28 dic 2010

Entretiens avec Pierre Robin

Title: Entretiens avec Pierre Robin
Author: Pierre Brennetot
Year of publication: 2010
Paperback: 66 pages
Language: French
Price: € 15.00
Pierre Robin was a tribal art dealer for almost forty years in Paris. Now retired to the south of France, he tells of his beginnings, his career, his travels,... He recalls his meetings with many personalities from the world of art and his passion for sculpture of the Bozo of Mali. With great humour and verve, he reveals through these interviews, his tribulations in the world of "distant arts".

An excerpt from the title by Pierre Brennetot:
Pierre Robin was still installed at rue Jacques Callot, in the district of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, when I met him for the first time. He was one of the few merchants to have the door of his gallery still open and receive the Africans with their big bags full of items. Upon retirement in the Tarn, Pierre Robin received me many times. I have always been enthusiastic about the man, his life, his collection,... At each visit, in passing from one room to another of his house, he told me stories about the world of antiques in Paris. Thus came the idea of this book.
He was an actor in this period where objects "coming out" in Africa and elsewhere, where there was still making discoveries, when the travel permit to bring quantities of objects ... I, who am of a different generation (he was my father's age!), was always fascinated by this period. Today it's hard to imagine such excitement at the opening of boxes,... Collectors and dealers were enthusiastic, prices of items were affordable and if one had the eye and taste, he could make a nice collection,...
But Pierre Robin does not live deep in the past. He kept the flame of passion objects. It is now known in the area of African art for its collection of Bozo of Mali. This art so gay, so colorful, so bold, Robin loves it. Others decry these objects? Good for him! He knows that tastes change and in a few years everyone will say "ah, if I had known..."
His house is not a dusty shrine, but the world of a great "showman" as he likes to call himself. Everywhere on the walls, consoles, shelves, objects of different civilizations and different eras meet. Regularly it moves objects, for fun, to meet new people... African Art lovers may be confused by this accumulation, it is far from the collection "classic", and then Pierre Robin has sold thousands of items, mainly to finally keep its Bozo.
I wanted to write about this life of art researcher, adventurer, atypical gallery owner, so I recorded Pierre Robin during several "sessions" by preparing in advance a few questions, then finally leaving me go to a free conversation. 
Pierre Robin also gave me the opportunity to freely photograph his collection. Always enthusiastic, he shared with me his passion and a little time...

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