Cite Internationale des Arts is an international art foundation in Paris in “the Marais” district, which welcomes artists from all over the globe. The foundation provides 284 studios for painters, sculptors, musicians, photographers and dancers. In order to be selected, each artist has to submit a project, and a comity decides if the artist gets the place. The prices are affordable and all studios are designed for working and living. The most exciting thing is to live in Paris and explore museums, galleries and foundations.
During studios’ open day group of Sotheby’s Institute students visited Russian painter Alexei Lantsev, who was staying in the studio with his wife, who is also a painter, for the second time. We were discussing art, Russian art market, drinking wine and eating cheese.
Alexei Lantsev is working in different styles, he creates figurative art as well as abstractions. Russian public is not quite ready for contemporary art, and Alexei is trying to build that bridge between figurative and abstract art. In Paris he was working on recreating famous traditional paintings in “modern” way using primary colours.
The artist told us what is different about working in Paris comparing to working in Moscow: nothing distracts him and he can be consumed in painting process all day long, whereas, in Moscow there is always something stands on the way like “grocery shopping or celebrating grandmothers birthday” added the artist. He also said that when you live in the city you don’t appreciate the museums and never have time for visiting it. However, in Paris, you appreciate museums more, Alexei went to Louvre 3 times one week. The artist also said that everything about Paris is inspiring, even aimlessly wondering in the streets.
As Vincent van Gogh once wrote to his brother Theo: “There is but one Paris and however hard living may be here, and if it became worse and harder even – the French air clears up the brain and does good – a world of good”. I guess there is something inspiring about Paris, that attracts artist from all over the world.