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LIFESTYLE JOURNAL

In Conversation:
Mathieu Paris - Senior Director at WHITE CUBE


LUCA FALONI | LINEN JERSEY T-SHIRT | MADE IN ITALY

Since joining White Cube in 2014 Mathieu Paris has organised and curated several exhibitions at the gallery, taking the discourse around political, social and economic unrest in the US as its starting point, the latter displayed works by renowned artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hammons, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cady Noland, Barbara Kruger and Richard Prince.

LUCA FALONI | PORTOFINO LINEN SHIRT| MADE IN ITALY

What has been the most unforgettable exhibition you have curated?

Certainly “From the Vapor of Gasoline at White Cube Mason's Yard” in 2017.

The title of this exhibition, borrowing from the evocative slogan painted across Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Peruvian Maid (1985), conjures a society running on empty. With artists like David Hammons, Larry Clark, Cady Noland, Steven Parrino, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Richard Prince and Christopher Wool – chronicle a dramatic ideological shift. It was an incredible “à propos exhibition to put together in 2017 at a moment where America was struggling politically on a domestic and international level. In addition with the idea that If the prevailing atmosphere is of disillusion, then it is not without hope: with the end of a dream comes a renewed engagement with reality.

What’s the most recent piece of art you’ve purchased and why?

My last acquisition is a Kenneth Noland Painting from the 80’s. Kenneth Noland ranks among the most recognized artists of the Colour Field and Post Painterly Abstraction. He has a fantastic way to understand colour and shapes.

What object would you never part with?

A Jean Prouvé standart chair. For me it is the perfect synthesis between architecture and design. Prouvé was thinking and developing furniture and houses the same way. I believe in creation driven by the idea of “economy of need “

Is there any style signifier you are known for?

Cashmere turtlenecks all winter long.

LUCA FALONI | IN CONVERSATION: MATHIEU PARIS - SENIOR DIRECTOR AT WHITE CUBE | MADE IN ITALY

What’s been a memorable moment that changed everything for you?

The moment that changed everything for me might certainly be my first confrontation with the large Yves Klein blue monochrome from the Centre Georges Pompidou. I must have been 6 or 7 years old but I remember perfectly the magnetic attraction and the exact moment I connected with painting. I instantly knew that art would be an important part of my life. I was lucky enough to have parents who brought my younger brother and myself to museums and exhibitions all the time. I was always fascinated by the way artists describe questions and answer the problematics of life and the world we live in.

How would you describe your style?

With time, I am less and less interested in following fashion trends.

I believe in buying less but higher quality clothes and tend to dress in classic uniforms with natural tones, colours and materials.

So, what’s the best advice you have ever received?

No light colours and brown shoes after 5pm!

What place would you like to go back to?

I would love to go back to Naoshima. It’s rare to find this perfect connection between art and Nature with no ego coming from the architecture or the art collection. Just a perfect symbiose and Harmony between all elements involved. There are several places like this in the world like the Beyeler Foundation, the Louisiana Museum where the conversation between a collection of architecture and nature work perfectly.

LUCA FALONI | SILK-CASHMERE POLO | MADE IN ITALY
LUCA FALONI | IN CONVERSATION: MATHIEU PARIS - SENIOR DIRECTOR AT WHITE CUBE | MADE IN ITALY
LUCA FALONI | LINEN JERSEY T-SHIRT | MADE IN ITALY

Which is the last artist that truly impressed you? And why?

Danh Vo is the artist that fascinates and impresses me the most today. Danh Vo’s work is very autobiographical and draws in particular on his experiences as a refugee from Vietnam. His work is the vehicle for fragments of his own life but also for fragments of history with a capital H, art history in particular. Danh’s work has often focused on the idea of empire and the fact that all empires as strong, influential and powerful they are, never last. Another of Danh Vo’s talents is knowing how to put an exhibition together. He’s an excellent curator of his own works, which he often mixes with pieces by others. That’s what I immediately found fascinating about him: this way of juxtaposing, superimposing, stacking, and rendering several fragments or several stories transparent, including those of other artists. Our conversations are very passionate and he teaches me a lot about how to look at the world that surrounds us.

Where is your favorite place to travel to?

Italy without hesitation. From a room at the Villa Médici in Rome, a small restaurant in Napoli, incredible Venice to a wooden fisherman boat on Stromboli island. As Verdi once said: “You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”

Something that you discovered recently?

Venetian velvet slippers. You can wear them with anything.

What are you up to right now?

I just co-curated the first Takis exhibition at White Cube in our Bermondsey space since the announcement of the global representation of the artist estate. I am amazed by the richness of Takis vocabulary and by his ability to make visible the invisible energies that surround us. I am particularly fascinated by the elegance and the classical beauty of his iconic “Signals” from the 60’s. Marcel Duchamp famously dubbed him the ‘ploughman of magnetic fields’, using magnetism, light and sound as his raw materials, Takis’s audacious sculptures were a radical break from convention.

