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Art Away From the Masses

November 20, 2014
Dirk Braeckman at LE BAL

There’s certainly no shortage of fine art in the French capital, with world-class museums like the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay never more than a Métro hop away, but all too often these big-name sites contain as many selfie-snapping tourists as they do Da Vinci’s and Degas’. For a more authentic and intimate art experience make for local fave LE BAL in the 18th arrondissement, a minimalist multimedia gallery housed in a converted ballroom (with nifty add-ons including a café and bookstore), which is currently showing the first major French exhibition of eminent Flemish photographer Dirk Braeckman.

Expect subdued still-lifes, shot in grainy tonal gray scale and with a focus on seemingly mundane domestic surfaces – a strip of peeling wallpaper; the severe edges of a desk; a worn Persian carpet – each imbued with a sense of both sensuality and sombreness through Braeckman’s calculated use of depth and indistinct contours. If all the avant-garde imagery has inspired you to turn shooter yourself, LE BAL Books stocks photography tomes and hosts regular portfolio workshops – plus they can print and bind your pics too – or, for those that would rather snack than snap, stop by LE BAL Café for a hearty British brunch and brews.


Dirk Braeckman is showing until 4 January 2015. Check the LE BAL website for future exhibitions and events.

6 Impasse de la Défense / 18th / +33 1 44 70 75 50 / Gallery & Bookstore: noon-8pm Wed, noon-10pm Thu, noon-8pm Fri, 11am-8pm Sat, 11am-7pm Sun. Café noon-11pm Wed-Fri, 11am-11pm Sat, 11am-7pm Sun /