A few years ago, I spied these pics in the (now defunct) House and Garden magazine…
You can see why I was smitten: the work is fantastical and extraordinary. I found out the artistry was by Paulin Paris and after seeing more of his work, he has since become one of my very favorite artists ever. Paris (he indicated to call him Paris) was raised in France and, according to a recent article in the L.A. Times, he “attended the École des Beaux-Arts in the French capital and trained in faux painting at the Van Der Kelen-Logelain Institute in Brussels. He is a descendant of the early 20th century French portraitist Carolus-Duran, whose work hangs in the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.” Taking all this into account and the fact that I’m a very big fan, you can imagine my happiness at his agreeing to be profiled for our Portrait of an Artist series. Pinch me.
His company, Paulin Paris Art & Design, is dedicated to the creation of art — whether it be fine art, paintings, prints as well as murals paintings for private residences or public spaces. The company is based in Los Angeles and the studio, named “Artlook”, is a production site, laboratory and gathering place where other artists can show their work and share ideas and research. He also has another company site for his fine art and one for unique artistry called the New Marquetry.
The New Marquetry
Paris uses a large variety of techniques to create his artworks. We were able to e-chat with him on these techniques and his thoughts on the future of art, technology and some of his inspirations. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Q: Paris, how did you begin this career path?
A: I realized quickly after my studies at the Beaux Arts that I will have to sustain myself as an artist and the murals where the perfect answer. I was lucky enough to start working on a big project for Dino De Laurentiis in New York. I was about 26 at the time and until now I have collaborated with many great architects and designers including Adam Tihany, Robert Couturier, Jacques Grange and Jean Michel Wilmotte, trying each time to refresh the way we look.
The last projects include two “Artscapes” for the Mansion at the MGM Vegas. They are paintings on canvas that covers one wall of the room. Without having to paint the all room it creates a new space. It can be easily removed and reused in another location.
Working on the Artscapes
Artscapes - Mansion at MGM Grand
Artscapes - Mansion at MGM Grand
Q: What subject do you most appreciate in art?
A: I have started recently working on portraits and I found it fascinating, it’s a very mysterious process and still a discovery for me.
Q: Where do you see our industry heading in the future?
A: My feeling is that technology is reshaping the all art industry. The possibility of creating art through computer assisted technology combined with incredible printing techniques (2D and 3D) opens new dimensions. Even if the hand will keep a part in the process, I see technology as becoming even more predominant.
Q: What inventions make your work easier?
A: My creative process goes into different directions, from the drawing to the scanner, the camera, the computer, the projector – all incredible tools. And I’m impatient to try the 3D copier.
Q: Professionally, who are some of your inspirations?
A: David Hicks, Fornasetti, Tony Duquette, Emilio Terry and David Hockney to mention only a few.
Q: Are there any books that you would recommend for us to read or music to listen to while working?
A: I like very much David Hockney’s books, like That’s The Way I See It or Secret Knowledge. As to music, right now I listening to a great singer Elizaveta, it’s a mix of classical music with lyrics.
Paulin Paris at Bakery Bouchon
A recent project was eight large-size paintings for the new Bakery Bouchon opened by chef Thomas Keller at the Rockefeller Center in New York. Paris called it “an honor and a pleasure to work on that project”. He explains, “The inspiration is very surrealist with a combination of images and words. The pictures are 8 1/2 ‘ x 8 1/2′ and they were painted in the studio and installed on site inside a frame molding”. Below are two close-ups.
Please click to enlarge.
Q: Do you have a personal artisan philosophy?
A: My philosophy is called “Artwareness” the combination of art & awareness. I think that art is a process of self transformation, either for the artist or for the viewer. Through art we can transform the way we think and open our self to new dimensions. I’m currently working on a website to present and develop those ideas. I’m also preparing now a lecture about the subject that I hope to present soon to college students in LA.
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Isn’t his artistry incredible? I’d also very much enjoy taking his Artwareness class. Please do take a further look into his company website (be sure to check out the galleries and press area), fine art website and New Marquetry site. If you’d like to see his Venice cottage in CA, here is a photo gallery. I just adore his work and hope to see many more of his installations in the future. Much appreciation to Paulin Paris for sharing his thoughts and artistry with us — I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did putting it together for your, dear Readers. Have a wonderful weekend!