While Loïc Le Gaillard was born in Paris, he’s called London home for over twenty years, having moved there to study business. Having spent a good portion of his career in marketing, he decided to take a huge leap in 2006 and open up a gallery in a carpenter’s workshop in Chelsea. It seemed only fitting to name the gallery Carpenters Workshop Gallery, especially since many of the featured handmade functional sculptures were made using artisanal techniques. Soon after, he joined forces with a childhood friend, Julien Lombrail, who had similar goals and business styles with his gallery in Paris and the Carpenters Workshop Gallery was officially born. Since then, they’ve opened another space in London in Mayfair’s historic Albemarle Street, as well as their third space in Marais, Paris. They continue to grow by supporting both rising artists along with established names in contemporary art, all the while keeping things fresh in the design meets art world. Let’s see the places and things that keep this Frenchman inspired in this week’s Friday Five.
1. Inspirational person – Louis, my son
Now aged six, Louis has really developed his own personality and is a constant source of creative inspiration. At the moment his favorite film character is Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages, from the French animated films of Michel Ocelot. The beautifully made films tell the story of a small boy who lives in a village in Africa. Kirikou stands out for his sense of adventure, sharp intelligence and respect for the environment, a good role-model for kids.
2. Local inspiration – The Arts Club, Dover Street, London.
Just around the corner from our gallery in Mayfair, The Arts Club is often my local canteen. Although the club has a very classic and elegant style it is also very relaxed with friendly welcoming staff. There is a great atmosphere with a variety of rooms with different types of cuisine and decor. It’s perfect for art lovers, design, and of course, food. It’s a good place to meet clients and contacts, as well as colleagues and friends.
3. Active inspiration – Kite surfing
Kite surfing has been a passion of mine since my twenties. Being a gallerist is a 24/7 job, so jumping the waves at speed is the perfect way to switch off. I try to head to the coast as much as possible. One of my favorite spots is Dakhla, in South Morocco.
4. Inspiration from home – The Eiffel Tower
Perhaps it’s a cliché but as a Parisian living abroad the Eiffel Tower is always a welcome sight. I took it for granted when I lived here but now I love coming back to it. I’m still as impressed by it now as I was climbing up it for the first time at the age of eight, it’s one of most spectacular architectural masterworks in the world. Studio Job created a quirky take on the landmark with its Eiffel Tower Lamp. It was love at first sight and I have one in my apartment in London as a reminder of home.
5. Gourmet inspiration – French food
J’adore la cuisine français! London has a lot going for it in terms of vibrancy and energy but you can’t beat France for its food. The detail and passion that goes into each dish is incredible. Chez Benoit, a restaurant close to Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris has it down to a fine art. My favorite dish is ris de veau aux morilles (a veal sweetbread and wild mushroom dish) which is very difficult to get in England. La Cigale Recamier in the 7th arrondissement of Paris does the best one I’ve tasted.