Paris, a moveable feast or an obsolete capital of the past?

Oil painting of Miho HIRAKAWA

Paris is a unique city. For 1000 people, there’re 1000 different Paris.

For most people who have yet come to visit Paris, it is a magical city. As the capital of art and fashion, she has her unmatchable charm. For amateurs of history, her past glory still shines like a bright star.

However, Paris is also a city which is very down to earth. Like every other place, when we put aside that romanticism and surreal expectation, life is just a reality check that no one can escape. When you actually live in Paris for an extended period of time, things start to look different. Once out of the famous touristic areas, we see the actual age of the city, we feel her decline and dilemma. The painting of Miho showed us a genuine face of Paris today: small and crowded buildings, extremely narrow streets and excessive noises, etc.

The realistic style of the artist brought to life an uttermost depiction of the aging city. The cracks of the oil paint correspond to those on the wall due to lack of maintenance since several decades. The black stains also show the powerlessness of the neighborhood.

A city is an organic being with many different facades. This is especially true for Paris. She has withstood centuries of hardship while keeping her original character and appearance. This persistence is at the same time her charm and her chains.

This work of Miho has touched my heart as a Parisian. On the canvas, the artist put great efforts to show the aging, weary yet still charming face of Paris. This accuracy really hits home for me.

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