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Jack Newhouse – Thursday, 30th December 2015.
It is an atypical but involving exhibition Âmérotica Art Sale by Anne Pigalle, at her studio in North London.
In between an exhibition and an event, Âmérotica is also an art sale Anne Pigalle organised in North London.
When still very young, French artist Anne Pigalle was a punk movement member. When in London, she had the opportunities to publish an album with Trevor Horn. Then she went to LA for seven years but when back in London started poetry, art exhibition and erotic salon. Because of a break, Pigalle could buy a Polaroid and started her current life into figurative art. But she also keeps on performing music and poetry.
At the Âmérotica, it is possible to buy her original works, she could almost make on the instant while talking to you. Her assorted works are the result of her life and of her experiences, as an artist and as a woman. Her production consists in small cards or dresses hand painted, proper paintings on canvas, decorated CD, Polaroid photos, a blue Christmas tree, and a myriad of small everyday items. Many different objects, small common ones, are the material she uses to produce her works, giving them a different nature or another role. She is a stalwart fan of Duchamp, whom works she knows well and cites much.
Practicing various media, Anne Pigalle is a whole artist in a Renaissance meaning. She is a kind of small universe where art is the main core. She is a poet, a musician, a performer, and a painter.
French artist Anne Pigalle is born in Paris from a family of artists. She grew up in Paris, in Montmatre, ‘le quartier des artists’, the district of the artists.
When still at school, Pigalle joined the punk movement. She met an English boyfriend at a concert and began to come to London when she was only 15.
Pigalle moved to London definitively when was 20 years old. She had the opportunity to work with notable photographer, such as Mario Testino, Lord Snowdown, Nick Knight, Kevin Cummins, but also musicians as Michael Nyman.
Realising punk music was dead, in 1980 Anne Pigalle found stimulation in her culture and referred to Edith Piaf. In 1985 she published her first album for the ZTT of Trevor Horn, and also toured in Japan. With her boyfriend, they also started a successful club, Le nuits du Mercredi.
Then Pigalle moved to Los Angeles for seven years. Her life was made of concerts and performances. Together with
her friend, Donald Cammell, they made a project to realize a film on her life.
However, when Cammell committed suicide, Pigalle moved back to London and started to experiment, such as poetry, art exhibition and erotic salon.
As a consequence of a break, Pigalle turned in to the figurative art sector. When the guy she was living with left her, he forgot his Argos card and there were enough points to buy a Polaroid camera. She started to take picture of herself, mostly naked, and modifying them with ink, paint and found objects.
The idea was to show the difference between sex and love but differentiating from pornography. As a result of her romantic and feminine side but not excluding eroticism, the work was named Âmérotica – from the French âme and érotique, which means the erotic soul. The work was so appreciated and an acclaimed exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Gallery was organised.
Anne Pigalle is a free personality. Therefore, her need for autonomy makes her to test the limits of authority and control, generating antagonist behaviour. She thinks differently and often in opposition. She dislikes the big business, the mainstream, and corporations. And of course, this means a lot of references to sex and love that can only exist in freedom.
Probably, from this point of view comes the idea for Amérotic Art Sale. Being against the big business probably generated the one-to-one approach, she used for this event.
To reach the place, in fact, you need to book an appointment through her website or her Facebook page. In a performative style, Pigalle welcomes visitors offering a tea and a cake, making people comfortable, and possibly showing her own collection. She truly speaks to the guests and she is really interested in their lives, their emotions.
It is a tailored approach, it is warm, and it is human. It is not aseptic and tasteless like in a shop, where staff dumbly ask if they can ‘help you’, while they do not really care at all to ‘help you’, but rather just to sell to have the salary bonus to spend at the pub – when they are not threatened by the employers or team leaders.
Anne Pigalle does not sell mass production objects sic et simpliciter. She manipulates these objects (the readymades of Duchamp), giving them a new life as artworks. In doing so, she instils a part of herself in them, and basically, she sells herself, giving you her stories: these works are pieces of her.
This personal approach is very interesting, because it challenges the mass tactics used by the big business marketing, and it criticizes the idea that a person is nothing but what can buy with money.
After having published five albums, at the moment, Anne Pigalle is also working on her new music project. She also does art performances in specific venues across London and the UK.
Âmérotica Art Sale exhibition by Anne Pigalle is ongoing in North London.