ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013

122 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 | I was in New York City at the end of the last year, just one week after Hurricane Sandy and right in time for the elections. I was feeling excited because I had my first exhibition in NYC with Agora Gallery. This exhibition was dedicated to my grandmother, who was born in NYC in 1907. It was the second time I had ever been in New York. But this time, I was by myself and all I wanted was to have the best time ever. Here I was, under the bridge, coming to Manhattan, to Times Square where my sexy hotel would be. Right in the middle of everything. My whole body was smiling intensely. The storm, the elections were all around me, but in my heart it was just love. All I wanted was to share my positivity in this hard time, and I knew in my heart that NYC was the perfect place to do so. I had a big dream. The first thing I did upon arriving in the hotel? I danced and embraced NYC with my good vibes. Then I went out to find food. Outside was beautiful, like a glittering, magical town; I felt like I was in a movie. I felt the power of the amazing architecture. On my second day, I went to Chelsea to meet the Agora Gallery team. Most of the Chelsea galleries were flooded with water and the entire area was devastated. But Agora Gallery was still open, because they are on the second floor. The exhibition was still on! I was so excited. My heart was beating so fast, but I had to go in. I never had an exhibition before, and I did not know what to expect. I must say that once I met them all, I felt instantly more confident. Angela and her team are so welcoming and friendly, and the gallery is a super awesome, cool space. I loved it. The exhibition went very well. I met many people that night, and got to know Manhattan through their eyes. For me it was The Ultimate Experience. At the exhibition, I met a writer and his wife, and something happened to me that I’ll never forget: I visited the offices of a world famous fashion magazine. Imagine me and my joy. One afternoon, the couple I met at the exhibition told me that I had to meet this artist called Sojna Wagner, and I went to visit her place: a loft in the middle of Manhattan. She showed me some of her art, including her series, Ruby Legs. I fell in love with her illustrations. I gained a lot of inspiration from this woman. She was living on the 9th floor, and across the street, right in front of my eyes, through the largest window I saw ballerinas, all dressed up and dancing. I was overwhelmed by this surrealistic vision. For me it was so New York City. The Ultimate Experience: Part Two. I had also come to New York to discover where my grandmother lived during her youth. I found some archives in Ellis Island, then I found an address. She had been living in Little Italia. So one day I went there to take pictures. I did not know where to start and suddenly I saw a logo on the shop outside where it was written “Only Love,” and right under there, street art with a helicopter shooting red hearts. In my mind, this is a sign from my grandmother saying to me, “Follow all the hearts.” And so, I followed all the hearts that I could see and I knew straight away that it was my grandmother’s path. I was in paradise, and I will not forget this afternoon with my grandma. I cried, I laughed. It was very intense emotionally. This is why I would like to share some of the heart photos from Little Italia, exactly 100 years after my grandmother moved back to France when she was five years old. I stayed in New York City for two weeks. I walked a lot, visited many museums, etc. etc. These three Ultimate Experiences have moved me so much, and I can say that my art today is reminiscent of it. I love New York City, and imagination is everything” Violette Cici