“Bathroom with Eiffel Tower Collection” (Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland)
I first fell in love with Paris through the words of others: Hemingway’s Moveable Feast, May Sarton’s I Dreamed a Phoenix, and, most of all, Colette, who I discovered in the pages of Victoria magazine. Then, of course, there were the movies—Daniel Auteil in Mama, There’s a Man in Your Bed (and in almost anything else he’s done), Audrey Tatou in Amelie. When I finally decided to use a chunk of my graduate student loan money to take a trip in the first part of the oughts (with Ronica my BFF from college), I was terrified that Paris wouldn’t live up to my imaginings. But wandering the tiny handbag shop we found in an alley on the way to Notre Dame or giggling through tea at Mariage Freres or eating creme brulee for dessert every night for a week or strolling in the hushed reverence of the Picasso museum in the Marais, Paris became even more magical. Each morning as I snuck out of our room in search of croissant and cafe creme (with my journal and my jauntily tied new peach scarf), I watched the green-uniformed sanitation workers swab the streets and thought, “Ah yes, I see, I have come home.”
“Poetic Prose II” by Francine Turk from Chicago Art Source website
Any artist whose motto is “I live in France . . . in my head” is destined to be my new artist crush. Meet Francine Turk who I know nothing about except I’ve been drooling over her work since I discovered it five minutes ago thanks to Apartment Therapy. You can check out some of her new work at Chicago Art Source. (I haven’t yet gotten up the courage to ask how much her work is.) From her moody Matisse-like nudes to her even moodier mashups of visual and print language, Turk’s work makes me consider what’s hidden in the gray areas, in the smudges, in the lines left undrawn or smeared beyond the point of recognition. What do we choose to say or to not say or to un-say? Turk’s work also makes me remember wandering in the Marais spellbound by that peculiar heaviness of ancient time and hidden things that seems to permeate Paris’s former Jewish quartier. If you’re actually in that great big town by that great big lake, you can visit Chicago Art Source in person at 1871 N. Clybourn Avenue. Bon Pensee (which I hope means Happy Thinking . . . or Pondering . . . or something along those lines)!