Network, networks

I have been the manager of the Elysées Mermoz Hotel since 2003. During the transformation in 2009/2010, I decided to use this privileged venue to display and support artists trying to make a name for themselves in the difficult world of art galleries and centres.

My activities are divided between managing the Elysées Mermoz Hotel and painting, to which I dedicate half of my time. With an education background in engineering, I have worked in the field for five years before I quit in 2000 and fully dedicated myself to painting. Then I took on the artistic education I had dropped at 18 by attending the School of Fine Arts as an auditor and working with a painter for four years. My first personal exhibition took place in 2008 at the Pascal Lorain gallery in Paris.

The “Art Ensuite” project is open to all types of contemporary research in painting, sculpture, photography, video and various modern media.

Throughout my career, I’ve seen how selective the access to recognized art networks can be. There are other alternatives. For a long time, hotels and restaurants have been putting up works of art to brighten their interior decoration and their image. More recently, some of these places tend to turn into genuine exhibition and sales galleries. New initiatives are also on the rise, offering several alternatives to traditional networks. Large company offices and law firms display and buy art. Individuals organize private viewings. Private dinners are set up to make art amateurs and artists meet.

I thought we had do go even further. These places should claim their difference, not only by using these works for their decoration or image, but by getting involved with the artists and support them with donations and help introduce them.

Since September 2009, we have been paving the way at the Elysées Mermoz Hotel with eight original exhibitions.

The Art Ensuite initiative’s ambition is to create a network of sponsor hotels committed to young contemporary artists.

I have always drawn my inspiration for my work from meeting with other artists. Visiting exhibitions, museums, exchanging with other artists stimulates me and gives me energy.

The Art Ensuite project aims at uniting artists, promoting exchange, dialogue and confrontation of art works with a different public. Thanks to our network of affiliated hotels, artists and their work will be able to move and meet with a varied public.

Some people sometimes hesitate before entering an art gallery which can be intimidating, or only visit museums to see great exhibitions. At the Elysées Mermoz Hotel, and in the other hotels we hope will join us in this initiative, those people will be enabled to a direct approach with the emerging contemporary creation. The works will be seen by customers passing in the hotels, without further wait, any time of the day or night.

Olivier Breuil