The Tall Trees of Paris
A Book by Matt Wagner
France is known for it’s culinary prowess, its exceptional architecture, its history, and most importantly, its art. That said, in the absence of travel, sometimes we must rely on printed work to share the deeper, more unknown look at artists and rarely has there been art books that tell the story of the independent artists in Paris … until now. I am a lover of art, however it’s contemporary art that calls to my soul. Finding contemporary art that gives us insight, albeit brief, is something to celebrate and while I may not be a fan of all of it, The Tall Trees of Paris tells the story of the contemporary independent artists adorning the streets of Paris with color, abstract visuals, heart, angst, pain, history, and secrets. Curator and Author, Matt Wagner shows us a conversational side to 42 artists throughout the city of Paris. Asking everything from what their favorite cafe is to how they travel through the city, we get a real look into the people behind the art. The Tall Trees of Paris embodies the ideology that art is a connector; it shows us reflections of different parts of ourselves and whether odd or transparent, Wagner does a rather poignant job of polarizing precisely that.
Containing close to three hundred pages of breathtakingly beautiful images and handwritten artist interviews, Matt Wagner’s The Tall Trees Of Paris[Overcup Press, April 2016] paints an intimate, exceptional portrait of everyday life for forty-two contemporary Parisian artists.
Written in French and English, the art curated for this remarkable coffee table book features parts of Paris not found in any travel guide — and shatters popular myths and misconceptions that surround Parisians, their culture, and their vibrant artistic community.
“Ultimately, the Tall Trees books are about people,” he continues. “The questionnaires introduce the featured artists to readers, detailing their favorite things about the place they live and work. We become invested in the artist’s wellbeing like that of a friend.”
A veteran art director, gallery owner, and curator — and author of The Tall Trees of Tokyo (2012) and The Tall Trees of Portland (2014) — Wagner reveals why the City of Light captivated and inspired him to create this latest release with Overcup Press.
“Paris is the foundation of contemporary art, the requirement for graduation,” says Wagner. “Accordingly, it’s also easily overlooked. Like arches that support an ancient aqueduct, nobody even notices them as long as the water is flowing. But without Paris, the flow of art would have stopped. Paris is good at art. Good enough that people have stopped noticing and just take it for granted.”
Making the world a smaller place and inspiring an “insider” type of travel, The Tall Trees of Paris sees its subjects open up about their favorite cafes, museums, bars and weekend happenings — much to the credit of the friendships Wagner has established with each one of them.
Featured Artists: 2Shy, Alëxone, Alexandra Arango, Céline Artigau, Nicolas Barrome Forgues, Martes Bathori, Blek Le Rat, Agnes Boulloche, Broll & Prascida, Thierry Bruet, Ludovic Debeurme, Veronique Dorey, Dugudus, Elobo, Christelle Enault, Agnès, Ernoult, Sébastien Féraut, Christian Guemy (c215), HONET, Kerascoët, Koleo, Koralie, Eric Lacan, Hubert de Lartigue, Jean Leblanc, Jean Lecointre, Lek & Sowat, Levalet, Nicolas Martin, Jean-Michel Ouvry, Tristan Pernet, Aurore Petit, Bruno Pontiroli, Francesca Protopapa (il Pistrice), Sebastien Preschoux, RERO, Jérémy Schneider, Supakitch, Sébastien Touache, TYRSA, Amandine Urruty, Frédérique Vernillet