For centuries Paris has been known as a birthplace of art and culture for western civilization.
It has been a source of inspiration and a safe haven for artists from all over. At the center of it lies the Louvre, indisputably the most important art museum in the world. Considered a temple of art history, it tells the story of the world through its collections, great artists, and their work. It’s safe to say, one of the greatest honors an artist can receive is having their work showcased inside its halls… and only a handful have been able to experience this honor while alive. On January 25th Elias Crespin joined this very special group. He became the first Latin American artist to be included in the permanent collection of the Louvre while alive.
To commemorate the Louvre Pyramid’s 30th anniversary, the museum commissioned Crespin’s modern piece titled “L’Onde du Midi”, the midday wave. This kinetic display includes 128 metal tubes that perform a dance with each other as they hang above the prestigious Escalier du Midi. The artwork mimics a hypnotic ballet that brings together classic peacefulness with motorized innovation.
To some, Crespin´s new piece in the Louvre simply showcases a great work of art, but for Venezuelans, it represents so much more. Due to the current situation our country is facing, it seems like most of the international news tends to be negative. This exhibition is not only a milestone for Latin American artists, but a ray of sunshine for Venezuelan people in general.
Kinetic art is such an important part of Latin American culture. Particularly in Venezuela, kinetic artists and their pieces are already included in the identity of the capital. Caracas wouldn’t be Caracas without Jesus Soto’s big red sphere in the middle of it. Or Alejandro Otero´s piece in Plaza Venezuela. And for a country that has gone through one of the most significant emigration patterns in history, nothing is more of an emblem than Carlos Cruz-Diez’ floors of the Maiquetia Airport. Crespin credits Venezuela as his inspiration; in several interviews, he clearly states that seeing kinetic pieces all around his hometown was the trigger that inspired him to create.
Considering kinetic art was born in Paris and made famous in Latin America in the 40s and 50s, Crespin’s display in the Louvre seems to poetically bring this artistic tradition full circle. It pays homage to his country’s culture, it beautifully embodies the building’s artistry and it helps bring the museum one step closer into the future, where the boundaries of art are limitless.
Thank you, Elias… for bringing such pride to our community.