Purple Diary

[October 27 2023]

“La Californie”, an exhibition by Alex Israel at Almine Rech Paris

‘LA Californie’, an exhibition by Alex Israel at Almine Rech, Paris.   Alex Israel’s adds a fresh perspective to worldwide celebrations, conversations and exhibitions marking the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death. At the height of his career, between 1955–1961, Picasso lived and worked at La Californie , a Belle Epoque villa on the French Riviera that he famously transformed into a salon-cum-gesamtkunstwerk filled with his own ceramics, paintings, prints and sculptures. Picasso, in turn, painted this elaborate mise-en-scene as a new form of self-portraiture. Referencing these intimate works, Israel offers a glimpse of his own L.A. studio. In a series of smaller paintings, Israel replaces the traditional subjects of Picasso’s still-life compositions with California staples including The Los Angeles Times , Malibu rum, sheet music of Stevie Nicks’s “Dreams,” and an avocado. Illustrating Picasso’s connection to celebrity culture, Israel’s ‘ “Self Portrait”  depicts Picasso wearing classic French stripes

Photography by Nicolas Bresseur

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