Paul Bert Serpette in the eye of Christelle Téa

On the occasion of the exhibition of drawings by Christelle Téa at the Rage Gallery, "The spirit of the Flea Market in the alleys of Paul Bert Serpette", Christelle talks to us today about her experience within the Market both as as an artist as a lover of antiques...

- What were your first impressions in the alleys of Paul Bert Serpette?


“Wanderings, almost a walk but with the pleasure of discovering, meeting people, learning, traveling, sometimes even through time; with this lively pleasure of being able to buy! I was happy to draw, but that meant depriving myself of strolling and antiquing. I was here to work. Rest assured, I now intend to catch up! The warm welcome I received also contributed to the pleasure of discovering Les Puces through the prism of my drawing. »


- Have you had a crush on certain pieces at Paul Bert Serpette?


I saw some beautiful things there: decorative objects, tableware, furniture… I have a particular crush on the clothes and fabrics of Les Merveilles de Babellou and Chantal Dagommer.



- This winter, you sometimes drew outside and thus discovered the daily life of a merchant of Paul Bert, how did you feel?


Like them, I feel very cold, sometimes even to the point that I could barely hold my pen. I would have liked us to do like Renoir at the end of his life and to tie the pen between my fingers - but for him it was because of arthritis. I solved this problem like the merchants, warming my fingers with a tea or a coffee…


- What were the difficulties encountered?


Bad weather: rain, cold and wind… Draw all day when it's 1•C. The wind that lifts the sheet despite the pliers and the fascinator that risks flying away. The insistent curiosity of some passers-by as well. Other than that, all the vendors were so lovely, some even thanked me for drawing their booth with gifts. What sweet attention!



- Have you ever entered such a particular universe?


Each antique dealer has its own universe and this rich diversification feeds the melting pot of the Puces de Paris-Saint-Ouen. Each booth is unique. Drawing a merchant's booth is a bit like drawing his taste, his story, his personality, and I discover some nice surprises...


- What memories / what impressions do you keep of the merchants of Paul Bert Serpette?


I keep a good impression of them for the majority, sympathetic, kind, caring and benevolent while I drew. The women all have a maternal or very friendly side. I liked the stories they told me, their experiences: the first years when they started, some from childhood. Each antique dealer is "a book", stories to tell, images to show, a passion that never ends...