The Unknown Hipster

Galerie Perrotin New York opening

Posted in Art by unknownhipster on October 1, 2013

TributeTo PaolaPivi001_LA tribute to Paola Pivi’s Untitled (donkey) 

I was drifting along Madison Avenue, looking for inspiration to write a poem on the world of Luxury, when I saw bright lights coming from a manicured corner building on 73rd Street.

The good thing about having long hair and a beard is that everybody takes you for a celebrity in hiding, and I was immediately greeted inside by the PR assistants checking their lists.

Soon I understood that I was at the preview of Paola Pivi’s inaugural show at Galerie Perrotin, and remembered that I had actually been invited.

Following is my special report, brought to you more than two weeks after the event.

At Unknown’s headquarters, we don’t think information should be Tweeted in a hurry, but rather we pride ourselves on patiently knitting our posts together with organic wool, just like a long winter scarf or an oversized beanie hat.


Paola Pivi’s installation « Ok, you’re better than me, so what ? »

viewers001_LViewers accustomed to more esoteric works were mesmerized

by the polar bears’ happy colors.

PaolaPivi001_LPaola Pivi

knight002_LKnight Landesman’s orange suit was challenging the art.

Knight-Todd001_LTodd Eberle and Knight Landesman were accidentally wearing matching orange. A blue polar bear suspended from the ceiling somehow reminiscent of Yves Klein “Le saut dans le vide  made a transition to « Audible Presence » the inaugural show at Dominique Levy’s gallery on the upper floor featuring Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana and Cy Twombly.

Pharell001_LWoodkid J.R.,  Swizz Beatz and Pharrell Williams.

Cattelan002_LMaurizio Cattelan wearing a teeshirt with the words « failure by design »


Xavier Veilhan high-spirited although straight off a Paris flight.

Bill001_LHalf Gallery Bill Powers (right) and NY Times Bob Morris (left) taking live notes on the battlefield for his review now published more than two weeks ago. If you haven’t read it yet, click here.

Perrotin001_LEmmanuel Perrotin, dressed in Lanvin.

The egg-shaped object in the corner couldn’t be identified by our freelance fact checker: loud speaker, air purifier, sculpture, or all at once?

viewerandOthoniel001_LEmmanuel Barbault in front of a Jean-Michel Othoniel.

ThrowingMoneyMachine002_LPaola Pivi Money machine (true blue, baby I love you)

The metal sculpture was spitting out one dollar bills and coins to the delight of art world guests and patrons. A reminder that no other investment throws back money more spectacularly than art (if purchased and sold in a timely fashion).

Viewers002_LArt conversation.

unknowntripping001_LCutting through the crowd, I tripped on a bear’s rear paw.

Although apparently made out of plush feathers, I was nearly knocked down by a low kick in the shinbone by the angular steel bar structure of the bear leg.

In case I had been tempted to cuddle Paola’s sculptures, I was abruptly reminded that true art stands in discomfort when it doesn’t simply hurt.

NatachaPolaert001_LNatacha Polaert

Kaws001_LKAWS and his KAWS Companion

Murakami001_LA claw game gave guests a chance to walk away with a small Takashi Murakami

Luisa002_LLuisa Moraes, an actress and a photographer.

Cleopatra’s Bridget Finn, seen in the after party’s light.

Andreandafriend001_LAndré Saraiva, with a friend


The Hole gallery’s Kathy Grayson with her unnamed dog.

Get the Unknown Book, Get the Unknown Look

Posted in Fashion by unknownhipster on December 9, 2012


I think that, if you are a poet, you don’t want to think too much about your wardrobe, but you want to wear clothes that are fine to work in.

The other day at the GQ party hosted by Glenn for The Style Guy Special Edition, I had this conversation with two sartorial experts: Alexander Olch, all dressed in Maison Kitsune with a tie of his own design, and Todd Eberle, with his classic torn denim jacket and one of his inimitable destroyed hats.

–          If you are a photographer, Todd explained, you don’t want to intimidate people by wearing something extravagant.

I have sometimes been asked how I dress and what my favorite brands are, but in fact, I usually don’t know what to say.

A bit of flea here, thrift shop there.

Maybe I went to a party and accidentally left with someone else’s jacket? Or I visited a Japanese temple and switched shoes upon exit?

Jeans, plaid shirt, jacket, desert boots, tote bag. I’d rather be asked what I read.

But Sarah at Colette found it amusing to recreate the looks.

I guess it was not too complicated for her. Every week, she selects ensembles for the women’s floor that make you feel like you’re walking through Picassos and Lichtensteins. I never stay too long because I feel I might fall in love with a speechless mannequin, just because of the intricate patterns and inspired fabric colors it’s dressed in.

And now, thanks to Colette, you can really dress like a page out of the Diaries :  From Book to Fashion

An exhibition of originals drawings from The Unknown Hipster Diaries and large prints in limited edition of 10, opens  Monday 10th December at Colette, and I’ll be signing books on Saturday 15th December from 16:00 to 18:00.

Philosophy on-the-go-go at Indochine party

Posted in Parties by unknownhipster on November 25, 2009

Andy and Jean-Michel

I like to think that once upon a time at Indochine people like Warhol or Basquiat were sitting in these very same booths, beneath the banana leaf murals and eat the very same delicious entries. (Althought I don’t know if they were really into eating).

It used to be a place for artists, my friend Glenn told me.

Carine, André, and Anna

Then the artists were joined by the Fashion people, but as he pointed out, nowadays, Art and Fashion are more or less the same.

And it’s true that people who think of one at the exclusion of the other are usually not very funny, or much artistic. This works both ways.

Friday night was Indochine 25th anniversary party and I skipped a philosophy lecture to arrive early.

The charming Nadine, orchestrating the guests.

Some people in amazing costumes were already waiting anxiously outside the tent, and then once inside we queued in front of the stairs into the restaurant where most of the action seemed to happen. At irregular intervals the charming Nadine would appeared from behind the curtains, and with the magnaninous power of a blond goddess saved a few human beings by letting them in.

The tenebrous Lady Fag

Once saved, I elbowed my way to the center of the booming crowded room. But most of the guests were too gorgeous –or too tall, as is the case with some of the superstar drag queens – to be pushed on the side, and I finally had to retreat in the basement bar and dance floor, which some insiders refers to as Under-chine and had not seen open for decades.

Todd’s straw hat state of destruction is far more sophisticated than one would thought.

Casey, one of the best dressed men of the night, was wearing a thrift store $10 suit

The elegant and cool Jean-Marc, hero of the party.

The amazing Sophie-Anne, from Paris.

With a moustache, Hamish revealed an entirely different personality.

Gabi and Adi wearing their own extraordinary designs

I’m not so much of a dance person. I would rather read a book, or talk to someone, so I went up to the go-go dancer poles and asked one of the prettiest go-go girls if it would bother her if we had a little chat while she was working. I had  to shout over what I recognized as an old  B52s tune, without the certainty to be heard. She shooked her head, but it was not clear what the answer was.

From Art, or Fashion, I insisted, what do you think is… It seemed she meant go-go dancing is an Art form, like everything else.

For those who missed the party, a commemorative book has just been published by Rizzoli : Indochine, Stories, Shaken and Stirred. The limited edition available at Indochine even comes with a free set of labelled paper napkins and two pairs of chopsticks.