I am thrilled to have Thaddaeus Ropac as my Parisian of the Month. Thaddaeus Ropac owns one of the most respected contemporary galleries in the world, with locations is Salzburg, Paris, and London. He has received many honors and awards including the Knight of the Legion of Honour in France.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in the South of Austria.
When and why did you move to Paris?
Paris for me was the quintessential city of art. Not only because of its historical importance but also due to its allure.
At what age did your appreciation of art begin and what were some of you earliest art memories?
Meeting Joseph Beuys in Vienna at the age of 19 changed my life. It triggered a strong urge to experience contemporary art and this urge has only been growing ever since.
You were in intern with Joseph Beuys in the early 1980s. What was that experience like?
Beuys was the most important artist; he was admired not only for his art but also for his political views and stance. He was the most influential artist of his time, and to be close to him was life-changing for me.
You opened your first gallery in Salzburg at a very young age, 23 years old.What did you exhibit at your first show and what was the reaction?
Salzburg is of course a city of culture, but mainly focused on music, contemporary art was not present yet. I was eager to introduce artists such as Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and some great German painters such as Georg Baselitz into this community. My first exhibition of drawings by Joseph Beuys was sadly totally ignored, but also because of the lack of communication from my side, I couldn't reach my audience.
What was the impetus to open a gallery in Paris?
Coming from Salzburg, Paris of course was a cosmopolitan and international city, which always attracted great artists. Artists were always ready to show their best works in Paris, so coming to this incredible city and knowing that artists would do their best was a great chance.
Who are some new and upcoming artists we should take note of?
I immediately think of the English artist Oliver Beer, Austrian artist Nick Oberthaler and the French artist Claire Adelfang, all three are young artists who already receive a lot of international attention.
Oliver Beer mainly works with sound and space. His practice questions the perception we have of our surroundings. I am happy that he will play an important part in the opening programme of our London gallery next April, with a new exhibition and performance piece. His work is always a unique experience.
Nick Oberthaler develops a refined artistic language, technically and expressively reworking space, light, and colour. His artworks rarely contain anything representational, instead they use a sober geometric iconography.
Claire Adelfang is a young photographer who is interested in the indirect traces of human presence in architecture. She just had her first museum exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Orleans.
If you were on a desert island, what is the one artwork you would have to have with you?
I would rob the Pompidou of one of their great Brancusi Bird in Space sculptures.
What are some of the most memorable events in your 34-year art career?
Meeting some of the greatest artists of the late 20th century, and being actively part of their universe, like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, or Robert Mapplethorpe, artists who are sadly not with us anymore.
Which artists are in your personal art collection?
Being close to the artists I work with has always influenced my collection, so I am very fortunate to have great works by Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Gilbert & George ...
In 2013 you were given one of the most prestigious awards in France, Knight of the Legion of Honour. What was that experience like?
I felt incredibly honoured. I made France the country I live and work in, it’s the country I love the most, so for me to be awarded like this was not only an real honour it was also very touching.
What do you prefer about Paris?
Compared to other cosmopolitan cities, Paris is not only driven by money and the urge for success but more by the understanding of life itself.
Eye Prefer Paris Photos
I am happy to announce a new series of Eye Prefer Paris photos. Give the gift of Paris to yourself or your Francophile friends, relatives, colleagues and co-workers.
- I’ve listed 20 new photos on my Etsy page for easy shopping.
- Photo prints come in two sizes, 8”X10”, $35 each plus shipping and 11”X14”, $50 each, plus shipping.
- They are printed on Fuji crystal Archive metallic paper with rich satin gloss finish and are unsigned and unframed.
- Shipping is $6 per photo in continental U.S. and shipping time is 3-5 days via USPS.
- I can also ship them UPS or Fedex for an extra charge.
- If you are ordering photos as a gift, I can write a personal note card if you send me your text.
Click here to see full selection of images.
Below are some sample images.
Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more. In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.
Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour