“You can cry on cushions, you can sleep on cushions, you can make love on cushions—you can do everything with a cushion,” says artist Maxime Gautier, “and it’s probably the first time in the world you can find cushions in an art gallery.”
Until January 24, as part of its Super Nature group show, YenakArt Villa (69 Soi Prasak Asut, Yen Akart Rd) is displaying ARTPILO, a selection of high-end, colourful pillow covers, all made in France, printed with the work of French photographer Maxime Gautier. The pillows feature bright, almost Warholian shots flowers, as well as animals in highly personified poses, a feature of Gautier’s style.
“This is another way to look at art,” explains Gautier, who founded ARTPILO nearly a year ago with his long-time friend and business partner, Jean-Vincent Vallette. “It’s funny, it’s serious, it’s high design—it’s cool. Apart from the artistic aspect, all these animals and flowers have stories, too. You know, they’re real.”
And telling their stories is precisely the goal for the Bordeaux-raised Gautier and Vallette. Pillows and cushions, standard household décor, can also be canvasses to share narratives, says Gautier, precisely because of their everyday nature.
“You have to go [to YenakArt Villa],” he implores. “Take them down from walls, put your face on them, and experience this kind of art.” Unlike most exhibitions, touching is highly encouraged. The pillows are designed for indoor and outdoor use.
For the initial launch, Gautier provided close-up shots of animals, including an intimate shot of a sociable camel he took while touring Morocco, a meerkat staring down viewer swith a crocodile grin, and a downright ascetic toucan. But it isn’t solely a vessel for Gautier’s work.
Other artists—painters, photographers, graphic designers—are set to create their own series in the near future. These include dark, direct paintings by Gerard Alary titled “Circles” and a limited edition and numbered series titled “Specimen#” by renowned photographer Gérard Rancinan.
Following the exhibition at YenakArt Villa, ARTPILO travels to France for Maison & Objet Paris, one of the biggest design fairs in Europe. After that?
“We hope to do an ARTPILO world tour,” says Gautier with a trademark laugh.
YenakArt Villa is open Monday to Friday, from 2pm-7pm, and by appointment any other time. Call 0 2235 9800-1 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.