It's that time of year when Paris is all abuzz with art fairs, with the FIAC (Foire International d'art contemporain) being the major event to visit. All the big name Parisian private galleries are there (Emmanuel Perrotin, Almine Rech, Yvon Lambert...) along with a total of 196 other galleries from around the world, all trying to out-do each other with the most alluring stand. But in actual fact, the FIAC is much like going to any market, whether it be an art market or a fruit and veg market: the gallerists are here to sell, and in a time of recession, they aren't really out to take risks, but instead stick to known values.... As a result, the art at FIAC, although of very high quality with great pieces by established artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Gilbert and George and Pierre Soulages, and some fabulous pieces by lesser some lesser known artists, as a whole, it's not exactly very exciting. The quality pieces are slightly demystified as their value as a commodity is put forward more than their value as art. Damien Hirsts, such as the cabinet full of cigarette butts, are brought to the fore because they are an investment, they will increase in value and make the gallery selling them money.

The most avant garde or controversial thing I heart paris saw at FIAC was rather this gallerist who boldly lit up his cigarette in his booth and smoked away as if it were still legal to smoke in public places. What a rebel.


  1. Ah! French people and their smoking. Not that it's entirely similar, but it immediately made me think of French pregnant women I sometimes see in the street smoking. Rebellious and stupid!

  2. has great onsite coverage of FIAC