Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'll Show You Mine if...

So you might have noticed by now that I don’t use my real name here on this blog. And while I remain a CIA deep-cover operative, my use of the pseudonym Madame K has little to do with that fact.

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Mostly I use “Madame K” so that my professional name doesn’t show up in search engines in conjunction with this goofy-ass MSCL blog which I so enjoy writing. After all I don’t want some gallerist or museum curator who wants to read about my work to google my name and end up reading some nonsense like this. Capiche?

That said, if any of you readers are in the NYC area and want to come to my photography exhibition that opens at the end of May, I have devised a plan so that I can send you an e-mail invite.

Post a comment that includes your name and your email address and I’ll send you an invite and a link to my artwebsite & blog. Also I’ll delete your comment so that your contact info stays private and spambots don’t chase you down and eat you. Sound like a plan? This will mean delurking for some of you. But in a way it means delurking for me too.

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

p.s. For any cyber stalkers who get the bright idea to show up at my opening reception and act all crazy, please keep in mind that I have my entire bridge & tunnel posse from Jersey, Brooklyn, and the Bronx representin’ for this lovely occasion. So before you try to pull any funny stuff, just be forewarned that my crew will fucking kung-fu you.

Thanks for understanding.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Paintings vs. Purses.

So one of the biggest benefits of being a part of that Art Fair earlier this month was the wonderful contacts I made. Like the 2 journalists for the newspaper La Semaine, Pierre Aubert and Sarah Teulet, that wandered into my booth the first morning and asked me if I’d be willing to hang a few of my paintings in the Galerie Culture Plastique at Le Printemps in Metz. Apparently in attempt to engage the general public with the local arts community in the region, La Semaine has teamed up with Printemps, (one of France’s swankier department stores) and reserved a space in the store to display a small amount of work by local contemporary artists.

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Anyway, Pierre and sarah stopped by my studio last week to discuss what paintings and how many and then faster than I could blink as eye it was time for the Opening!

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The vernissage as the French call it, was Thursday night. Everybody was there! It turned into a whole Soiree! Who knew so many people would show up to see only 5 paintings?

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Oh and checkout my full page spread in this week’s issue of La Semaine! This is so much cooler than that time I got interviewed for my highschool’s newspaper!


Personally I think the whole collaboration is a nifty idea. Besides, what self-respecting girly-girl wouldn’t want her latest paintings displayed next to $650 Italian handbags? Somewhere there is a joke about the commodification of art just waiting to be made, but I won’t be the one making it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Demons Love Tartiflette.

And on a lighter note, last weekend we finally managed to arrange a dinner with cousins Sandrine and Seb, Michel and Sara, and their combined 4 young boys. Everything was really fun, except that the boys were possessed by demons:

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Note to self: In the future, use red-eye reduction setting on camera.

Also: checkout this awesome illustrated Tartiflette recipe!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Toofless Conversations.

Part of the reason this blog is so gosh darn funny is because, well, funny stuff happens to me. Believe me I would love to be able to take more credit for the humorous moments, but alas I must admit, there isn’t much need for embellishment on my part.

And with that admission, I bring you a scene from my so-called life. A lovely 30 second exchange between myself and a drunk toothless guy in the line at the MATCH grocery store this afternoon: (Translated into English for clarity & hilarity).

Drunk Toofless Guy: Bonjour Madame.

Madame K: Bonjour.

Drunk Toofless Guy: Oh, go to the other line, he’s about to open the register! Go! Go Fast!

Madame K: Oh, thanks, but I doubt he will be open soon. I’ll stay here.

Drunk Toofless Guy: Aaaah. You just want to stay in this line because I’m in it.

Madame K: (No response. Continues unloading groceries onto filthy conveyor belt.)

Drunk Toofless Guy: Hey! You’re a Creole!

Madame K: (Still gives no response, but offers her signature WTF glare.)

Drunk Toofless Guy: You’re not a Creole? You’re from The Antilles right? Les Antilles. Les Antilles. Les Antilles.

Madame K: What? No, I’m American.

Drunk Toofless Guy: What? You’re American? American? Aaaaahhhh George Bush?

Madame K: Hey! I’m from New York, not from Texas!

Drunk Toofless Guy: Aaaah. The Towers. The 2 towers. They fell!

Madame K: Uhm ,yeah.

Drunk Toofless Guy: Aaaaah. (turns and wanders away.)

Madame K: (continues loading groceries onto filthy conveyor belt.)

