Opening on Saturday, March 17th, 2018 at 12:00 noon at the Paris Metro Art Gallery is Winter of Enchantment, a selection of (largely) winter-themed avatar studies and images by the legendary Skip Staheli.
For the exhibition, the gallery has undergone slight remodelling to make three level available, the upper two mezzanine like galleries level reached via two spiral staircases. The centre area of the ground level has been modelled to give the feeling of being outdoors – appropriate to the idea of winter – with flower boxes, a fountain, circling butterflies and the occasional gust of snow.
Some 29 images are on display across the three levels, two mounted on easels (and possibly intended as information givers, although neither was set-up as such when I slipped in to preview the exhibit), the rest mounted on the walls of the gallery. All are undeniably Skip, bringing forth his innate ability to capture mood and emotion, and in presenting erotically sensuous couples. Some nudity is displayed, but hardly enough to mark this exhibition as NSFW.
A number of the images very much focus directly on the idea of winter through subject / imagery – notably Brunella~No more sad winters…, Miranda~Such a blue blue Winter… and Draakje~Ice Queens Magic… along one of the ground floor walls, together which Dee~Through Winter, which faces them from across the gallery, together with Skip~I want you to come, and walk this world with me…., Skip~Not feeling the cold… and Julian and Aleriah~ Feeling safe and warm…. Others evoke winter more indirectly, such as Hannah~It’s a new Year…., and Dee Mighty…, where tone and or title along suggests wintertime.
Some, like Breezy~All my senses, Dee~Little Red Ridinghood, and Bridget~FurrrrPurrrr…, lean more towards the erotic, although one might say their use of red evokes echoes of winter – or at least midwinter and Christmas. Still others, Long Canvas, Cuddles~Leader of the pack…, lean more towards the sensual or the personal, as with Caleb and Lillbirdee~Drifting away with you…
But whatever the suggestion / emotion each invokes, there is no denying the life these images present to us as we examine them in turn. Each is an exquisite narrative, and story fully formed, waiting to capture and hold us. And for those that feel a hint of chilliness emanating from the more wintry pictures, the fireplaces with their blazing logs offer an opportunity to warm hands and hearts – and to sit awhile and admire the art.
- Winter of Enchantment, Paris Metro Art Gallery (Paris Couture, rated: Moderate)