

Vivien Ayroles and Stefano Marchionini

Entr'ouvert originates in our desire to integrate photographic images of different origins into diptychs, whose nature is to shed new light on their constituent parts. The combination of the images chosen here shows the relation between man and the urban or rural landscape, the relation between ‘internal’ (the intimate dimension) and ‘external’ (the social dimension). It is our wish to avoid whatever narrative might originate from the single images used in the diptychs : there is no story, there is no text. 

Have Passport, Will Travel: Notes From a Globetrotter

Andrew Lam

To travel, to really lose oneself in a new setting, is, after all, to subvert. In that C-130 full of refugees, I was moving not only across the ocean but also from one set of psyche to another. Yesterday my inheritance was simple -- the sacred rice fields and rivers, what once owned me, defining who I was. Today, Paris and Hanoi and New York are no longer fantasies but a matter of scheduling. My imagination, once bound by a singular sense of geography, expanded its reference points across the border toward a cosmopolitan possibility.

Vacation in Europe: The Political Struggles of a Global Cosmopolitan

Maggie Hennefeld

I frame this story about my three-week getaway to Europe last summer by asking what it means for Americans to venture across the pond at this juncture in our history. How do we navigate foreign cultures during a moment when our own national obsessions, with everything from rape biology scandals to “Honey Boo Boo’s” Southern familial dysfunction, are more insular than ever? How can Americans abroad serve as global ambassadors when our own national discourse is emblematized by a Hollywood cowboy ranting at an empty chair while apostrophizing the President? 

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