 


Since joining White Cube in 2014 Mathieu Paris has organised and curated several exhibitions at the gallery, taking the discourse around political, social and economic unrest in the US as its starting point, the latter displayed works by renowned artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hammons, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cady Noland, Barbara Kruger and Richard Prince.

LUCA FALONI | PORTOFINO LINEN SHIRT| MADE IN ITALY

Which is the moment that changed everything for you?

My first art exhibition in London in 2016. I took over two huge spaces in Soho for my first ‘What’s Up’ exhibition in 2016 after graduating from a degree in computer science. I decided to curate this exhibition to raise funds for a travel start up. Little did I know that the show was going to be a huge success, but it was the creative process of organising the show that I enjoyed and when the exhibition closed I immediately decided to work on the second show.

What is missing right now in the art world?

Good digital exhibitions. I find the Online Viewing Rooms a little underwhelming. In my opinion the art world is not yet successfully employing the digital tools available to showcase and sell art online. Instead what we see are art pieces on top of white walls, which I find pretty boring. I am currently working on a project that challenges the traditional way of viewing art online by showcasing the pieces in more curated and inspiring environments. Making the experience more enjoyable and realistic.

When you are in need to feel inspired, what do you do or where do you go?

I travel anywhere and everywhere.

Where is your favorite place to travel to?

Patmos in Greece. I go there every summer and it just never disappoints. I find the place so beautiful and peaceful, it is exactly what I need to recharge energies and find inspiration. Having no airport also helps to keep a little more empty than other Greek islands in August.

LUCA FALONI | IN CONVERSATION: MATHIEU PARIS - SENIOR DIRECTOR AT WHITE CUBE | MADE IN ITALY

What’s been a memorable moment that changed everything for you?

The moment that changed everything for me might certainly be my first confrontation with the large Yves Klein blue monochrome from the Centre Georges Pompidou. I must have been 6 or 7 years old but I remember perfectly the magnetic attraction and the exact moment I connected with painting. I instantly knew that art would be an important part of my life. I was lucky enough to have parents who brought my younger brother and myself to museums and exhibitions all the time. I was always fascinated by the way artists describe questions and answer the problematics of life and the world we live in.

How would you describe your style?

With time, I am less and less interested in following fashion trends.

I believe in buying less but higher quality clothes and tend to dress in classic uniforms with natural tones, colours and materials.

So, what’s the best advice you have ever received?

No light colours and brown shoes after 5pm!

What place would you like to go back to?

I would love to go back to Naoshima. It’s rare to find this perfect connection between art and Nature with no ego coming from the architecture or the art collection. Just a perfect symbiose and Harmony between all elements involved. There are several places like this in the world like the Beyeler Foundation, the Louisiana Museum where the conversation between a collection of architecture and nature work perfectly.

LUCA FALONI | SILK-CASHMERE POLO | MADE IN ITALY
LUCA FALONI | IN CONVERSATION: MATHIEU PARIS - SENIOR DIRECTOR AT WHITE CUBE | MADE IN ITALY
LUCA FALONI | LINEN JERSEY T-SHIRT | MADE IN ITALY

Which is the last artist that truly impressed you? And why?

Danh Vo is the artist that fascinates and impresses me the most today. Danh Vo’s work is very autobiographical and draws in particular on his experiences as a refugee from Vietnam. His work is the vehicle for fragments of his own life but also for fragments of history with a capital H, art history in particular. Danh’s work has often focused on the idea of empire and the fact that all empires as strong, influential and powerful they are, never last. Another of Danh Vo’s talents is knowing how to put an exhibition together. He’s an excellent curator of his own works, which he often mixes with pieces by others. That’s what I immediately found fascinating about him: this way of juxtaposing, superimposing, stacking, and rendering several fragments or several stories transparent, including those of other artists. Our conversations are very passionate and he teaches me a lot about how to look at the world that surrounds us.

Where is your favorite place to travel to?

Italy without hesitation. From a room at the Villa Médici in Rome, a small restaurant in Napoli, incredible Venice to a wooden fisherman boat on Stromboli island. As Verdi once said: “You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”

Something that you discovered recently?

Venetian velvet slippers. You can wear them with anything.

What are you up to right now?

I just co-curated the first Takis exhibition at White Cube in our Bermondsey space since the announcement of the global representation of the artist estate. I am amazed by the richness of Takis vocabulary and by his ability to make visible the invisible energies that surround us. I am particularly fascinated by the elegance and the classical beauty of his iconic “Signals” from the 60’s. Marcel Duchamp famously dubbed him the ‘ploughman of magnetic fields’, using magnetism, light and sound as his raw materials, Takis’s audacious sculptures were a radical break from convention.

