Serge Bensimon, the founder of the Gallery S. Bensimon and the fun and trendy lifestyle concept Home Around the World
Founder of the concept store Home Around the world, Serge Bensimon has opened a Gallery in Paris where he floats an East wind. An interview signed Côté Est ...
Your first meeting with Central Europe?
Serge Bensimon : I knew Czechoslovakia in its toughest period, there was a camera in every hotel room! I was immediately very sensitive to the architecture of the houses, the work of glass and wood. This is what interests us in the gallery, to detect and highlight this know-how, with artisans who practice affordable prices. To make the Muffin lamps for example, we found an old factory in Bohemia that knew how to blow and mold the glass even very large.
François Leblanc (director of the gallery), how do you make your selection?
François Leblanc : Serge has his philosophy of encounters, sharing and simplicity; collector, he likes functional objects or that bring something. Me, I'm leaving Arts-Décoratifs. In addition, we decided to work with friendly people!
Eastern Europe, chance or deliberate choice?
Serge Bensimon : All these designers from Eastern Europe display their sense of know-how, quality and affordable prices. We opened the gallery on the side of Arts & Crafts, with furniture made to last in a period of significant consumption. Today, the system is identical, even if it is the designers who are known.
Serge Bensimon, what are the qualities of these designers?
Serge Bensimon : I am very sensitive to their ingenuity and their sense of "recycling". I who come from the surplus, from the second-hand, in my gallery, we find noble wood and recycled, which join in the same notion of know-how.
Which are the most productive countries?
Serge Bensimon : Finland has its own wood culture and Helsinki, the world's design capital of 2012, is very productive. When the Berlin Wall fell, it allowed us to know Germany in a new way. Poland is looking to the future and its domestic market is important. Czechoslovakia and Hungary should not be neglected for their ceramics.
Projects for Gallery Bensimon?
Serge Bensimon : New achievements with the Bohemian glass factory, Balloons lamps. We are continuing our collaboration with Mark Braun and the Berlin collective Llot Llov for his lighting. As we are not from the world of galleries, we do not have the attitude. We also teach creators not to do only design, a hackneyed word that ends up pointing to beautiful things but useless, the opposite what I want to do!
Gallery S. Bensimon, 111, rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris, gallerybensimon.com