Toulouse: a cross-dressing artist is exhibited in a window, place du Capitole

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Fashion designer and performer, Naco has taken over the Espace Ecureuil until May 7. This weekend, transfigured into an extravagant female creature, he exposes himself to the gaze of passers-by behind the glass of the gallery.

Originally from northern France and adopted in Toulouse for six months, young designer Naco has made a name for himself in the fashion world in Paris and Tokyo. He is also a performer who uses transformism as a means of expression. This Friday, the opening day of his first major exhibition at the invitation of the Caisse d’Epargne foundation for contemporary art, the artist offered a performance that he intends to reproduce this Saturday afternoon, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. hours. pm, and on Sunday, presidential election day.

Transformed into a plump diva, unrecognizable under her makeup, Naco poses in the gallery window. She plays with people’s reactions, while performing one of her rituals, which involves printing lipstick strokes on white paper. Another of Naco’s obsessions is the phrase ART IS RESISTANCE that he has been painting by hand for years on all kinds of media: protective masks, t-shirts, sneakers, cloth bags…

He covered the walls of the gallery lobby with his favorite catchphrase. “It’s a strong message that I never get tired of. When I paint a whole wall like this it reassures me. As a teenager I was fat, rebellious, out of school, bad in my skin as a boy,” confesses Naco, who has Minnie’s head tattooed on the right arm and Mickey’s on the left. “I created my character as a woman and it changed everything in my life. At the age of 14 I was already doing burlesque shows, while I was an apprentice tailor. There was such a contrast in my life, between night and day!”

“Girl with a pearl” XXL

The artist exhibits a series of self-portraits, the best known of which is a selfie, three-quarter face, sideways glance, turban wrapped around the head. A funny and cruel pastiche, XXL version, of the painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Vermeer. In the column room of the Espace Écureuil, a huge hyper-realistic photograph creates an optical illusion. One has the impression of entering a sewing workshop.

Naco exhibits garments created for fashion shows: a “harlequin dress” made from scraps of fabric found in a wastebasket in the Parisian neighborhood of Sentier, a series of very “couture” jackets, cut from used clothing from a sports brand with three stripes… He collects everything, including used makeup remover wipes, relics from his cabaret shows. Once framed, they look like abstract paintings. Between claim and ridicule, the All Over Naco Paris exhibition reflects a personality on the edge.

Until May 7, Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Espace Ecureuil gallery, 3 place du Capitole. Free entry. Performances at the venue on Friday afternoon.

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