Art & Culture

Published on March 12th, 2024 | by Laurence de Valmy


Valérie-Anne Giscard d’Estaing invites us into her Gallery in Santa Monica

Nestled in the heart of the dynamic artistic landscape of Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, Galerie XII, founded by Valérie-Anne Giscard d’Estaing, is a space dedicated to contemporary photography. Driven by a passion for photography and artistic innovation, Valérie-Anne Giscard d’Estaing has shaped a space where artistic diversity is encouraged, inviting visitors to explore varied facets ranging from photography to multidisciplinary approaches.

We had the privilege of meeting the gallery owner who shared with us the latest news from Galerie XII.

Sixties Los Angeles” by Joey Tranchina

Photography as a Witness of Our Society

“For 20 years, photography has evolved very quickly. When I was starting out, we worked on humanist photo projects. There was a period where, with the arrival of digital, we were immersed in large reproductions of photos in color, and today, we are in a trend of narrative photography. The gallery presents artists who are sometimes at the crossroads and whose concept and message have points in common,” explains Valérie-Anne Giscard d’Estaing.

This metamorphosis reflects that of our society, where the border between photography and other visual arts is diminishing. Pioneers like Andy Warhol and David Hockney blazed the trail, and today this evolution is evident in the diversity of exhibitions at Gallery XII, pushing the traditional boundaries of photographic art.

This is how the gallery with several rooms presents varied works simultaneously. We can see the exhibition “Sixties Los Angeles” by Joey Tranchina, which immerses us in the history of the city of angels, “The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls” by the Italian Paolo Ventura, which combines photography, collage and painting and the Australian artist Vee Speers who presents a photography and video installation using a generative and interactive artificial intelligence platform

Le Passe-Muraille #06, Paolo Ventura, Set of acrylic painted photographs, acrylic paint, and collages, 27,6 x 39,4 in / 70 x 100 cm, Unique

Art and Photography in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Embracing the future, the gallery explores how artificial intelligence can integrate into artistic expression, anticipating a new creative era. “We are at the beginning of what artificial intelligence can bring. Like any new tool, there will be artists who know how to use it well and others who do not,” declares Giscard d’Estaing.

For “Guilty/Not Guilty,” artist Vee Speers transformed her collection of original black-and-white portraits of mug shots, merging her unique hand-coloring technique with cutting-edge AI animation to bring each character to life with a pop aesthetic. Speers rewrites their stories with empathy and humor, inviting us to reflect on the weight of circumstances and appearances.

A reflection which is reminiscent of the story of Jeremy Meeks, an American ex-convict, who went from prison to red carpets as an actor and model, following the publication of his photo by the police on Facebook. How can our view of these people change thanks to this makeover?

Paris, Los Angeles and beyond

The historic birthplace of Galerie XII is located in the Parisian capital, and this international presence reflects the diversity of artistic perspectives that animate both sides of the Atlantic.

When asked to make a comparison between collectors from the two continents, the gallery owner remarks that “French collectors are often more attached to the artist’s CV, while Americans tend to follow their emotional reaction more.”

Projects abound for the gallery owner, between Europe and the United States, punctuated by exhibitions and art fairs, with Art Paris Art Fair in April.

To stay connected with the latest news from the gallery and the highlights of these cultural exchanges, you can follow Gallery XII on social networks.

Bergarmot Arts Center, #B2, 2525 Michigan Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404

Photos Galerie XII

About the Author

is a French born artist, who lives and works in San Diego. She is a painter creator of the POST series, painted Instagram of the past revisiting art history. Her work is regularly exhibited in galleries and art fairs. She founded the blog "The Curious Frenchy"

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