A Preview Imprévu

Recently I wandered into an art gallery in the shadow of the Pantheon. Actually part of the fifth arrondissement’s city hall, the gallery’s unassuming entrance on a side street contrasts with the grand columned façade of the building.

The vibrant, colorful paintings by Zareh Mutafian formed an exhibit called “Peindre après le génocide” (Painting after the genocide). This year marks 100 years since the genocide in Armenia. Mutafian was a survivor. Without knowledge of the title of the exhibit, one would not know it; the paintings’ subjects are brightly colored figures and landscapes. They’re quite beautiful.

I was surprised to see some art supplies on the table in the center of the gallery. I walked around, looking at the works. There were a couple of people conversing in the otherwise quiet space. After a few minutes, the man who was there told me, “Feel free to look around, but please don’t go upstairs since we’re not done setting up yet.” “You’re not open yet!?” I said. “When do you open?” “Tomorrow,” he replied.

I finished my tour of the ground floor, thanked him, and left. I looked more closely at the banner outside, and effectivement, the exhibit was to open the next day.

116.art.2015

It is not the first time that I’ve walked through a door that yielded to me, then later found out that it was not open to the public. I highly recommend it. Of course, to avoid feigning ignorance, it must be an honest mistake, so the key is to not read signs too carefully.

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8 thoughts on “A Preview Imprévu

  1. Oh yes, I’ve done that too! The key is to look normal and have a purpose 😉 I love visiting famous hotels and I’ve wandered around landmarks in Shanghai, London, Toronto or Buenos Aires with my camera with a “totally know where I’m going” look on my face 😆

    (also works when you really need to use the bathroom)

  2. That sounds really nice! I like that you said, “a door that yielded to me,” it’s such a powerful phrase. And also, “the key is to not read signs correctly.” I will definitely have no problem there, so bring on the little surprises!

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