One of our close artist friends, internationally known painter, Shar Sosh has recently been chosen as an Ambassador to the Republic of Montmartre in France, which works to bring artists together and aid disadvantaged children. Since 1985, Shar has resided and painted in Montmartre, joining the local art associations and regularly showing her work. In a recent exhibition, Shar sold a piece to French celebrity, Michou.
"A life-size, hand-painted mannequin sculpture, by internationally known American artist Shar Sosh, was recently acquired by a beloved Montmartre celebrity, known as Michou. Michou, the 83-year-old owner of the famous Cabaret Michou on the Rue des Martyrs in Paris' historic 18 district, has long been a beloved icon of Parisian nightlife. A trailblazer for gay rights, Michou, whose real name Michel Georges Alfred Catty, has been dubbed “minister of the night” by the Republic of Montmartre. Perennially clad in an electric-blue suit, he sports oversize, bright-blue glasses and a hallmark blond bouffant hairstyle. At his cabaret and supper club for female impersonators -- which inspired the famous 1978 comedy La Cage aux Folles -- performers in elaborate makeup and costumes lip-sync to the songs of Celine Dion, Madonna, Maria Callas, Cher, Edith Piaf, Dalida or Tina Turner. His cabaret was the first of its kind in France.
The work, Who is Michou?, had been on display in an important exhibition of Sosh's recent paintings and sculptures in June 2014, the Sixth Biennale d'Art Contemporain, in the Saint Pierre de Montmartre church in Montmartre.
Shar has been living part-time in Paris for thirty years and considers the City of Light her second home. “It's very exciting,” she said. “I met my best friends in Montmartre, and I've also been fortunate to get to know many of the locals, such as Michou. For years, I've seen Michou at the local café, at exhibitions and openings or at other events, and watched him out of the corner of my eye. He inspired many of my paintings, such as The Lookers series, but he never even knew it.“ The vibrant painted mannequin was inspired by Michou, but without his knowing, and he discovered the work at the biennial exhibit opening.
Decorated with swirling and geometric patterns, Who is Michou? is Shar Sosh’s symbolic tribute to the star. Adorned with a gigantic pair of glittering blue eyeglasses on top of its head, like the one’s Michou himself wears, the sculpture is painted in glowing hues of pink, gold, black and white, with prominent patches of electric blue, Michou's signature color. Seated on a stool, with one leg crossed over at the knee, the mannequin also contains clear references to his career as a singer and impresario, decorated with painted black-and-white piano keyboards and collaged pieces of sheet music. The sculpture will join Michou’s personal art collection." ~from the official press release
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