ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: “I worked in fashion here, I had a boutique on Rue Bonaparte with Vicky Tiel — we had a whole fashion life here in the Sixties,” said artist Mia Fonssagrives-Solow at the inauguration of a mini-retrospective of her work at Paris’ Galerie Agnès Monplaisir on Thursday, marking her first show in the city.
The show opens on the gallery’s top floor with the artist’s early torso sculptures from the Eighties, made from slices of laminated layers of wood, with more recent works displayed on the ground floor, including a family of bronze “opera-singing minotaurs” and a group of colored Lucite sculptures that are due to be exhibited at Art Basel next June.
The artist was also blinged out with new iterations of her signature robot jewelry, dubbed the Ancestor robots, studded with tiny gems and bold “pretend” rocks. “I never travel with real jewelry, ever. Unlike some people we know who shall remain nameless,” quipped Fonssagrives-Solow.
Moving around the space, the artist shared some anecdotes on her childhood growing up with Irving Penn, who was her stepfather from age eight. “It was expected that everybody work after breakfast — my brother, my mother, Irving, we would all go to our respective studios and work and then meet again for dinner,” she said.“I was a strange child because kids would come to our home once and never come back because they weren’t used to woodwork or using a buffer to make bracelets, I always fancied myself Sheena Queen of the Jungle and I’d make these brass cuffs and cut the metal and polish them.”
“We came to France for the collections, my mother, Lisa Fonssagrives, was his muse and model, have you ever seen that picture of her on top of the Eiffel Tower?” she continued. “Irving was rigid about work ethic, he would say don’t start something without finishing it, but so was my mother, she taught me everything: how to change a tire, how to drive a tractor, sewing, everything. She said you have to be ready for the revolution.”