The thousand faces of Fleas: Jean-Baptiste Bouvier
Jean-Baptiste Bouvier is among those which may be called «the best.» With two stands allee 6, the walking Serpette Paul Bert, he hands the furniture of Reconstruction has the honor. Expert Gascoin among others, and Guarriche Prove it unpacked every weekend its wonders with the concern of a librarian. Jeanneret between chairs and a tasting of Pommard with a monster coronation french cine Welcome behind the scenes of the largest antiques walking in the world.
When did you get settled Flea?
I put my suitcases Paul Bert in 2010 but before you open my gallery, I can tell you that I had a bunch of other lives. Basically, I’m a visual artist, painter and sculptor more precisely, a diploma of Fine Arts and Art deco of Strasbourg. Then I joined as heritage conservation attaches almost millennium foundation the piece of Notre Dame, in charge of the construction and maintenance of the cathedral of Strasbourg. After everything was packed. Thanks to a scholarship, I’m in a month in residence at the Villa Medicis in Rome. My painter’s career was well. I exhibited in Basel, Berlin, Paris and New York. But in 2004 we decided with my mother and my sister to open in central Paris a specialized gallery in the Art deco french. This is where my eye is placed on the period of Reconstruction. Since then, I devote myself totally and exclusively live Bullets.
When did you started to hunt?
I always china and collecting. Over time, the method is simply refined, and I became more demanding, more precise, more concentrated. I started to actually become «antique» at the beginning of the year 2000. I Needed so fascinating old photographs and his early processes such as daguerreotype. This story is also mainly French, like the furniture of Reconstruction I defends today. I have always been key, moved, dizzily emu by the idea of »time» and «first moments». In the same way that the invention of photography has revolutionized our way of designing an image up to influence and intervene in the history of painting, the French Reconstruction (I dated between 1945 and 1955) is a founding event.
Why you be specializing in furniture Reconstruction?
As it notes in the history of France. This is a time of rebirth. The furniture of this period should be regarded as objects on which one can sit, but also as the perfect concentration of the issues of age, such as documents.
What are the designers who give you desire of interest to you there?
Marcel Gascoin Gustave Gautier and Gabriel Rene are determinants. Obviously, I do not forget Prove, Jeanneret, Mallet-Stevens, but these are already fully installed in their historical role. All these characters before and after the Second World War, were frequent, were related to friendship! All, with the exception of Gabriel, were members of the UAM (Union of Modern Artists), which can be considered today as a great modern French intellectual movement like the Bauhaus in Germany.
How much time do you spend a hunt?
I very little china china and I every moment. This is not simply an action or a tempo, no more than a visit, but a state, a method. It notes a certain conditioning, concentration. Our business is ultimately based on the method and opportunity, you have to alternate. Being specialized in one area or a period has its advantages and constraints. He must first develop a knowledge, expertise impeccable, unquestionable. Then you have to build (and this is the most complex) a network that allows later to enter first the important parts. Antiquing in the flashlight has 5 am is an element in the art, but it is not as decisive. Also, when you’re specialist, you better reperes what you seek, but you’re also more easily spotted. It’s normal…
What is your room lighthouse?
I have an affection and respect no limits for the production of Marcel Gascoin his chair and C, that is, after me, with the standard chair Jean Prouvé, a perfectly successful realization and characteristic of the period. It has become emblematic my chair, and Gascoin my specialty. I’m not trying to brag to me by announcing you ca, but be aware that if someone looks for Gascoin, it was through me that he spends. On Google, if you type Marcel Gascoin, after his Wikipedia page, you come to my site. Why ? Because beyond merchant from work, I’m a working librarian.
The proof that closet …
It’s the owners have contacted me since Nantes, and I went to look for it in the day. For you must know, and it’s a little logic, that production Gascoin, it is found or the France was the most rebuilt after World War II: the Normandy coast, Le Havre, etc. And this cabinet is typically the kind of items that I can not find, but we propose. It boils down alone the spirit of Reconstruction furniture. When we bought the Gascoin in 50 years, we did it conscientiously. It is then transmitted. He had the taste of fine workmanship, useful and solid. He was very attached to the wood work and inspired many of naval furniture for their storage tips.
