La Fée Culturelle’s family is from Cambodia. She was born in France and now lives in London. Friends often ask her which exhibitions or museums they should see and she thought the best place to offer her view would be in an art blog… and here we are! An art blog by a non-art professional for anyone, whether passionate art fans or just art curious.
I don’t work in a museum. I work for an investment bank. My job is to recommend investments for institutional clients. I write research pieces to support my investment recommendations and explain my analysis of companies and sectors. It may be my analytical mind that makes me look at art for a long time (looking for those fine details!).
What’s your educational background?
I studied economics and finance in a French university and French business school. I have a Bachelor equivalent in Economics and a Masters in Finance from a French Grande Ecole. I haven’t studied art since junior college – it was during my business school days that I discovered art.
What was your ‘sticky’ moment?
I developed my passion for art almost by accident in 2002 (oh my… 11 years ago!) after visiting the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. Because my friend took the wrong train, leaving me in the train to Milan alone, I read the Uffizi gallery guidebook from beginning to end. Reading about Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Bronzino, Fra Angelico and Piero della Francesca sparked a great deal of curiosity and desire to learn more about Italian Renaissance. Back in France, I invited a friend to see the Magritte exhibition (Jeu de Paume, 2003). It was there that I saw a Magritte painting (“Le Bouquet tout Fait”), which included an image from Botticelli’s Spring. I was thrilled when I recognised the image from what I had seen at the Uffizi! Since then, my passion for art has only increased, and I find myself visiting exhibitions as often as I can in my free time.
What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?
La Fée Culturelle means the “cultural fairy” in French… Like a dear reader told me: the wings of a culture vulture… in the guise of those of a fairy! I have been blogging for just over a year now. I celebrated La Fée Culturelle’s first year anniversary in July.
What do you blog about? Why?
I blog about art exhibitions I see in London, Paris, and around the world. Being written by a non-art professional, I want my blog to be for anyone, whether passionate art fans or just art curious, and not intimidating to people outside the art world. I hope more people have art in their lives.
What’s the nicest comment you’ve ever received?
The nicest comment I had was from a friend who was not interested in all in art. He told me that he was reading my blog and it piqued his curiosity. He went to see the Hopper exhibition at the Grand Palais after reading my post, which was a tremendous success for me, and told me he wanted to see more. He updated his Facebook status to 2013 being his cultural year!
What’s your most read blog post? Tell us about it.
My most-read blog post was about the Lichtenstein exhibition at Tate Modern in London, now at Centre Pompidou in Paris. I saw it four times and knew it by heart. I followed a five-week art critic course at Tate Modern at that time, and wrote my post following the six-point structure we were taught. The focus of my piece is on Lichtenstein’s appropriation of popular culture as well as the styles of his predecessors, paying particular attention to Portrait Triptych (Study) 1974. I made a pun on the title of a famous Lichtenstein work entitling my post: “Oh, Roy… I love you, too…”. The piece was selected by my art critic course teacher to feature on the Tate Modern website and I discovered recently that it was picked up by other websites.
What’s your “go-to” blog/online museum resource?
I have several museum resources. My main one is museum newsletters; I am on the distribution list of the museums I like. I subscribe to a French art magazine: Connaissance des Arts, which allows me to read about exhibitions in Paris mainly, but also internationally. I recently started following museums and art professionals on Twitter, which makes me feel part of the art world. And, more recently, I follow Museum Minute for museum news!
What’s the last thing you bought at a museum gift shop?
I bought a bookend (Black + Blum James the Bookend) that looks inspired by a Keith Haring character, at the Phillips collection’s gift shop in Washington. I have many art books and they need a strong guy to keep them upright! It adds fun to my book-shelf and looks like my art books are about to fall on Keith Haring’s character! I love museums gift shops I feel like a kid in a candy store. One I particularly liked was the gift store at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Night at the Museum: love it or hate it?
Love. I told one of my friends that I don’t want strippers (!) at my hen – I’d rather spend a night sleeping in a museum, surrounded by art works that I can look at, at my leisure (with friends around otherwise it could be scary!). I almost booked a sleepover experience at the National History Museum in London and still intend to.
Thanks for participating in Meet a Museum Blogger, La Fée Culturelle!
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