By Aksinia Khlamova
"Great art picks up where nature ends". ~Marc Chagall "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them". ~Andy Warhol Where: Le Formentor 27 Avenue Princess Grace, 98000 Monaco Monaco Modern Art Gallery located at Avenue Princess Grace across Grimaldi forum and close to Larvotto Beach has always been attracting my attention. Living in Monaco already for 2 years for some reason I never had a chance to visit it until last week. Among my friends this gallery was always known as the one with crystallized skeletons. And really those crystallized artistic pieces suit Monaco the best way possible and catch your eye easily. However, it turned out to be more thoughtful,interesting and existing as it may have seemed at the beginning. Let me explain it a bit more detailed... At a first sight his work looks like a modern colorful expression but when you come closer you will see much more than that. You will see nature in it: leaves, ground, minerals, plants and these all are mixed with pigments. Each of his works is a unique piece of art created by metamorphoses of natural effects and human creativity. The artist is very keen on protecting our planet and it trying to reach the global community attention by bringing environment into the art piece. Actually, that makes a significant contrast to the above mentioned shiny skeletons which are created and decorated by a very talented artist known in the artistic world as Marcelline Lapouffe. Speaking of her, from now on she is given the space at the gallery for the next couple of months. From September the 12th till October 27th, there is one more extraordinary artist exhibited at Monaco Modern Art Gallery - Benjamin Shine. I was lucky to get a chance to talk to him personally. And from the very beginning I must confess that to me he is The Lord of fabric. Benjamin is a young British designer whose list of clients is no less impressive than his work. His cooperation with the fashion house Givency found very warm feedback in the public. Already at school he realized that just working with fabric and materials in certain industry would not be enough for him that brought him to artistic stage. The series that you can see in Monaco is called "Slow Motion". The artist is using one color fabric and transforms it into natural flow creating a silhouete of a woman's face, arms or a portrait. According to Benjamin Shine it is very hard to catch the feeling of movement to create this "sculpture" in fabric. Step by step with a help of using iron at one touch he "paints" these figures that not trained eyes will catch with a second glance only but will keep it in the mind forever. I wish Benjamin to shine and surprise us with new collaboration or new designer ideas. PS: you can find Mr. Pastor's works "The Burned Trees" at Nice Côte d'Azur airport. In Barcelona at "Azule Tierra" starting on October 31st and in February 2014 Mr Philippe Pastor will expose his paintings in Marseille. www.monacomodernart.com & www.benjaminshine.com Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Mrs. Yordanka Baldoni and Mr. Jérôme Lévy for being kind, professional & sharing the material for this article.