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Iconic: See Edith Piaf Through Victoria Yu’s Eyes at Dejavu Gallery

Victoria Yu lovingly surveys her exhibit at Dejavu gallery, taking in the paintings before answering my question. Her vast portrait series of singer and icon Edith Piaf, completed in just 7 months, extends before us. Through the countless portraits on view, Yu has explored the different aspects of the iconic singer. “I think I enjoyed painting her most when she was younger,” she explains, before clarifying that she has enjoyed capturing how her style evolved over her lifetime.

 

Edith Piaf, chiaroscuro treatment by Victoria Yu

Edith Piaf, chiaroscuro treatment by Victoria Yu

This year marks what would have been Piaf’s 100th birthday. Yu created this Piaf portrait series because of her love of her timeless vocal stylings, especially in the classics Non, je ne regrette rien and the world-renowned La Vie En Rose. It is true: no one emotes quite as expressively as Piaf, and Yu captures this power and prowess in her works. In one image, Piaf extends her arms while her eyes close in monochrome bliss. In another, Piaf takes on the role of Marianne, protectress of the French Republic. Through her many different guises, she sings out. Her notes are palpable; the paintings betray a sensibility that can’t be seen but must instead be felt. Experiencing Yu’s visions of Piaf necessitate stepping into the painting to be with Piaf as she gazes, sighs, and of course, sings. Piaf is a far from static figure: Yu is able to transmute the singer’s enduring passion into her portraits, belying the grace and character of her subject. Shown in various styles over the course of her life, Piaf’s inner light emerges in every image.

 

Vive la France, with Edith Piaf by Victoria Yu

Vive la France, with Edith Piaf by Victoria Yu

Kai Yang, owner of Dejavu boutique and gallery that mounted the exhibit, appreciates how Yu’s portraits enhance the gallery space. Yang explains the history of the second floor gallery: as the Bodley gallery in the 1950s, steered by David Mann, the space housed one of Andy Warhol’s first solo exhibits in NYC. The first floor boutique is one of 6 locations first opened founded in 2003. Dejavu’s garments embody classic glamour and individuality. Traversing genres, this effortless chic spills from the fashion downstairs to the art upstairs, framing the gallery’s ethos as well. Yu’s views of Piaf complement the airy space, evoking ageless and effortless style.
View of Dejavu Art Gallery, East 60th Street

View of Dejavu Art Gallery, East 60th Street

Leaving Dejavu, it dawns on you that it’s the type of place that never goes out of style. And as long as that doesn’t change, I can already tell I’ll be stopping by for a long time to come

 

Artist Victoria Yu, with her brightly colored Edith Piaf portraits

Artist Victoria Yu, with her brightly colored Edith Piaf portraits

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Comments
3 Responses to “Iconic: See Edith Piaf Through Victoria Yu’s Eyes at Dejavu Gallery”
  1. Victoria Yu says:

    thank you so much!

  2. Hallie says:

    / There are some atrtntion-geabbing points on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There is some validity however I will take maintain an opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like more! Added to FeedBurner as well.

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