Frenchman’s Homage to Picasso

French-American painter Eric Demarchelier mounts his first Picasso-inspired exhibition

By John D. Adams

the-woman-of-algiers-54x42

The woman from Algiers

Since 1973, Paris’ historic exhibition hall and museum, the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, has mounted an evolving and elegant “Picasso Mania” exhibition. To date, more than 20 group and solo exhibitions have focused on the posterity of Pablo Picasso’s oeuvre. The artist’s great stylistic phases and emblematic works are placed alongside contemporary creations by such noted artists as Warhol, Basquiat, Lichtenstein, Hockney, Jasper Johns, Koon, Richard Prince and others.

For French-American restauranteur and painter Eric Demarchelier, a visit to the ongoing exhibition became surprisingly life changing.  “I have a restaurant in New York where I will often hang my paintings, so after seeing the Picasso Mania exhibition I thought: ‘I’m going to do that, too!’ I was only going to do one piece and put it in the restaurant, but it was so complex and interesting and fun for me to emulate Picasso that I quickly realized I couldn’t stop with just one painting.”

Before he knew it, Demarchelier had more than a dozen pieces that pay tribute to some of Picasso’s most famous paintings from “Dora Maar” to “Toreador.” “I had accumulated enough to have a full exhibition at my restaurant in the Upper East Side of New York,” said Demarchelier. “Once this happened, I noticed the collection started to receive incredible feedback from my customers, so I decided to take the show on the road.”

In April, Demarchelier traveled to Miami’s Four Seasons Hotel to present his 2016 collection of 14 oils on canvas at Bahía, the resort’s renovated poolside restaurant and lounge. “I love Miami and because I travel here often, I decided to share my Picasso-inspired works in South Florida. After the art exhibition at the Four Seasons, my collection moved to Palmeiras Beach Club inside Grove Isle. My paintings will be showcased at Grove Isle for two months (through June). I’m beyond excited to see how the public views my work and what sort of feedback I’ll hear from attendees. I’ve been painting for many years, but this is the first time I actually exhibit my work with a series of public events.”

Demarchelier1

Demarchelier1

Demarchelier5

Demarchelier5

Marie-therese

Marie-therese

toreador

Toreador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe for realization
Until recently, Demarchelier has been primarily known as a world-class chef and restauranteur. Since opening “Demarchelier” in New York City in 1978, he has worked to bring a little piece of France to the Big Apple. “Every meal that leaves our kitchen expresses the soul of authentic French bistro fair,” he said. But many patrons may not have realized that their convivial host was also a prolific painter. Trained by St. Petersburg master painter Leonid Gervis, Demarchelier has been avidly creating art for more than 25 years. His breadth of work has been truly astounding due to his adept hand at creating a range of complex and engaging abstract styles. Demarchelier merges formalistic opposites of color, shape, texture, and form to evoke the perceptual field. “I have played with all sorts of genres and periods. I’ll paint in a style for a year or so, but then I’m ready to challenge myself to try something else. I hadn’t decided to have a career as an artist. I did it for myself, and now it has become something greater than I had expected. I was so very proud to get this show in Miami, now I’m interested in really developing a reputation as an artist and am excited to see how the future unfolds. Maybe one of my pieces will make it to Paris one day.”

To see more of Eric Demarchelier’s work, visit www.ericdemarchelierart.com

Frenchman’s Homage to Picasso