"THE 2011 PARCOURS DES MONDES TRIBAL FAIR IN PARIS"  

Review and photos by Michael Auliso

 

There were a rash of thefts this year and guy below was responsible for at least some of them.  I reflected on this... and it occurred to me that Paris and Brussels are virtually the only places where people are passionate enough about Tribal Art that they actually "steal" it!  In the states, I know three people with collections of tribal art who have had their homes burglarized.  In each case the tribal art is never even touched.

The Parcours staff was exasperated with these incidents and place the responsibility with the dealers for not locking up, fastening down or tying pieces to cinder blocks.

 

Photo by Lin Willis

Portrait of a thief:  Take a good look at this guy with the helmet.  Joris Visser (grabbing his shirt) caught him stealing a piece of art red handed in his gallery on rue Guenegaud!  Joris quickly locked his gallery and chased him down before he had a chance to escape on his scooter.  The incident unfolded in dramatic fashion right in front of the Parcours information table on rue Mazarine and Jacques Callot.

 

Photo by Lin Willis

The thief pleads with Joris to let me go.

 

Photo by Lin Willis

 As they wait for the police, Joris and Jim Willis have him open his backpack.

 

Photo by Lin Willis

Sensing an opening, the thief sprinted down rue Mazarine toward Boulevard St. Germain.  A group of African dealers gave chase but apparently didn't catch him.   The police arrived 30 minutes later!!  There was a "do nothing" security guard there, who Joris says let him get away.  In hindsight everyone should have removed their belts and tied him to a post! 

 

The thief left his scooter behind and was apparently hiding stolen art inside his seat compartment. 

Joris explains, "Because the idiot guard let him escape, the police could not go to his house and check if some of the other objects stolen the days before might be there.  Officially the police can not enter someone's house uninvited between 9pm and 6am. So we do not know if it was the same guy or gang who was responsible for all of the thefts".

I'm not aware of every theft or what object was stolen but Herma Visser (Joris' mom) had a small piece stolen as I recall at her gallery on rue des Beaux-Arts.  Sadly she told me that piece was on consignment.  Ouch!

 

Pamphlets like this were circulated around the fair.  This particular Dongon Iron figure was stolen from Raquel Montagut's gallery.

 

 

A few highlights from Galerie Flak's Polynesian Exposition.  Above, A Marquesas Island fan with Marine Ivory handle

 

Galerie Flak, with a Marquesas 'U'U club

 

Galerie Flak, with a Maori Bowl I featured in my Bruneaf show review

 

 

 

      

Pierre Dartevelle had this unusual African radial headdress (likely from the Congo)

 

 

Interior of Jean-Baptist Bacquart's Gallery on rue de Seine

 

 

  Ben Hunter from London with a great Fijian kinikini club with dog glyphs in his vitrine. 

 

Ben Hunter's  "master-carved" early 19th century Solomon Island dance club

 

I had the pleasure of meeting these good people for the first time in Paris:  Robert and Daniela of L'Esprit Tribal (Italy) at Ben Hunter's Opening night

 

 

 

The "maestro" of African and Asian Art, Leonardo Vigorelli and I trade glances

 

Interior Gallery of Dalton Somare'.  The Vigorelli brothers:  Tomasto (right) and his brother who I honestly don't know, sitting in front of a gilt Buddha Head.

 

Leonardo Vigorelli next to a large Bwa plank mask from Burkina Faso creatively "nested" in a display panel.

 

Dalton Somare':   WOW, feel the power of this piece!  It is a human skull trophy head with attached buffalo horns from the Naga People of Myanmar

 

 

 

       

A selection of fine pieces displayed at Nasser & Co.:  A Maori figure in the N. Island Style and a finely incised Maori "putorino" flute

 

      

Nasser & Co. with a North American Great Lakes Ballhead war club and a wonderful Northwest Coast Haida/ Tlingit bent corner grease bowl in the form of a raven.

 

 

The Parcours des Mondes directors and organizers:  Alex Arthur (black shirt), Pierre Moos (seated shaking hands with Bernard Dulon)

 

                              

Wayne Heathcote's gallery on rue Jacques Callot.   This curious New Caledonian piece only measured about 9 inches and was apparently used as a magic charm or amulet.  Seen on the right is a fine Solomon Islands canoe figurehead "nguzunguzu".   Wayne lost his passport sometime before his scheduled trip to Paris.   He was able to get a replacement but almost missed the fair, arriving in Paris several days late.  Luckily all turned out okay and Wayne's brother in law Volker was there to set up the exhibit. 

 

Joaquin Pecci with some dramatic window art.  His exposition was:  "Sacrifice, Du Sang et du sens" Les Patines Comme Syntaxe Invisible du Monde"

 

 

 

 

Bernard Dulon also had an exposition of Kota figures titled "Ancetres Kota" and published a 126 page catalog

 

   

Bernard Dulon

Bernard Dulon

 

        

Bernard Dulon

 

        

 Galerie Jacques Germain.  Jacque's wife Natalie next to a wonderful African Kongo Dog fetish.  It was also published in the last issue of "Tribal Art".

 

 

                 

Galerie Jacques Germain with an expressive Dogon "kanaga" mask with outstretched tongue

 

Stephane Jacobs Arts d'Australie on 51 rue de Seine

 

Stephane Jacobs

 

Tribal Art Classics: Adrian Schlag had an exposition of Lobi Sculptures

 

 

Chris Boylan with a massive boldly painted New Guinea Western Highlands shield

 

 

Galerie Ratton

 

               

Galerie Ratton with a couple of published Fang byeri figures.  Note the one on the right holding a baby head!

 

          

Galerie Ratton

 

Notice the fascinating Congolese crown of thorns, now owned by Giltsoff,  which I featured in the last Bruneaf show review

 

Galerie Afrique, Alain Dufour had an Exposition:  "Statuaire de L'est Ivoirien".  Note how he is not taking any chances with most of his pieces covered in plexiglass cases.

 

African dealers on rue des Beaux-Arts eager to sell you as much questionable African art as you want from the trunk of their car or hotel room.

 

                    

Pascassio Manfredi:  Davide told me that the Toba Batak stone ancestor sculpture from Sumatra (left) may date to the 13th-14th centuries.  He correctly said that it shows early "Marquesas influence" of the style often seen on the Marquesas bone toggles.  (Right)  A fine quality Korwar figure-- a personal favorite of mine.

      

                 

Pascassio Manfredi:  (left) a Batak "tunggal" priest's staff with portrait-like face and a Nias ancestor figure

 

rue Visconti on a busy Saturday afternoon

 

Voyageurs & Curieux, Jean-Edouard Carlier:  Keeping a watchful eye on the visitors.  A Huon Gulf Tami Island ancestor figure is featured in the window. 

 

Philippe Laeremans Tribal Art:  A New Guinea Papauan Gluf "bioma" figure (left) and a close up view of a double headed ciwara from Mali

 

Dan We' mask offered by Alain Lecomte

 

Philippe Laeremans with a handsome Yoruba offering bowl

 

This vintage convertible Mercedes across from La Palette drew a lot of attention

 

 

 

(Text and photos by Michael Auliso)

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