Armen Elliott Photo

Paris Pt. 2-Inspiration from Paris to Pennsylvania

After going to the European Photography Centre and seeing the outstanding work of Mimo JodiceMichael van GraffenriedAntoine PoupelPhillippe Perrin and Servulo Esmeraldo, we headed over to the two retrospectives I was really looking forward to: Lisette Model and Willy Ronis.
Lisette Model‘s incredible work was on view at Jeu de Paume. Lisette Model is one of the twentieth century’s most significant photographers. After seeing the show,  I saw the very clear influence she had on Lehigh Valley’s Larry Fink’s work, (one of her more famous students, along with Diane Arbus).
I thoroughly enjoyed the retrospective of  Willy Ronis’ work at the Monnaie de Paris.  He was the last of a generation of French photographers who were central to the medium’s development during the 20th Century.  Like his contemporaries Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Brassai, Ronis showed tender expressiveness while chronicling the romantic vision of Paris now firmly lodged in the public imagination.  I was absolutely delighted to discover several years earlier that my close friend in Easton, Nan Ronis,  is a relative of this incredible French photographer!
We were lucky enough to be in Paris during ‘open studio’ night at Les Frigos, part of the underground art scene.

Les Frigos used to be a cold storage warehouse and is one of those mythical places in Paris that is definitely off the beaten path. Since the 1980s, large numbers of artists have squatted in this large building on the banks of the Seine and the building has become synonymous with art, rebellious spirit, and creativity.  After years of trying to expel its tenants, the mairie of Paris bought the building to insure that the artists could stay and create. — jazz musicians, painters, sculptures, photographers, videographers and craftsmen.  (See the nine photos below.)
The main stairwell
An ephemeral sculptural installation which led to a recording studio
The walls everywhere were covered with art and grafitti
A painter’s studio
A photographer and model in a hallway.
Jazz performance in a hallway


Back in the United States, Mass MoCa (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) is another example of industrial space that’s been converted into gallery space, professional offices,  retail shops and restaurants. My daughter, who first introduced us to this wonderful museum years ago,  just began an internship here during her winter term.  (See the eight photos below)
Retail shop
Museum gift shop and Cafe behind it
Entrance hall leading to gallery space
Reading, Pennsylvania’s Goggleworks is yet another wonderful example of the reuse of industrial space.  It used to be an eyewear factory and now houses artists’ studios, gallery space, retail shops and a film theater. (See the photo below).
The next four photos below are of Easton, PA’s Silk Mill Project. The development and reuse of buildings at The Easton Silk Mill is an exciting project in the beginning phase. This summer, “Movies at the Mill” was attended by over one thousand people!

Films were projected on the exterior wall at the Silk Mill in Easton right after dusk.
A reception was held inside one of the 13 buildings on site after the movie screenings ended.
The inspiring, Oscar Award-winning film “Music by Prudence” was introduced by its director, Roger Ross Williams, an Easton native!
Once again this year, animated shorts by Magik World were among my favorites.
I’m looking forward to more exciting developments in the City of Easton in the new year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: