Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris

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Rembrandt and Monet have finally found a place on our shores, thanks to academic and Modigliani scholar, Marc Restellini.

This charismatic guy supposedly created quite a stir in the Parisian art scene with his idea of transversality in art; That art should be curated in a manner that transcends time and form, not collected by periods they were painted nor by the famed artists who created them as is traditionally done. That artists are influenced by what they have been exposed to, consciously or not, and deliver some of that into their original pieces and that some things, like feelings, are expressed in the same way in spite of differences in time, culture, race, religion. Universality, was the word he used.

Interesting concept. No wonder he caused such a furore because this idea, if it gains sufficient momentum, will fundamentally change how art is appreciated. It might also cause galleries the world over to reorganize their collections. I understand the resistance. Change is hard. But it seems The Lourve is making space to start a little section based on this concept. The world’s most visited museum might just pave the way.

In order to fully appreciate the exhibits in the Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris, guides are needed. Unless you are rather familiar with art, you will need narration to get you through. By familiar, I mean you need to at least recognize a Picasso and tell when Rembrandt is attempting to create light on his painting. I can identify a Picasso but I’d still be completely lost without a docent.

When I went, there weren’t many locals. I am not sure if Singaporeans are ready for something so highbrow, other than the higher echelons of society and dating couples more interested in each other. No matter, it’s a start.

There is also a special exhibit on Cleopatra that will be a highlight for fans of things Egyptian. Or Greek. The thing about transversality is that Liz Taylor was brought into the picture via the 1963 epic, Cleopatra. I don’t know how he did it, but there were original costumes and props on display too. There is certainly a concerted effort to make art relatable.

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