“The Martus Maw” exhibition. From PatrickMcMullan.com.
Last night, New York City’s Lower East Side got a strong dose of international glamour atNicolas Pol’s art exhibition “The Martus Maw,” curated by Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld. Pol, a 32-year-old Parisian artist, is visiting the United States for the first time.
What a nice little turnout for him, then: Jean Paul Gaultier, Mary-Kate Olsen (whose boyfriend, Nate Lowman, is a scene-y downtown artist), Tatiana Santo Domingo, Byrdie Bell, Stavros Niarchos, David Lauren, and other prime New York socials showed up to take in the paintings at the old meat market on Essex Street.“The Martus Maw” (which quick, though unconfirmed, Google detective work reveals as “the witness’s mouth”) comprises 16 mixed-media paintings on huge square canvases that recall a messier, darker Jean-Michel Basquiat, whom Pol counts among his influences. And maybe Keith Haring, splattered with a little Jackson Pollock?, VF Daily suggested. “I am his influence!” laughed the slender Restoin-Roitfeld.
“No, but really, Andy Warhol,” the curator said. “And others. Nicolas’s art is very abstract, but also very literal. You can stand here and just look at it for hours.”
“Vladimir prefers to be called an ‘art tailor,’ rather than a curator,” a P.R. flack had told us earlier in the evening. Fitting for the son of French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, who was on hand to support her son.
The tailor and his artist, surrounded by pretty, nubile gallerists and photographers, looked on at the works in front of us. Pol, with his scruffy beard and charmingly wide-eyed look, pondered the question of whether he was happy to be here in the city. “Well,” he lilted in a French accent, with great consideration, “I do not know if I’m happy here, but it’s nice. I like New York.”
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