End Scene.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Fancy-Pants Grown-Up Lady.

So much going on that my head feels like it’s about to explode, but luckily I was able to take one day off to celebrate my birthday! Yep, Wednesday I turned 33. I feel very “thirty-something” right about now.

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Madame R was able to escape her dog sitting responsibiltities for a few hours so we headed to lunch and stuffed ourselves silly at an Indian lunch buffet. We ate so much that we almost passed out during our lovely walk by the Moselle, but we managed. And for once the sun came out and everything was all bright and glowy.

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Side note #1: walking around Metz France on a bright and sunny day is effing lovely!

So after spending a good part of the afternoon walking around Metz we barely had enough energy to scarf down some cake…but we managed. YUM!


But after that I was totally worn out (Birthdays make me tired!) so I headed home to take a nap…..but instead ended up working a bit.

Then FrenchBoy decided he wants to take me out to dinner. And of course as you know I cannot turn down a meal, so I agreed. He made reservations at some fancy Italian place called DiRoma. Which is actually within walking distance of our apartment. We ordered this lovely entrée.

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Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of my Gambas & St.Jacques brochettes which is really a shame because the gambas had the freakiest little eyeballs. I swear they were looking at me.

Anyway, half way through dinner FrenchBoy asks me to get his wallet out of his Man-Purse. Of course when I open the Man-Purse --- I find my birthday gift:


Fancy-Pants Grown-Up Lady sunglasses! Only problem is they are so fancy that I’m almost skeered to wear’em! And then it hit me: Crap! Wait! Am I a Fancy-Pants Grown-Up Lady now? When did this happen? Is that what happens to you when you turn 33?

And then I got over myself and finished eating my freakin' dinner.

Sidenote #2: FrenchBoy insisted that I post the photo of his gift here. He’s so proud of himself for being able to pick me the perfect sunglasses without any assistance on my part.

And I gotta hand it to him. He did a great job. I love them. They look great on my little round face and they even fit perfectly. They don’t give me brain squeeze or anything!

OK, birthday re-cap:

Saucy Aussie, Indian lunch buffets, long walks by the river, delicious cakes, romantic dinners with a Frenchman, and Fancy-Pants-Grown-Up-Lady sunglasses.

Well golly! That doesn't suck at all now does it?

Monday, April 14, 2008

It's All About the Fancy Lunch.

I’ve been so busy with work, that I haven’t even had the chance to blog about my fancy lunches. For those of you who are just tuning in, I’m a bit of a foodie. I’m particularly fond of what French Boy and I call “The Fancy Lunch”. Creative huh?

Our favorite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon is pick a restaurant off the Michelin guide website and then call at the last minute to see if we can get a table. Being an artist and all, I am a big fan of food that looks as beautiful as it tastes. For me it’s all about presentation and service. If the food actually tastes great that’s a bonus. *snort*

So here are some of our most recent fancy lunches:

Easter Friday we drove to Nancy because everything in the German departments of France were closed while the Frogs in the next department over were still slaving away. So--We made an obligatory visit to that one fancy square in Nancy who’s name I always forget and then we headed right to the La Mignardise.

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My biggest complaint about the restaurant was the crappy silk flowers they used or a centerpiece. (WTF!?! Unless I am having tea with a 90 year old granny I don't wanna see no dusty-ass fake flowers on the table! Thanks.)

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Fake flowers aside, the food was beautiful and the service was OK. Now when I say OK, I mean good. I’m just a real stickler for service and I am absolutely unforgiving when a waiter makes a mistake. Personally I think servers should be guillotined for pouring the wrong water in the wrong glass….or at least bitch slapped. Hell, at these prices I expect them to not only remember that I was drinking the pétillante, but also recall my blood type, and the correct spelling of my middle name. But that’s just how I am. I digress…

Just look at this effing food!

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Our next fancy lunch wasn’t really all that fancy, but when the plates arrived they looked so delicious that I decided to include them anyway. We were downtown running some errands and doing some shopping, so because we were in a bit of a rush we quickly stopped into the lobby of the Novotel hotel for a bite to eat. Check it out:

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After lunch we decided to skip the Novotel Café’s overpriced coffee and instead we headed directly to the absolute best patisserie in Metz: Patisserie Claude Bourginon. There were so many beautiful Easter treats to choose from, but I was somehow able to restrain myself from buying a 70 euro chocolate bunny.

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The cakes at Bourginon are so good that after just one bite you jump out of your chair and start dancing. Like this…

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Thou shalt have no other gods before me? Might as well just put me on the express elevator that goes straight to hell now.

And of course no Easter weekend would be complete without at least one Fancy Lunch at our very favorite restaurant in the world: Chez Evelyne’s. David’s mom makes some of the fanciest lunches in Lorraine and best of all they are free! Also they have the good liquor. I have no recollection of what we ate for Easter lunch. From the photos it looks like lamb, some type of beans, and tomates farcie. Oh and asparagus of course.

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Then, as if I wasn’t already drunk enough. After Easter lunch we headed over to Cousin Sara’s for cake and champagne. There is no way to recall how many bottles were opened, but everybody had at least a glass.

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Even Mamie Claire joined in the festivities in spite of being forced to sit next to the "Easter Tree".

(Again, I ask: WTF?!?)

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And last but not least, the fancy lunch with the JR, Isabelle, and Constantin who were all witnesses to our super-top-secret wedding. They are the sweetest people ever and we don’t get to see them nearly enough, so we invited them to Metz for a Fancy Lunch at Au Pampre D’or. If you are ever in Metz and want a Fancy Lunch of your own, run do not walk to this restaurant. Plus it’s right down the hill from the Cathedral so you’re bound to pass it if you’re doing touristy stuff. But enough talk. Check out the eats!:

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So all this explains why I’ve gained about 20 kilos since moving to France. (More on that later...) Yeah, that and spending several hours a day in front of my PC eating Cheerios directly out of the box and writing this blog for you charming folks.

But whatever, untill next time, bon appetite!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My French In-Laws Kick Your French In-Laws Asses.

And before I forget. I have to brag and gush just a little bit. The whole Art Fair weekend was possible because my inlaws basically installed my whole booth.


First of all, I can't fit my big-ass American sized paintings in my car. So, Papa Jean-Marie (aka French Father-in-law) asked Maman Evelyne (aka French Mother-in-Law) to ask cousin Sara if they could borrow her minivan to haul my paintings.


Once the car situation was remedied the they drove 20 minutes to my house, loaded up the car with my paintings then drove them to the exhibition center and hauled them to my stall. I helped alot, but the in-laws went above and beyond the call of duty. Papa Jean marie spent 6 hours installing the artwork in my booth. Including one emergency trip to castorama for hardware supplies.


Maman Evelyne was on coffee and snack duty. Also, she stayed to work the booth with me. Every day of the Art Fair she arrived dressed to the nines holding a bag that contained my lunch: 2 different types of sandwiches, a boiled egg with extra pepper, half a cup of scooped honeydew melon, a thermos of hot coffee and 2 slices of cake. And twice she brought champagne and enough glasses for all of the neighboring artists.

So, the next time you hear me complain about my inlaws, kick me in the nuts and tell me to shut the f*ck up already.

And Where The Hell Have You Been?

Well folks I managed to survive one of my biggest French adventures to date. I just spent 4 days standing in a 3 x 4 square meter cell, explaining my artwork to a generally skeptical French audience.

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To say the least my feet and my vocabulary got a really good work-out. Also I met some really nice folks and (imagine a drum roll here) I sold 4 paintings and 2 screen prints! Also 2 local journalists passed my booth and asked me if I would be interested in a nice write-up on me and my work within the next few weeks and possibly a brief exhibition. I agreed of course, but only under the condition that I get to pick the make-up artist for the photo-shoot. *snorts*

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So my plan for world domination is in full swing. Speaking of domination. Monday, the last day of the show, was a bit slow but it was filled with groups of wandering school kids. I was lucky enough to have a group of kids wander into my booth….and stay. In fact I ended up chatting with them for about ten minutes about the people in my work and the photos and the drawings. Folks, I’m afraid to say it, but those lil tadpoles understood my work better than 90% of the Frogs that passed my booth the entire weekend. They asked incredibly relevant and precise questions and had very helpful comments such as: “I eat dandelions almost every day!”

Uhm, right.

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Unfortunately French kids, much like their French parents, claim to have no money, so no artwork was sold that day. But it was still cool to have a bunch of 7 year olds crawling around the floor in my booth.

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And I am not at all ashamed to say that the highlight of my entire freaking weekend was signing autographs for them. That’s right folks. I signed 15 autographs. I’m officially a celebrity in certain French primary school circles in Eastern France.

art is the new rock and roll