Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
It’s called a gallery. It looks like a gallery. But it’s a gallery for objects. Its founder, Serge Bensimon, wants it to be a place for dialogue between art and design, between artists, craftsmen and clients.
You might not necessarily know Serge Bensimon, but you definitely know his colourful linen sneakers worn by Jane Birkin, Natalie Portman, Liv Taylor and even Camilla Parker-Bowles. Mr. Bensimon made a fortune selling millions of them.
His success as a fashion designer gave him the means to do other projects and allows him to follow his passions. In 1989 he opened Home Autour du Monde, one of the first concept stores bringing together clothes and furniture, lamps and bags, objects, interior accessories and even perfume. Another success.
Last year he opened his gallery, called Gallery S. Bensimon in the hip part of the Marais, the Haut Marais. He wants it to be a place, which resembles him; a place with surprisingly exclusive and unusual objects; a place at the cutting edge of inspiration.
And this worked out perfectly. At the moment there are lots of blue objects. Mr. Bensimon calls it “natural indigo” a colour has loved since he traveled to Japan – and this is 25 years ago. Strangely, there is this indigo blue all over Paris: his neighbour, the Danish designer Bess Nielson from Khadi & co called it “Indian blue” because in India it’s the colour of the Gods. And the concept store Merci also coloured its lobby in blue. Read it as a symbol. Mr. Bensimon says, that Indigo is the “blue gold” for virtues, including its calming power.
Mr. Bensimon is what you can call a frequent traveller. He loves to discover other countries and to haunt trends, tendencies and objects. This time he was in Alaska, where he met the artist Brent Comber who manufactures pieces from wood that he finds in the forest. Each one is unique. His armchairs are part of the group exhibition called “collectors of emotions”.
If you have a look at the objects in the gallery, you quickly come to understand that Mr. Bensimon loves to touch on the arts & crafts movement from the beginning of last century seeking again the connection of fine materials, quality of workmanship and modern design.
Everything you can buy here is kind of special, unique. Of course, nothing will be in the price range of a cheap Eiffel tower you can by on Rue de Rivoli. Here we are talking about the borders between art and design. But why not bring home something special from Paris?
If money was no object, I would have gone for the beautiful collages of Claire Brewster who cuts pieces out of old maps and atlases. She transforms them into insects, flowers, birds and puts them behind glass. It’s a creation of a new, very poetic universe. Most of them were sold on the day of the opening.Gallery S. Bensimon