Julie Eugène works as an Art Concierge at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris hotel in Paris.
Julie, please tell us why the hotel has a such deep relationship with art?
The former Royal Monceau hotel was already a cultural place where a lot of celebrities and artists used to come such as Coco Chanel, Joséphine Baker, Ray Charles, Michel Polnareff, Madonna or Michael Jackson. So, when in 2008 the hotel closed for a huge refurbishment, the idea of Philippe Starck was to create a new kind of luxury hotel dedicated to Contemporary Art. A “Palace” that would propose a new service with the Art Concierge; that would constitute a collection of contemporary art; and with specific locations within the hotel in connection with art: La Librairie des Arts, our art bookstore, Le cinema Katara, our movie theatre, and last but not least, the Art District, the art gallery of the hotel. Moreover, it was really important that the hotel involves itself in the Parisian art scene especially through the Art Concierge service and my blog https://www.artforbreakfast.com where I propose to the guest of the hotel and Parisian art lovers a weekly selection of cultural events.
What is your main responsibility at work?
First of all, I remain at the disposal of the guests for any request regarding contemporary art. I propose tailor-made programs and exclusive experiences such as privatisation of a museum, private visit of an art gallery, or discovery of an artist studio. Besides, I am a cultural mediator and I provide art tours of the hotel presenting through the design of Philippe Starck, the private collection of the hotel and the temporary exhibition we are hosting in the Art District gallery.
How do you decide what pieces of art to display at the hotel?
For the re-opening of the hotel, we asked Hervé Mickaëloff to be our curator, so, he gave us our artistic direction, by putting together the artworks of the collection and by programming the first year of exhibitions of the Art District gallery. So, the direction and I try to keep the same quality. As an art concierge, I am always trying to stay up to date regarding the Parisian contemporary art scene. Through this eternal research, I found artists who would suit to the hotel, so I try to figure out if it would be possible to collaborate with them. In the same time, some gallery owners and artists contact us to propose exhibitions. So regularly, with the management we study the different projects and we set up our program.
What is your favourite art gallery/museum in Paris?
It is really difficult to answer because I cannot separate the venue from the exhibition it proposes and we can be surprised by amazing exhibition in unknown venues. But, as I have to choose, I would say the Grand Palais is an outstanding institution for its historical architecture and its high quality selection of exhibitions, art fairs and shows like: Saut Hermès, FIAC, Biennale des Antiquaires, Picasso. Mania, Seydou Keïta, Monumenta...
Can you recommend the top art event in Paris to watch out for 2016?
- Chinese artist at the Fondation Louis Vuitton – From January 27 to August 29
- Le Douanier Rousseau at Musée d’Orsay – From March 22 –to July 17
- Monumenta 2016 at the Grand Palais: Huang Yongping - Empires - From May 8 to June 18
- Olafur Eliasson at Château de Versailles - From June to November
- Bernard Buffet at Centre Pompidou - From October 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017
- Drawing Now - From March 30 - April 3(for contemporary drawing)
- Paris Design Week - From September 3 to 10 (for design)
- Biennale des Antiquaires - From September 10 to 18 (for jewelry and antiquities)
- FIAC - From October 20 to 23 (for modern and contemporary art)
- Paris Photo - From November 10 to 13 (for modern and contemporary Photography)