Located in the boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris, the Sonia Rykiel store was transformed into a massive library by artist André Saraïva and Thomas Lenthal, the brand’s art director. The store is covered in bookcases filled with over 50,000 books on several levels.
This was almost 10 years ago. Where does the time go?
This was the first thing I saw as I walked down the long corridor, with a skylight above it, the light beaming down onto Winged Victory like she was coming alive; like I was walking on sacred ground, toward this magnificent sculpture and the artworks that it beckoned to. It is monumental. I was blown away and I took so many photos of it in an attempt to preserve its impact. I had to get a picture of myself with it. The only clean clothes I had were what I was wearing (the skirt and scarf I bought two days prior in Barcelona). I was totally exhausted, drained, running out of money, and yet simultaneously overwhelmed with excitement to actually see the masterpieces I have loved for so long from a distance. I think I cried when I saw the Raft of the Medusa in person. I know I cried when I saw the Oath of the Horatii. I was walking amongst Michelangelos, Raphaels, Davids, Gericaults, Canovas… I was in their spaces, examining them, feeling probably what their contemporary viewers felt. I was being seduced by Cupid & Psyche; called to action by the Oath of the Horatii; influenced into meditative stillness by Da Vinci. How could I leave?