City Pulse

By Eudie Pak

redface.jpg

Image by Matt Verzola

(In my best Pepe Le Pu voice): It is time to take yourself very seriously. Squint those eyes, suck in those cheeks, pucker up those lips, and parade around in that most fashionable Christian Dior dress. You are now entering the photogenic world of Cyrille Margarit. Enchante.

Ahh, yes. It was Monday night that Gotham’s art world cooed at the arrival of the famed French photographer’s latest project: digital images projected onto sheets of brushed aluminum. The exhibit (with free alcohol in tow – my magnifique reason for going) was held at Bruno Jamais Restaurant on the Upper East Side. The media were invited, which included Mr. Photographer and moi, and the Who’s-Who of Press-ville.

The two of us walked into a swarm of cameras and flashing light bulbs. The house music tempted our derrières to shake it til we baked it – but we wuz cool, we wuz cool; we made a concerted effort to look suave, floating through the crowd with our elegant glasses of champagne hanging from our limp hands.

scarlett.jpg

Image by Matt Verzola

A book of Cyrille’s complete works laid conspicuously in the middle of a dark oak table, while several of his choice images lined the walls of the restaurant. Many of his New York shots, like the Chrysler Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, greeted guests at the entrance, while his celebrity and safari animal images hung out towards the back…

Oh, what to say about the art and the man behind it. The color red was a central concept in his exhibition, representing daring and vitality. His bio stated that he is the type of person who can’t sit down – always moving, gesturing, questioning, hosting. Thus, this is “the paradox of Cyrille Margarit,” a man determined to capture a moment frozen in time but unable to be still himself. (I IS SORRY, but when I read that while slurping up my third glass of bubbly, I wanted to laugh my Asian ass all da way back home.)

But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. And why you ask? Because I had to get my people-watch on. There were old people, young people, and strange people. I caught sight of a mousey Asian lady who blinded me with her fluorescent turquoise dress and her yellow Dolly Parton wig, a hefty meatball of a guy with a twisty mustache and pimp dress shirt who looked like he belonged in a circus, and a woman who was the exact replica of the bride in Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” video – (yes, she even wore a veil.)

glam.jpg

Image by Matt Verzola

Besides the weird ghouls and goblins, I couldn’t help but sneak a peek at the little white stickers proudly perched on the bosoms of the less strange-looking folks; apparently, the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, US Weekly, Agenda, and New York AM made a haughty appearance.

So, all in all, the little soirée had some over-the-top visitors and music…but the art work? Well, for me, not so much. Cyrille’s use of bold colors was eye-catching, but his exhibit as a whole seemed a bit cliché. As Mr. Photographer had a looksie at all the mounted pics, he made this statement: “I’d rather be looking at a chocolate Jesus” (guess he was referring to the Easter controversy in the news, but sometimes, I just don’t know what the hell to make of that boy’s marbles).

Anywho, if you like what you see here and would like to see more of Cyrille’s work in person (and be entertained by the atmosphere), please, messieurs and mademoiselles, go! The “I’m-too-sexy-for-my-shirt” world of Cyrille ends on May 14th.

Details:
Cyrille Margarit
Exhibition & Cocktail
From April 23rd to May 14th
9 pm to 3 am every night at Bruno Jamais Restaurant
(24 East 81st St. between Fifth and Madison)
212-396-3444

Originally published April 2007
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