AB Marcel Gascoin cabinet, circa 1950 (oak)
Is it the rise of the steps of Cannes sometimes on your stand?
You know, Paul Bert has Serpette is all Paris, to which you add the world, which gives appointment. I remember one day, a young woman, tall, dark, very charming, enters the stand. I do not recognize … The conversation begins, super nice. I wonder if decorator, collector … After 30 minutes, it takes my card, shook my hand with a smile and disappears. Outside, everyone looks at me and tells me that I had to talk to … Anne Hathaway (The devil wears Prada, Interstellar)! It’s always like that! On my stand, you croiseras actors, decorators American stars, DJs, fashion designers … Many are collectors. And some have even become friends. You know, Flea, we have a very simple and natural way to approach people. We brave the cold, wind, rain, snow, sometimes the doubt. This teaches us to approach our lives and our work with a certain distance and, for some, a certain wisdom.
Gabriel Rene pair of armchairs, circa 1950
You say you manage a network with them. You would have a small anecdote to tell us?
Ok, but I will not name! I had one night to go deliver a customer can be considered as one of the sacred monsters of french cinema. A big. I phone him to have the code for the front door, he asks me if I’m station and invited me to have a drink. I agree by specifying that I should prefer not to drink «crap». It execute surprised and opens a bottle of Pommard, which was widely listen to the price of furniture sold. We finally dined, finished the bottle after having addressed some romantic and essential topics. Upon leaving, I called my father and said: «You’ll never guess who I come in to dine. «
What is the room in which you separate from you has reluctantly?
I just sold a small table of Jean Prove comic for the university cites Antony to 1952. It was in my kitchen. I guarded few months. Today it is with a friend, it comforts me a little. He insists, insists, and the third revival I crack. But it was better to separate, for the good of the object. Why ? Because my son Louis, from a height of six months, was beginning to attack with his spoon! Otherwise, I have a rather sentimental and romantic attachment to my furniture, they are pieces of history. It makes me dream. It became a merchant by the force of things, but I was departing collector!
What was your best sale?
Already, the best sales are starting to purchase. Well if you purchased, you revendras well, you will know what room you degageras. One day I am contacted by people in the west of France, who send me photos, offer me a lot. I make the effort, I’m going. It tickled me. Except that after a five hour drive, I came face to face with a person who asks me a price led [the price at which John the Baptist had resell, Ed]. Clearly, I have come to nothing. But around a table, six chairs I perceive, Pierre Jeanneret … Rarissimes. I speak to the lady:
«What do you do? «
«I never think. «
It agrees, and I bought him happy! Problem: I can not store that five! Here I am in the process of taping the sixth has my roof rack, to an hour’s drive before stop me in a wood and redo everything. Hours to play a Tetris in my trunk! Finally, I store them in my home. I do not know, I did not want to unpack immediately. But one Saturday morning, I make a sale without chairs and find myself a place at the table. I moved my findings without really paying attention, and they left in the half hour! The buyer? A friend with whom I was talking and I did not see coming. It’s a nice sale as totally unexpected, from afar!
That must happen to you all the time, stories like that!
Not as ca, just imagine … But hey, look, the, on the stand, the office Jean Prouvé was right: I went to look for a Nancy. A family wishing to part with it, contacted me earlier this year 2015. This office had spent more than half his life in a print. When closing thereof, the furniture was downgraded: the employees were able to keep their supplies. The father of my seller a day thus brought back home. And here I am, the way I like, from a source. On the way, I do not stop to wonder how I’ll sell it. But in return, it’s just the opposite! I love it so much that I wonder one thing: or shall I put it … home! And finally, not the place … I was a child, my office became her room, I had to put it on my stand, but without inclination to sell it. And of course, as always, nothing happens as planned. A friend of the architect perceives is hooked and he embarks … But what consoles me is that I know where he is and he is in good hands.
AND YOU ?
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