Paul Vinet: Stories

April 10 - May 17, 2015 

Opening Reception
Thursday April 9, 6-9pm

Photographer Paul Vinet’s most recent series, “Stories,” are stunning still life arrangements using decades old objects from his parents' basement of their Paris home.  Many of these objects were broken, but had been stored religiously. After his father's death, the basement was to be cleaned out, but he was able to photograph these wonderful old things before they were discarded.  This series is a homage to his father, and it’s also a way to make sense of the accumulation of junk -- but junk that retains a great deal of history, emotion, and meaning.

By applying gold leaf directly onto the print, Paul purposely treats these old objects as sacred relics making reference to the Pre-Renaissance Italian paintings where gold symbolizes the divine.

All these objects hold the story of a lifetime, a wallet his father carried for years, a collection of sunglasses, a sculpted cane handle from Indochina, starched white collars or hotel stickers from Damas, Kyoto or Kolkatta. Some objects were kept in case for future need: boxes of wires, outlets, rope, pipes or a curtain tieback. Others were forever waiting to be fixed: a lamp, an electric razor, an air purifier, a camping bed or a chandelier.

“Silk”, was a beautiful suit made of a thick silk fabric in Saigon when his father was stationed and was used for formal events. Back in France, he never wore it and it was stored for years. Mr. Vinet in his twenties discovered it and used it for costume parties and unfortunately spelt red wine all over it. Sharing stories on this suit, made him feel closer to his father than he thought he would.

The boxes as well as the hallway of the basement were photographed “as is” without changing the content or the arrangement, a way of honoring his father “composition”. Other objects were arrange in still life by the Mr. Vinet with the intention to create new stories and invite visitors to dig in their own family “junk” and see what interesting stories can be discovered and told. Others were photographed in some kind of totem composition, recreating his own sacred accumulation of his father’s accumulation.

In playing with the different way to display these old objects, Vinet managed to communicate the full emotion and meaning these unanimated objects carry.

Paul Vinet born in 1969 in Paris, now works and lives in New York. He has shown in galleries in New York, Paris, Brussels and Washington DC and at Museum Arthur Batut in Toulouse (France). His education was completed in Paris where he earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in graphic design from Academie Charpentier and one in Art History from Ecole du Louvre with an emphasis in contemporary art and a master’s degree, also completed at the Louvre in Museum Studies.