Défilés on line

Foto flash


Betony Vernon
Irina Volkonskii
Serge Joncour
Hikoru Katano
Stephen di Renza

Espace beauté

Shopping à Paris


Dress code

Le Journal



Notre boutique



Rachel Laurent

The defrocked chic of a chick artist

By Denyse Beaulieu / Photo : Catherine Thiry

When Rachel Laurent, brandishing a Havana cigar between long lacquered red nails, sails into an art opening with her Yohji-punk “defrocked chic” allure, men swoon… When they see her work, some of them lose their composure entirely. Exquisitely composed cannibal feasts where dismembered plastic dolls swim in ketchup and pasta, inflatable sex dolls encrusted in garbage or disguised in homeless handicapped beggars – styled in thrift-shop clothes, complete with “I’m hungry” cardboard panels bought of Yugoslavian pan-handlers… “All my work is about profanation”, declares Rachel Laurent, pointing to a series of “Smashed self-portraits” depicting the artist in scalpel-mishap make-up, projected on crumpled paper and re-photographed. “This shocks a lot. Personally, I think I’m ravishing… However, it would never have occurred to me to photograph myself if I hadn’t posed, disguised as Claude Cahun, for Olivier Blanckart . I saw myself ugly and it rid me of the idealised image of femininity we all carry within us. It was very liberating.”
The same liberating gesture once drove Rachel Laurent to cut off her Rita Hayworth mane and adopt an all-black wardrobe for strictly practical reasons, when she started riding a motorcycle. “Anyway, when I dressed up as a woman-woman, I looked a bit like a transvestite”, she decrees. “I started dressing in black and I stayed in black. And in Yohji Yamamato : when you put it on, you always look like something. This deliberately un-sexy style is also a kind of provocation. After 50, not playing on sex-appeal is quite restful.”


Don’t get this wrong : this strategically non-seductive attitude is, of course, devastatingly erotic. As is Rachel Laurent’s work with its iconoclastic play on sexual identity and beauty – her “Self-portrait as Pierre Molinier” for last summer’s “Postérieurs” exhibition at the Galerie Martagon in Malaucène, drives the point home. In it, Rachel Laurent, smoking a cigar, assumes the acrobatic posture of a woman disguised as a man disguised as a woman… Which shouldn’t surprise, coming from a fan of Marilyn – Manson, of course.

Rachel Laurent is at the Galerie Loevenbruck, 40 rue de Seine, 2 rue de l'Echaudé - 75006 PARIS.