Art Paris 2019 | Special Projects

Art Paris
Mar 26, 2019 8:59AM

Betsabeé Romero, A Requiem to the Polluting Car, 2019, projet d'installation, entrée du Grand Palais, courtesy Galería Saro León, Las Palmas

Betsabeé Romero

Monumental installation – Main entrance of the Grand Palais

A Requiem to the Polluting Car, 2019 Silk screen print on velvet car cover, Jaguar S-type, 2 car-lifts, 14 painted bicycles, represented by Galería Saro Léon, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

As part of her quest for identity and cultural roots, Mexican artist Bestabeé Romero has been working with the car and its components since at least 1997, when she placed her first automobile-inspired work, The Ayate Car, at the border between Mexico and the USA. Romero’s artistic practice is a reflection on identity and on the transformational processes that culture and tradition are undergoing in this era of globalization. Even if she draws most of her inspiration from the Mexican background she was raised and lives in, her artistic signature also bears the sign of an international exposure. In the late 1980s, Romero studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, and over the past decades her work has brought her to frequent travels and collaborations with local, grassroots communities around the world. "The car, as Romero explains, is more symbolic of power and of class than a vehicle of speed and movement; the car is more of a fragile and accident-prone space than one of safety and infallible technology”; it is “the pollutant of a world where petroleum generates the dynamics of oppression and war.” Fascinated by these inner contradictions, in her work Romerorecycles old or broken cars, tires, and hoods which have lost their original function associated with speed and technology and, intervening with colorful textiles, embroideries, or applications of tiles and paint, “domesticates” them into more feminine spaces of meditation and reflection. The monumental installation A Requiem to the Polluting Carconceived by Romero for Art Paris is a tribute to the fundamental ecological decision taken by a few forward-looking contemporary metropolises like Paris to progressively abandon the polluting car, emblematic of egoism, individualism and the consumeristic society, in favour of alternative, more ecological and modest means of transportation, like the bicycle. The artist visualizes this historical, watershed moment by presenting a funeral procession of bicycles honouring the dead car, dressed up for the occasion. As Romero points out, it is first necessary to bury the polluting car, and to do so with all of the required social honors, in order to be able to foster a new mind-set and support the invention of alternative and ecological means of transportation for our future. VL


Stand B0 21st century designers - artists in their own right

In 20th century art, the history of objects illustrates the extent to which the borders between art, fashion, design and architecture have become increasingly blurred and how these fields are now sources of mutual enrichment. More and more bridges are being built between the aspects of function and use and those of contemplation and decoration. We are living in a contemporary period that is more than ever defined by the notion of hybrid design and which, by doing away with the traditional divisions between art and industry, is raising the question of the status of objects, artworks and creators.

In light of the proliferation of design fairs worldwide and their appeal to collectors of contemporary art, IDEAT decided to present a selection of collectible furniture at Art Paris 2019. Sourced from around ten galleries and designer furniture companies, this eclectic and subjective selection is based on the work of ten or so specialised design galleries and some less well-known design brands, each of which can quite legitimately lay claim to a place on the art market. Their solid support for artists and designers and their quest for excellence, which drives them to work with a wide variety of craftsmen (who are few and far between), give rise to truly unique creations in which function and emotion are on a par. These galleries are unique places of freedom that IDEATwanted to put under the spotlight.

Participating galleries and design brands:



Collection Particulière

Éditions du Côté

En attendant les Barbares

Frédérick Gautier



Maria Wettergren

Serge Mouille

For several years now, as part of its partnership with Art Paris, IDEAT magazine has been publishing a special issue focussing on the exhibits on show at the Grand Palais during the fair. This year, IDEAT has decided to take an active role in the event by organising an exhibition of collectible design on its very own stand.

Art Paris