I understand that the real virtual barrier will one day explode and end up merging, this is only a question of time now.
In December, the gallerist Dorian Dumonteil opened Dumonteil Contemporary, an art gallery specializing in contemporary art, at 8 rue d’Aboukir in Paris’s second arrondissement with Tess Dumon’s solo show Les liens invisibles. Over three hundred guests attended this spacious gallery of three hundred square meters, and all of Tess’s work was sold either that night or from a preview email.
In 1982, Dorian’s parents, Dothi and Pierre Dumonteil, opened their first gallery in the heart of Rive Gauche, at 38 rue de l’Université, and in 2008 they opened a gallery in Shanghai under the direction of Yuxin Zheng. Last year Dorian became the successor of the Dumonteil Contemporary Galley where he has worked since 2012. Dorian honed his skills at their former New York gallery before returning to Paris.
Dorian studied business at ISG (Institut Superieur de Gestion) and following his passion for art he did a second master's in art history at IESA (Institut d'Études Supérieures des Arts) in Paris. His parents taught him art appreciation through museum visits, though, his real passion for art came to him later at business school.
Prior to Dorian opening his new gallery we met up via a virtual chat and followed up with each other in subsequent emails.
What do you love about art?
In addition to art itself, it's the art world that fascinates me. This world which is in perpetual reflection and creation. We meet fascinating and passionate people there. It’s an environment in which I can truly thrive.
What is the best way to display one’s art?
In a museum so that as many people as possible can enjoy it. If not, at home so that you can live with it.
Do you have any advice for the inspiring artist?
Being an artist is a vocation, so you have to know how to make sacrifices and persevere. You also have to know how to evolve and question yourself, stay curious and open. You must also take the time to find a gallery owner who will understand you and follow you throughout your career. With whom it will be necessary to succeed in establishing a true relationship of trust, a bit like in a couple ultimately.
Do you miss New York, and if so what do you miss about it?
Of course, I miss New York, especially its frenzy. It is a city that, like its artistic life, is an intense city that is endlessly bubbling. It is one of the rare cities in the world which offers so many cultural opportunities both through its large number of museums and galleries, but also through its openness and effervescence. And the parties also!
What do you like to cook?
As a Franco-Vietnamese, I like to cook both, sometimes by merging them. But I also like the authentic taste of things. A good roast chicken on Sunday lunch with the family is simply the best.
Do you have a favorite time in history?
Antiquity, from a cultural point of view, is in my eyes one of the most important periods in the history of our humanity.
If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Alexander the Great, the first to create a link between Europe and Asia.
Where is art heading?
Where it is not usually expected! But more seriously There is a real return to figurative art today.
What do you think of NFTs?
For me, an NFT is first and foremost an identification token and therefore it will eventually become a certificate of authenticity in the future even for real works. On the other hand, I remain very perplexed as to its current use, I see a lot of abuse that takes advantage of artistic or legal vagueness (copyright and moral rights) to maximize their profit. We must therefore distinguish virtual art from NFT since NFT is just as applicable to real art. Virtual art is just one more form of expression.
What are your favorite books?
Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I am a huge fan of history in general, and this book is a perfect example of literature grounded in historical reality.
What is your favorite cocktail?
Amaretto Sour because I love the taste of almond.
Dorian has recently moved into a new apartment, and it is an opportunity for him to create an artful home. His approach to interior design is an eclectic one. For his new apartment, he may mix an Edo period Samurai armor with contemporary Art, furniture from Hubert Le Gall with an antique Louis XV chest of drawers, and accents may include ceramics from Picasso or Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann for Sèvres.
When Dorian isn’t in Paris, he may spend weekends at his family’s Château du Fayel in Normandy and summers at their home in Île de Yeu, an idyllic island known for its unspoiled beauty off the West coast of France.
Dumonteil Contemporary is located a stone’s throw from one of the most beautiful places in Paris, a circular the Place des Victoires with its nineteenth-century equestrian statue of the Sun King - Louis XIV in bronze by the nineteenth-century artist François-Joseph Bosio. I can’t wait to be in Place des Victoires again and visit the gallery in real-time.