 


Since joining White Cube in 2014 Mathieu Paris has organised and curated several exhibitions at the gallery, taking the discourse around political, social and economic unrest in the US as its starting point, the latter displayed works by renowned artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hammons, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cady Noland, Barbara Kruger and Richard Prince.

LUCA FALONI | PORTOFINO LINEN SHIRT| MADE IN ITALY

What has been the most unforgettable exhibition you have curated?

Certainly “From the Vapor of Gasoline at White Cube Mason's Yard” in 2017.

The title of this exhibition, borrowing from the evocative slogan painted across Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Peruvian Maid (1985), conjures a society running on empty. With artists like David Hammons, Larry Clark, Cady Noland, Steven Parrino, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Richard Prince and Christopher Wool – chronicle a dramatic ideological shift. It was an incredible “à propos exhibition to put together in 2017 at a moment where America was struggling politically on a domestic and international level. In addition with the idea that If the prevailing atmosphere is of disillusion, then it is not without hope: with the end of a dream comes a renewed engagement with reality.

What’s the most recent piece of art you’ve purchased and why?

My last acquisition is a Kenneth Noland Painting from the 80’s. Kenneth Noland ranks among the most recognized artists of the Colour Field and Post Painterly Abstraction. He has a fantastic way to understand colour and shapes.

What object would you never part with?

A Jean Prouvé standart chair. For me it is the perfect synthesis between architecture and design. Prouvé was thinking and developing furniture and houses the same way. I believe in creation driven by the idea of “economy of need “

Is there any style signifier you are known for?

Cashmere turtlenecks all winter long.

LUCA FALONI | IN CONVERSATION: MATHIEU PARIS - SENIOR DIRECTOR AT WHITE CUBE | MADE IN ITALY
LUCA FALONI | SILK-CASHMERE POLO | MADE IN ITALY

What’s been a memorable moment that changed everything for you?

The moment that changed everything for me might certainly be my first confrontation with the large Yves Klein blue monochrome from the Centre Georges Pompidou. I must have been 6 or 7 years old but I remember perfectly the magnetic attraction and the exact moment I connected with painting. I instantly knew that art would be an important part of my life. I was lucky enough to have parents who brought my younger brother and myself to museums and exhibitions all the time. I was always fascinated by the way artists describe questions and answer the problematics of life and the world we live in.

How would you describe your style?

With time, I am less and less interested in following fashion trends.

I believe in buying less but higher quality clothes and tend to dress in classic uniforms with natural tones, colours and materials.

So, what’s the best advice you have ever received?

No light colours and brown shoes after 5pm!

What place would you like to go back to?

I would love to go back to Naoshima. It’s rare to find this perfect connection between art and Nature with no ego coming from the architecture or the art collection. Just a perfect symbiose and Harmony between all elements involved. There are several places like this in the world like the Beyeler Foundation, the Louisiana Museum where the conversation between a collection of architecture and nature work perfectly.

LUCA FALONI | IN CONVERSATION: MATHIEU PARIS - SENIOR DIRECTOR AT WHITE CUBE | MADE IN ITALY
LUCA FALONI | LINEN JERSEY T-SHIRT | MADE IN ITALY

Which is the last artist that truly impressed you? And why?

Danh Vo is the artist that fascinates and impresses me the most today. Danh Vo’s work is very autobiographical and draws in particular on his experiences as a refugee from Vietnam. His work is the vehicle for fragments of his own life but also for fragments of history with a capital H, art history in particular. Danh’s work has often focused on the idea of empire and the fact that all empires as strong, influential and powerful they are, never last. Another of Danh Vo’s talents is knowing how to put an exhibition together. He’s an excellent curator of his own works, which he often mixes with pieces by others. That’s what I immediately found fascinating about him: this way of juxtaposing, superimposing, stacking, and rendering several fragments or several stories transparent, including those of other artists. Our conversations are very passionate and he teaches me a lot about how to look at the world that surrounds us.

Where is your favorite place to travel to?

Italy without hesitation. From a room at the Villa Médici in Rome, a small restaurant in Napoli, incredible Venice to a wooden fisherman boat on Stromboli island. As Verdi once said: “You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”

Something that you discovered recently?

Venetian velvet slippers. You can wear them with anything.

What are you up to right now?

I just co-curated the first Takis exhibition at White Cube in our Bermondsey space since the announcement of the global representation of the artist estate. I am amazed by the richness of Takis vocabulary and by his ability to make visible the invisible energies that surround us. I am particularly fascinated by the elegance and the classical beauty of his iconic “Signals” from the 60’s. Marcel Duchamp famously dubbed him the ‘ploughman of magnetic fields’, using magnetism, light and sound as his raw materials, Takis’s audacious sculptures were a radical break from convention.