July 29, 2021

In Paris, the loft story of the artist Mathias Kiss

By Marie Godfrain

Posted today at 5:00 p.m.

View of the ground floor of Mathias Kiss's studio, in Paris, April 12, 2021.

Mathias Kiss’s passion? Climb carpets on the wall, paint floors with gold leaf, crumple mirrors and zigzag the cornices of the ceilings. A job on which he can spend more than eight hours a day, brush in hand … “My job is to make noise, smell and dust, so for that I need to be alone. “

A former companion – he was trained at a very young age in the restoration of historical monuments – this exceptional artist has long been committed to desacralizing heritage in works and installations that transgress the borders of contemporary art and decorative arts. And the result, exhibited in museums, galleries or fashion boutiques (notably Hermès), is always a sensation.

After having lived and worked for a long time in different places scattered around Paris, Mathias Kiss sought to bring everything together in a single space necessarily located on the ground floor, in order to be able to bring in his equipment and his works, which can weigh a good hundred of kilos. Not to mention his huge scaffolding, which has finally found its place, alongside his motorbike, in a cathedral location without a kitchen. It is therefore in a volume perfectly in his image that Mathias Kiss has been living for a few months, painting, modeling, partying, boxing and welcoming trainees and clients.

“Between technical school and sitcom set”

A few months ago, passing under the porch of a building, he took an alley along which are aligned low buildings that once housed workshops that were destroyed and replaced by lofts all in height. A type of typically Parisian town planning that inspires the artist with two contradictory feelings when he visits the place for the first time: “I loved the light and the vacation feel of this quiet loft, the idea of ​​being able to sit on the front steps for a coffee. But I hesitated for a long time when I discovered the interior, a rather impersonal space with slabs of false ceilings, gray balustrades and guardrails in pierced sheet metal. A set located between technical high school and film set of a genre sitcom Helen and the boys… »

Artist Mathias Kiss in his studio in Paris, April 12, 2021.

He finally invests the five floors, repaints the balcony in white and places wooden panels on the tiled floor, which he also brushes with paint to obtain a support that he can pierce for his projects requiring to be anchored to the ground. From the ground floor to the top floor, on the north side, the mezzanines (with a “hidden” room system behind each passageway) are connected by a metal staircase and, on the south side, the ground floor runs like a cathedral up to ‘on the roof and its large Velux windows with a view of the sky.

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