PAPIER 11….WOW!

PAPIER11 ART FAIR IS THE BEST EVER.  A hint of Art Basel Miami Beach – sadly without the beach, of course!

Chih-Chien Wang, at Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain

Chih-Chien Wang, at Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain

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Damien Hirst. ”For Heaven’s Sake 2008” Baby Skull With Pink Diamonds.

The ceo-artist rich man, all-round contemporary guy DAMIEN HIRST has done it again.  His latest jewel-like offering is another skull…this time that of a baby.  Although his choice of ‘material’ has offended mums, Hirst comments that ”diamonds are about perfection and wealth, sex and death and immortality.  They are a symbol of everything that is eternal, but then they have a dark side as well.”

For Heaven's Sake Damien Hirst

For Heaven's Sake Damien Hirst

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Cirque du Soleil Holds Gala at Art Basel Miami Beach

Guy Laliberté, he who founded the world renowned CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, hosted one of the best parties at Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB).  Held just before the hordes descended on the Delano, the W (Gagosian’s party at Mr. Chows) and pool parties everywhere, the event was a fund raiser for ONE DROP  – Laliberté’s Foundation to provide safe water for all.

A true jet-set party, glamourous VIPs Gloria Estefan (wearing white) and hubby Emilio were noted amongst the eleganzia, as was Guy’s partner Claudia Barila (stylish in noir!), Cirque pres Daniel Lamarre with Emmanuelle Duperré, and jet setter model / photographer Pascale Bourbeau, who was then noted at the Veuve Clicquot première (at an Ocean Drive gallery by the old Versace palazio!) of Montreal artist Kristian Verono the very next night.   Montrealer Louise Courey-Nadeau co-chaired the amazing soirée with Floridian Carol Iacovelli.

 

Porcelain peace. Random broken white tiles installation at Galerie Donald Browne

Galerie Donald Browne in the Belgo Building is showing John Francis’ broken porcelain  – serene white tiles with the tension of tiny cracks where the artist has carefully, and not so carefully, broken the pieces.  The ceramic, a common material, has been re-worked in the tradition of mosaics.  Although we recognize the wall covering of public washrooms, the white tiles now have a dual resonance:  they are alluringly lovely, and yet…. A feeling of risk greets the viewer on entering the gallery: a broken sink and toilet lie on the floor.  There is a sense of abandonment; possibly of vandalism.  But there is also a sense of beauty in these ‘installations’ ($4,500 each). The ‘found objects’ are, in a way, destroyed, then reconstructed.  Their ‘new’ geometry offers a minimalist modernism.

The calmness of the cracks – yes, an oxymoron – comes out in the wall-hung pieces ($1,500 – $1,800, and almost sold out).  There, whiter-than-white porcelain tiles with their myriad of hair-line cracks are hung in groups of 4 and 6.  Hung horizontally in a row, they are beautiful.  One should buy more than one!

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Art Basel Miami Beach – Annual Bacchanalia by the sea..Some VIPs

Montrealers noted at Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) this year included Marc DeSerres, director Musée d’art contemporain (MAC) of Montreal, Jean-Claude Baudinet, Stéphane Aquin, Cheryl and Alan Goffman, Joanne and Douglas Cohen (in from Palm Beach), Carmel Mintzberg, gallerists Jeannie Riddle, Donald Browne , Brian Brisson and Alexandra Conners and Pierre François Ouellette – who showed Quebec artists Adad Hannah, Dil Hildebrand, Luc Courchesne, at AQUA, one of the satellite fairs.

Bud Greenbaum, gallery director, with artist Kristian Verono

Bud Greenbaum, gallery director, with artist Kristian Verono

Also noted was Kristian Verono – who had his first vernissage at ABMB!  Félicitations! Not only did he have a show:  he sold most of his works!  Montreal artist ZILON shared the gallery space, but did not make it to the vernissage. The glamourous photog /slash / model Pascale Bourbeau and other guests mingled and sipped Veuve Clicquot, as waves crashed gently on the shore. Pascale had just attended the ONE DROP event the night before, where Claudia Barila and Guy Laliberté watched the Cirque du Soleil with France  Chrétien Desmarais (daughter of former Canadian PM Jean Chrétien) vice-chair of One Drop, and André Desmarais, president and co-CEO, Power Corp. The sold-out smash success was presented by Vancouver-based Gianni Kovacevic and co-chaired by Montrealer Louise Courey Nadeau.  The uber-glam eve raised $450,000 for One Drop, a foundation that aims to provide clean water to everyone in the world.

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Puttin’ on the Ritz!


Montreal’s more than famous Ritz-Carlton is a phoenix. The hotel, known internationally by princes, prime ministers and presidents, is being restored to its former glory. Continue reading

Mulroneys Host Elegant Book Launch for Award-winning Camilla Gibb

Mila and Brian Mulroney hosted an elegant cocktail party at the Mount Royal Club to launch Camilla Gibb‘s latest book, The Beauty of Humanity Movement.  Camilla was accompanied by Brad Martin, CEO, Random House, and Kristin Cochrane, Double Day Canada.  Born in London, Gibb has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Oxford University, and spent time in Ethiopia for field research on her thesis. Her novels – this is her fourth – have been translated into fourteen languages.

Camilla Gibb, Brian and Mila Mulroney

The Beauty of Humanity Movement was graciously offered to guests by Brian, who added,  ‘’I hope that in return, you might would purchase a few  as holiday gifts’’ – which they did, lining up for autographed copies. (One prominent senator bought four!) Continue reading