Wild at Heart

Paris' contemporary art world cut loose at Maxim's after the opening of the provocative "Dionysiac" exhibit at the Pompidou Center.

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Paris — The contemporary art world cut loose — maybe too loose — at Maxim’s Wednesday night after the opening of the provocative “Dionysiac” exhibit at the Pompidou Center. The show features works by 14 artists, including Paul McCarthy, Maurizio Cattelan and Kendell Geers, who presented outrageous phallic-shaped champagne flutes.

Such pieces clearly inspired naughty behavior. Gallerist Thaddaeus Ropac and artists Sophie Calle and Jean-Marc Bustamante mingled politely enough. But on the dance floor, an altogether rowdier crowd held sway, smashing their drinks to the ground, throwing petit fours through the air and wielding fake guns and giant sex toys.

Christine Macel, the exhibit’s curator,  seemed to enjoy the scene, though Princess Maria von Thurn und Taxis eyed the wild masses with a worried air. She certainly didn’t want to risk ruining her dress. “I designed it myself while on a recent trip to India,” she explained.
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