Student of “art” or design? Writing about beautiful stuff? Contact us!


Do you write about beautiful stuff? Want to publish it? We’d be pleased to take a look with a view to posting it here on Talking Beautiful Stuff.

We love anything that involves the great human impulse to create. We focus on creative people, what they do and how they bring their work to others. We try to avoid the word “art” and art-speak.

There’s a formula based on the narrative of any beautiful stuff. It’s simple: Who is creating What, for Whom, When, Where, How, and What it means for you. Can you talk about beautiful stuff in these terms? We’re looking for about 700 words and three or four photos.

To give you an idea, take a look at these posts:

Tahar M’Guedmini at Galerie Cimaise

I miss the opening of Tahar M’Guedmini’s “Les syncopes du temp” exhibition. Two days later, the impeccable exhibition space of Galerie Cimaise is empty and quiet. An impressive triptych catches my eye and kicks me in the guts. Why does my pulse quicken?

Guedmini 1

The large canvases in this exhibition run with a common and, at first, puzzling theme. A man sits alone at a coffee table near a window with curtain. But something happens to throw everything into movement. There are dark, chaotic and instantaneous forces at play in the frame and in the world outside.

Too often, I have been near to explosions. F***k! That was close! Within a second, the organism is caught in fright and flight. Nausea-curl-up-in-a-ball-and-hide. Is this why, standing in Galerie Cimaise, I feel distress and a giddy isolation? Or is it a kind of all-possible-bad-news-arriving-now moment? Has M’Guedmini captured this instinctive reaction on canvas?

Guedmini 2

Tahar M’Guedmini was born in Tunisia in 1948. He trained in fine arts in Tunis and in Paris. Over forty years, he has exhibited widely in Great Britain, Switzerland and France. He remains domiciled in Djerba, Tunisia. In the paintings on show here, it is unclear who the central figure is or what M’Guedmini might have experienced himself to portray the instantaneous upheaval of his solitaire. Whether or not I like these paintings is immaterial; aesthetic appeal is secondary. Quite simply, they have an extraordinary impact. A strong parallel and almost certain influence is the work of Francis Bacon. No surprise then that one of M’Guedmini’s works is now housed in the British Museum’s section on Modern Art from the Arab World.

Guedmini 3

Is this dark figure running for cover after the impact? Mourad Ghedira, the mastermind behind this exhibition, gives us some relief from the anxiety of the overbearing canvases by interspacing some beautiful water colour and pastel sketches. Although just as mysterious and hunting around the same theme, they serve to lighten my mood.

Guedmini 4

Perhaps the best translation of “Les syncopes du temps” would be “When time faints”? This powerful exhibition forces a sober recollection of the occasions when my time fainted.

Twenty years of Pop Art at Galerie ID

Galerie ID 1

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Galerie ID in Carouge, Geneve. To celebrate, Isabelle Dunkel is planning a sparkling retrospective from 23 September to 17 October. Beautiful stuff by all the major pop artists she has hosted here will be on display. A friend whom she admires greatly is Roger Pfund, creative giant and the only living artist whose work has been exhibited at Geneva’s Museum of Art and History. It’s a fitting tribute to Isabelle that he put together her invitation.

Galerie ID 2

I call in to see Isabelle. I get a warm welcome as usual. But this time, it is her I want to interview. She’s not keen to talk about herself. She obviously thinks the story of la galerie is more interesting than the story of ID. (This could be hard work!) So… Born in Paris (I didn’t ask the year.) Traveling childhood (11 different schools.) A year in England (loved it.) Trained in languages (four.) Married young (a banker from Geneva.) Grown children (two.) Why pop art? (A hint of enthusiasm for this conversation.) Always loved “art.” Went to the USA in 1992. Saw and fell for the work of James Rizzi. Started a small collection. Met the man himself and offered to represent him in Switzerland. The story of Galerie ID starts here.

Galerie ID 3

James Rizzi “Girls Like Flowers” 1997

Girls like flowers! So take some along to the birthday girl whose efforts to bring Rizzi’s work to this town were laughed at. “He’s too American!” “It’s just commercial!” And of course… “It’s not ART!” But she had the last laugh. In her first five years of business she sold more than one thousand pieces of Rizzi’s wonderful, whacky stuff. On the back of this success her rapidly expanding portfolio grew to include names such as Robert Indiana and Alex Katz. She now runs the only gallery in Geneva dedicated to Pop Art and is an ardent promoter of limited-edition prints as an art form to be valued.

I ask Isabelle what she sees as her greatest achievement. The answer is surprising and immediate with neither preparation nor pretension. She is proud of the accessibility of what she shows. Drawn by pop images, people who would never think of going into a gallery come in off the street. She wants her exhibitions to brighten the day of anyone and everyone. Popular art! Popular appeal! And now she has really warmed to her subject. I dare to ask what makes her heart sing. Do I see a blush? Pop music!! Beatles? Yes! Rolling Stones? Yes! Michael Jackson? Fabulous! Who else? Supertramp! Abba? Yes! Daft punk? Of course! Taylor swift? Not my cup of tea! Mrs Dunkel is just Miss Pop at heart.

Jeff Schaller 1

Last year I had the privilege of meeting Jeff Schaller at his second exhibition at Galerie ID. He pays tribute to Jasper Johns – one of the doyennes of Pop Art – who famously said “just take something and add to it.” Let’s acknowledge what Isabelle Dunkel has been doing with passion and success for the last twenty years. She’s taken James Rizzi and added accessible Pop Art. Enjoy!