Posted by Gunsmoke
The night before the event we sat on the balcony of Café Marley at the Louvre overlooking I.M. Pei’s great Pyramid. Every hour on the hour the Eiffel Tower lighted up with a gadzillion tiny white bulbs that shone brightly in the distance. This was a superb way to begin the week of the Paris Art Fair exhibition.
The next day, the mile long line snaked around the Grand Palais just off the Champs Ellyse until 10 PM opening night. Parisian’s and guest’s from afar had come to see the best of the best of the art world from March 16th to March 22nd, 2010. Gallery owners had paid upwards of $50,000 per exhibition space to introduce the world to their stable of artist’s. Paris is the city of Art as well as the city of lights. Opening day, the works of Tony Ward would be reintroduced to that world after a prolonged hiatus.
TW’s gallery owner, Pascal Vanhoecke made sure that his four monumental sized pieces had places of honor in his space. His was the first space that you saw upon walking up to the main exhibit area, and the gallery occupied a place of honor as the first exhibit space inside the main entryway to the enormous exhibit hall.
Crowds swarmed in and out of the gallery proclaiming in French, English and Italian; “shocking!” “stunning!” “incredible!” And it was. Vanhoecke’s gallery featured works from the who’s who of Erotica. Entering the space, one passed a life sized hermaphrodite Barbie doll sculpture, with both breasts and a penis. She only began the adventure into the both humorous and erotic display of fine art painting, drawing and photography. TW’s highlighted piece included a digital montage entitled “L’Aphrodisiaque”, images of black and white erotica from a most recent series and commission. The eye jumps from image to image seeking and finding titillation at every stop. The mammoth piece snarled traffic as buyers stood in amazement, while onlooker’s snapped cell phone pictures and video clips.
Also highlighted was a grainy male torso and female face entitled, “Mark and Laura”, London 2005. The woman’s hand strategically placed on the swollen anatomy of her companion. This piece would later be auctioned off for charity. All charities should have such incredible donations; it should bring thousands.
Two film crews and representatives of three newspapers came to meet and interview the “American.” Tony Ward was the foreigner who made sexy chic. A true tribute to the former and future King of Erotica.