From Dana Nappi:
Shopping for antiques in Paris sounds romantic…and it is, even if you’re doing it during a particularly cold, wet month and you don’t speak much French. The streets are a labyrinth of narrow, crowded aisles, buzzing with laughter and the sound of a thousand conversations happening inside a cloud of smoke from a thousand cigarettes. When you duck into a booth to look at a chair, you find a hidden door behind the chair leading to another room full of chairs, at the back of which is – you guessed it – a hidden door leading to another room of chairs. That’s how we found our lava pots.
The owner led us to the back of his space, up a spiral staircase, and into a cramped, barely finished attic with ceilings so low we had to stoop (and we’re not tall people). The two lightbulbs overhead gave off just enough light to see that we were surrounded by the most incredible collection of pots imaginable. Every shape, size, color, and function was represented. Towering over them all were these huge, dark urns of what looked like lava. They weighed a ton. I had no idea how he’d gotten them up there, how we’d get them out, or what it would take to ship them. But I knew they were coming home with us no matter what.
I fell in love with the Paris street lamps at first sight. Like the pots, they were massive. They were constructed of beautiful, weathered metalwork and what I assumed was glass but discovered was actually plexiglass. Disappointed, I asked the seller what had happened to the original panes, and he told me the street lamps in Paris had been converted when plexi became available because of a longstanding competition among Parisian schoolboys to see who could break the most lights by throwing rocks at them. Somehow, that’s what sold me. I could see those rebellious little boys running rampant through the City of Light, trying to make it dark.
When I first saw this painting (and yes: it, too, is giant), I immediately thought the women were stomping grapes. The way they were painted suggested movement, and they seemed to be looking at their feet. Since it was from the south of France, I associated it with the grape harvest. But someone who came into Peter Nappi last week saw it hanging behind our stage and commented on how “beautiful and appropriate” it was. I asked what he meant by “appropriate,” and he said “because the women are trying on shoes.” Maybe I was wrong about the grapes…
Ti voglio bene,