Marc Camille Chaimowicz
*1947 in Paris, France
Lives in London and in Burgundy (France), works with mixed media and performance
About the Work
Since the early 1970s, Marc Camille Chaimowicz has been blurring the lines between private and public, the self and its images, between art and design, yesterday and today. In the process, he has created an elegant and stylish oeuvre that resists categorization.
The biographical details in his CV often read like this: “Born in post-war Paris.” One may read this as a charming way of saying he would rather not state his age: an understated rejection of the data imperative. But it also names a time and place that evoking a certain era: the end of a classically European civilisation; distant memories of the Belle Époque and slightly less distant ones of the avant-gardes; and a war that brought unprecedented horrors. Although he was born in post-war Paris, the artist soon moved with his parents to England where he grew up and studied. He was socialized by the glam and pop of the early 1970s and it was then that his career began in London. In his new Anglo-American setting, continental Europe maintained its hold on him, making itself felt throughout his work: a memory that was wonderful, but also slightly sad. “The French think I have an English sensibility, and the English think I have a French sensibility,” says Chaimowicz.
The breath of history is felt in the spaces he designs, but it doesn’t get caught, passing airily through these works that often recall interiors and dwellings. His arrangements of chests of drawers, wallpaper, textiles, shelves or chairs may seem to be closed off and shielded from the noise of the world, but time and its passing are there as intimations. Chaimowicz is discrete, and he’s elegant. He’s a master of concealed allusion. And this is what makes his work so appealing.