‘Public financing is decreasing, budgets are low, so it’s our role to support art,’ says the director of Galeries Lafayette's art space.
The department store Galeries Lafayette in Paris is an orgy of commerce that may be not be matched anywhere in the world, with its swarms of tourists sporting Saint Laurent clutches and Chanel frocks, and Louis Vuitton booths popping up seemingly every ten feet, all clustered beneath a massive glass dome. Past all this, and after a few more bodega-sized shops stuffed with Fendi, you’ll find a contemporary art space.
It’s called, appropriately enough, Galerie des Galeries.
“Half of our visitors come to the Galeries to see the exhibition, and half came here by chance—of course, we have a lot of foreign people,” said Elsa Janssen, the stylish (naturally) director of Galerie des Galeries, basking in the space’s high-powered A/C on a scorching Paris afternoon, sitting on a cool-looking but slightly uncomfortable chaise lounge facing a John Armleder painting.