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Jared spent Monday with a French friend he has known since his college year here, so I headed over to the Palais de Tokyo to see their summer show. This was one of the three main reasons I stayed to the end of June this year, along with the fête de la musique and Paris Pride. In prior years the Palais de Tokyo has sometimes been absolutely stunning, and Jackie and I enjoyed the spring show. But while I found a few things to like in the summer show, overall I wouldn’t strongly encourage anyone to go. (Also, the air conditioning wasn’t that good.)

Most everything in the show was in the aesthetic category that I call “messy,” that is a lot of stuff jumbled together. Here are two examples of messy art in this show that I viscerally disliked.

But while I would have said that I don’t like “messy” art, some of the works in this show that I did like were equally “messy.” My aesthetic category may be incoherent as well as idiosyncratic!

This orca whale could hardly have been messier, but the assemblage had a certain appeal and the detail was interesting.

While these strippers were pretty messy they had a distinct appeal, especially when you noticed how the mirrors were being used.

The stairway down to the lower level was, cartoony but striking.

Pow Martinez, Border Patrol, 2019.

One of my favorite rooms contained these witty “outsider art” sculptures. A pano didn’t work so I just caught a few of them in two shots. Each sculpture rewarded a closer look.

Amir Kamand, Untitled, 2019.
Amir Kamand, Untitled, 2019.

A pop-up café with wearable “alien” helmets was silly, and certainly messy, but in all honesty also fun.

Leeroy New, Aliens of Manila: Balete Colony, 2019.
Leeroy New, Aliens of Manila: Balete Colony, 2019. With guest Alien.

I had a juice drink at the café although the server didn’t have straws that would fit through my helmet.

As I finish this post I have to admit that I did enjoy several parts of the show. I think I’ve been spoiled a bit by past years when Palais de Tokyo was truly incredible.