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(Text and photos by Michael Auliso)

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OMG What's that smell?   ((( Lookout below! )))


 Since I attempt to present an unvarnished version of the Parcours experience (sights, sounds, events), it is not possible to talk about this year's show, without discussing the putrid smell of the Paris streets.  "Holy-dog-shit" Batman!  Were the sewage workers on strike too?   If you're accustomed to fresh clean smelling air where you reside, it can be very rough spending any time in Paris.  I've been to the city many times over the years, but the streets have never smelled so awful (rue de Seine especially).  The heat and humidity exacerbated the stench, but OMG!  It smelled like the Mumbai sewer, the Detroit dog pound and the NYC Subway combined.  It quickly became a cynical character in the art experience; often I couldn't wait to dash indoors to avoid it.  The wafting cigarette smoke and heavy perfume did nothing to disguise it.  Dining out in the sidewalk cafes practically requires a gas mask, which probably would be a good business for a street vendor to consider.  

The paradoxicality of the Paris experience is striking.  While strolling the streets you're looking at beautiful art while smelling noxious odors at the same time!  It's considered part of Paris culture that citizens don't pick up after their myriad of dogs that are walked daily on the city sidewalks.  Urinating in public is also common for more than just the homeless.  Amazing but true.  Generally restaurant, store & gallery owners are forced to deal with the excrement, so as to not have it tracked into their retail spaces. 

One solution may be tripling the current fine of 68 euros and actually enforcing the existing laws, installation of doggy bag dispensers, as well as much needed public bathrooms.  Amsterdam is a good example of a large European city with adequate public facilities, but those basic provisions would be a novelty on Paris streets.  According to a Daily Mail article, Paris has deployed an 1800 person "incivility brigade" to combat littering and public defecation, but most likely laws still won't be enforced, as this type of behavior is widely tolerated by locals.


Transitioning back to Art


(Serge Schoffel)


(Serge Schoffel)  Had his foot firmly on the accelerator this year.  In a bold example of stagecraft, he took the largest gallery available (11 rue des Beaux-Arts) to throw everything at the wall.  His philosophy is go BIG or go Home.  Unlike most dealers, Serge doesn't care if he shows some pieces  over again either.

He had recently chalked up a big win at the BRAFA fair, selling a New Ireland Uli figure for over 7 figures.  He schools everyone on HOW it is done using the technique of a press release, a professionally produced and narrated video, magnifying the appeal of the piece, combined with exhibiting it at an important fair.  That equation has equaled money and success for him.


(Serge Schoffel)  11 rue des Beaux-Arts.  

This is the largest gallery in the Parcours and has seen the highest rate of dealer turnover.  It was occupied for 3 consecutive years by Ana and Antonio Casanova who produced the outstanding show "Gems" still talked about today.


(Serge Schoffel)  A Papuan Gope board display.


(Serge Schoffel)


(Serge Schoffel)


(Galerie Alain Bovis)


(Galerie Alain Bovis)  Exposition: Beautysmall, A chacun ses petites merveilles.  Photos are absolutely forbidden here.  No, I didn't break in but these were taken outside through the glass after closing.  


(Galerie Alain Bovis)


Chris Boylan and Jessica Lindsay Phillips. 


(Chris Boylan- Oceanic Art)  This New Guinea Upper Sepik Nukuma or Washkuk fragment was his catalog submission.


(Chris Boylan- Oceanic Art) His second catalog submission was this Png Highlands Wahgi Valley shield (bouclier) with bold pigments and 200+ embedded arrowheads from warfare.  Ex. John Friede.


(Chris Boylan- Oceanic Art)  A pair of rare Santa Cruz Island Dance ornaments.




(Adrian Schlag)



(Adrian Schlag) His exhibit The Lagoon Area.  Wow, a large Attie female figure.


(Adrian Schlag) A Kulango mask.



(Adrian Schlag) A Baule and kulango figure (right) 


(Adrian Schlag)  A seated Attie female couple.


Punctuated by some street art.


A Nuclear Exhibit:

(Galerie Abla et Alain Lecomte)  This year Alain called in the air strike waking us up and getting our attention with Exposition: Bakongo- Les Fetiches.   There were millions of Euros under this roof in quality Bakongo figures.  You can't even begin to talk about the Parcours without mentioning and focusing on this exhibit.  I would have done more photography but the lighting and reflections of the glass cases complicated efforts.  Needless to say it was amazing and he brought his "A Game".


(Abla et Alain Lecomte)  Yombe Maternity figure and a standing example.


(Abla et Alain Lecomte) A bembe figure with inset red eyes.


(Abla et Alain Lecomte) A bakongo dog nail fetish.


(Don Ellis)  An another great exhibit.


(Don Ellis)  Painting on muslin.


(Don Ellis)  Fine detail of above.


(Don Ellis)  Haida Shaman's rattle.


(Don Ellis)  detail of above


(Don Ellis)  This Northwest Coast Haida Gwaii Seal form grease bowl from British Columbia was one of his catalog submissions.


(Don Ellis)  detail of above.


(Don Ellis)


(Don Ellis)  


(Don Ellis) Haida frontlet mask.


(Don Ellis)  detail of above.


(Thomas Murray)


(Thomas Murray)   Exposition: Tresors Miniatures.  Preparation and opportunity allowed Tom the good fortunate to sell his whole collection of Borneo amulets to one buyer!  Probably the smallest gallery in the fair but the highest for sales per square foot.


(Thomas Murray)


Thomas Murray and Alain Marcuson (right)  photo Anita Schroeder


(Thomas Murray)  Display case of Korwars.  


(Thomas Murray)


(Thomas Murray)


(Thomas Murray)


At this point they are scaring me too.  (photo Anita Schroeder)


Rue Visconti- David Rosenthal (left) and Jean-Edouard Carlier.


Exterior (Jean-Edouard Carlier- Yoyageurs & Curieux)


(Jean-Edouard Carlier- Yoyageurs & Curieux)


(Jean-Edouard Carlier)  This Marquesas Island U'U club was his catalog submission.


(Jean-Edouard Carlier)


(Jean-Edouard Carlier)


(Jean-Edouard Carlier)  A Solomon Island lime stick and an canoe prow figurehead "nguzu-nguzu".


(Jean-Edouard Carlier)


(Jean-Edouard Carlier)  A small Maori tinder box.



(Michael Hamson)  Among people I swerved into, this exhibit was the most talked about this year.  For Michael's Exposition Morobe  he produced an impressive book/ catalog titled  "New Guinea Art from Astrolabe Bay to Morobe" which felt like it weighed about 10 lbs.


(Michael Hamson)  He apparently had his best Parcours ever, selling most of the pieces you see here to institutions and museums.  


(Michael Hamson)


(Michael Hamson)  Group of Huon Gulf ladles and pounders.


(Michael Hamson)


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