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Paris—which I call home—is a lively city, rich in cultural events. It became “my” city after I spent a long period traveling around the world. At some point I decided to settle down here to found my studio. It was a turning point in my career. At that time, the Centre Pompidou hosted my midcareer retrospective. Later I had the chance the create projects like The Kiosk of the Nightwalkers on Place Colette near the Louvre and The Beautiful Dances at the Palace of Versailles.
Now Paris is more important to me than ever, as I will soon open a gigantic studio with the Belgian artist Johan Creten—La Solfatara, at the gates of the city in Montreuil will be a creative center point.
Speaking of Johan Creten, I am very much looking forward to seeing his large sculpture in front of the Petit Palais during FIAC. And I cannot wait to see Takashi Murakami’s show at Perrotin and Francis Bacon’s at the Pompidou.
In Paris, my favorite restaurant is Aux Près by Cyril Lignac. Cyril is a fantastic person, and I just adore his cuisine, which is always creative, fresh, and surprising. When I want to chill out, I often go to La Fronde, a bar in Le Marais that I particularly like.
In London, for Frieze in early October, you can find my site-specific installation of stained glass following a sunrise and sunset at Jean-Georges in the Connaught Hotel, I also love the two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the same hotel with Chef Hélène Darroze and her creative cuisine. The restaurant just reopened after a two-month refurbishment led by acclaimed French designer Pierre Yovanovitch. And when in London, I make sure never to miss the exhibitions at Thaddaeus Ropac and, of course, the unmissable Serpentine.
This fall, I am showing a new series of paintings in the Louvre Museum specially made for the 30th anniversary of the Pyramide. It is an exceptional and unique opportunity for me to show my paintings on the walls of the Cour Puget. The show is running until February 2020, and on this occasion I had the chance to publish, with the Louvre and Actes Sud, my new book, The Secret Language of Flowers, inspired by the extraordinary Louvre collections.
—Jean-Michel Othoniel, artist