If you’re looking for an authentic slice of the contemporary art scene in Paris, don’t bother laboring up the stairs to the top of Montmarte. The bohemian art scene left the top of the butte a long time ago and the guys there selling zany caricature portraits hardly reflect the city’s current art scene.
High rents have landed artists in cooperatives and communal squats throughout the Belleville quarter (see above). This area of Paris hosts more artists per square meter than any other in the capital. Over this coming weekend, some 250 ateliers open their doors to the public, thereby exposing outsiders to the paintings, sculptures, photography, and mixed media art absent from the city’s top galleries.
The theme of the 18th annual “portes ouvertes” or open-door cooperative is “Sublime Recyclage.” Visitors can pick up maps at the central AAB gallery to guide them through the gritty neighborhood to the open ateliers.
Portes Ouvertes lasts from May 11 through May 14, 2007. The AAB gallery is located at 32, rue de la Mare.