Friday, January 13, 2012

A Star-Spangled Banner in St. Remy

Walking home from town a couple weeks ago, I spied this wall-size installation from a full block away and my heart skipped a beat. It's at La Maison de  Cédric, a quirky and elegant furniture, antiques, decor and design shop in my neighborhood in St. Remy. Owner Cédric Schmitté has given the sculpture pride of place; it fills a full wall of the glass-enclosed satellite space he has in front of his main shop. And it's brightly lit most evenings for all the world to see. Cédric tells me the piece, entitled Drapeau Américain, was created by 35-year-old artist Aurélien Grudzien, who was born in Montelimar (in the Drome Provencale), and currently lives and works in Puyjiron. The hands are made of concrete and should you want to order a similar piece, they could be rendered in any color. 

So what inspired the flag? Aurélien says it was his work with concrete that triggered the idea; he says he is "inexplicably attracted" to New York, to the art he sees in the architecture on every corner, and that this material and symbol seemed a perfect way to describe his feelings for that "upright" and very-cosmopolitan city. The sculpture is 4.6  by 2.6 meters (15 by 8.5 feet) and priced at 5000€. To reach Aurélien directly, you can email him: But La Maison de Cédric is his sole gallery and representative and Cedric would be delighted to answer all inquiries. Either way, you should definitely pop by the shop as there are many very-special pieces (furniture, lighting, accessories, etc.) on view and some of Aurélien's paintings as well. As for me, the flag remains a very moving sight and I often find myself singing a few lines of "America the Beautiful" as I pass by...the Ray Charles version, of course, which you can hear here.

La Maison de Cedric
2, rue Camille Pelletan
13210 St. Remy de Provence
Tel/fax  in France: 04-32-60-12-83
From the US: 011-33-4-32-60-12-83
From the UK: 00-33-4-32-60-12-83


  1. What an interesting piece and unique.
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Love, Love this, Julie! I will forward this to my art teaching friends. In 2001 I was still teaching, and I had each student do a mixed media American flag project. There were many wonderful pieces created, but this one delivers a coup de coeur!
    p.s. Did you get my email?

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  4. It reminds me of 911 where the white hands belong to the people who are trapped in the Twin Towers and and red hands belong to the people who died.



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