Celebration Time in Paris

Photography shop

Russian Doll

Commes des Garçons – looking every inch the part

It was a special birthday for TheEye and no good prying, her lips are sealed and for those intimate few in-the know, it’s pistols at dawn if they tell tales.
It’s curious how when you are young, birthdays never come soon enough. A year seems a lifetime. But as you get older, they come far too quickly. Why does this process speed up at such an alarming rate when nothing else does?

The healthy alternative to birthday cake!

PARIS was the most wonderful birthday present and with no thanks to Covid, TheEye hadn’t been there in almost five years – far too long and in spite of many strikes and disturbances, it hasn’t lost it’s magic. Its beauty always makes TheEye gasp.

First port of call was THE MARK ROTHKO EXHIBITION at the FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON. Without a doubt one of the most outstanding exhibitions TheEye has ever see…WHY?


Little Ones Learning about Rothko and loving it

The clear narrative made Rothko’s complicated life easier to follow.

Born Marcus Rothkovitch in 1903 in Dvinsk (now known as Latvia) into a cultured Jewish family, he attended a religious Talmudic school, before migrating with them to the U.S. in 1923. Being formidably clever, he was able to attend Yale and, at that time, took the name MARK ROTHKO. In common with many other artists, his style went through many changes, working with other artists such as Adolph Gottlieb and Barnett Newman.
Not until the late 40s and early 50s did his abstract work appear.

Rothko had many key associations – with architect Philip Johnson in the ill-fated Seagram /Four Seasons restaurant project (later acquired by Norman Reid, director of the Tate Gallery in a brilliant coup.)
He was later commissioned by Dominique de Menil to do a series of paintings for their chapel in Houston.

Rothko and Giacometti

His dealings with the Marlborough Gallery proved disastruous and this amongst other things led to his suicide on February 25th, 1970.

A remarkably well-curated exhibition and, unlike others, TheEye left knowing a great deal more about the brilliant and sad life.

Edited from a conversation with Selden Rodman, 1955.
Mark Rothko Writings on Art, Capricorn Books Edition 1961, NEW YORK.

After this artistic feast, the only thing to do was have an edible feast heading to L’ECUME ST -HONORE where we overindulged on oysters, clams and far too much, but so fresh and delicious, it was impossible to resist.

MUSEE D’ORSAY was hosting the other blockbuster in Paris but it turned out to be more like a rugby scrum. Numbers weren’t controlled and the crush unbearable, in spite of having timed tickets. It was chaos. Attempting to put coats and umbrellas in the coat check desk (it was a nasty wet day) involved a half-hour wait.

Battling to see at the Van Gogh exhibition in the crowded galleries at The Musée D’Orsay. But the longest line was at the coat check counter: half an hour to check-in and likewise trying to leave and making sure you had everything, coat, umbrellas, bags; a nightmare.

But there is always a silver cloud and this was the PETER DOIG exhibition which TheEye loved. The Van Gogh crowd had little interest but it made it possible to look at the Doig paintings without banging into people.

Another wonderful show was ANTONY GORMLEY at the RODIN MUSEUM, particularly those outside in the gardens. The Rodin Museum, a grand Parisian chateau, was Rodin’s home with spectacular views across Paris. The day TheEye visited there was a light covering of snow on the ground which made the outdoor installation resemble a film set. The Gormley figures, cast in iron, are human poses and can take visitors by surprise looking so lifelike in a weird way. There were people sketching, looking happy and at home in this serene setting.

Too cold to be standing around naked

Only joking: Not really my style!



  1. loved the photos in this birthday blog. Sorry I was not there.

  2. Sounds like such an amazing trip! So glad you had a brilliant birthday xxx

  3. A wonderful birthday treat xxx

  4. We overlapped in Paris and were at the same exhibitions – you’ve brilliantly encapsulated their significance. As always you also brought us something special – the clams & oysters. V happy birthday. 🎈

  5. So glad you got to take this trip Janice, looks incredible-And a very Happy Birthday to you! : )

  6. Love your blog. Always inspiring. And happy birthday

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