A Tally of Two Cities avec Vahram Muratyan, Part I
With additional questions from Picktainment writer and Francophile, Savanna New.
When Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities, the two metropolises he chose were – naturally – London and Paris. But somewhere between the French Revolution and today, Parisians seem to have found their next great amour in New York City.
I often tell people that the only city I would leave New York for would be Paris. Just the mere sound of “Paris” sends joie de vivre through my heart – as it does for so many of my fellow Manhattanites – and the thought of devouring croissants and fromage, hearing the elegance of the French tongue, inhaling the scents of cafés and jardins, patisseries and musées is almost too mouthwatering to handle.
New York and Paris both showcase incredible art and character, each distinct in its own flair. Never have I seen this phenomenon so brilliantly captured as in Vahram Muratyan’s Paris vs. NYC blog. I simply had to interview this exquisite artist, whose creativity and conceptualizations dazzle the senses like an afternoon of Amélie or Ratatouille. If Amélie derives simple pleasures in skipping stones and cracking crème brûlée… well, I find mine in salivating over Vahram’s masterworks.
Here is my interview with the artiste himself!
What inspired you to start compiling this “Tally of Two Cities?”
My very own story: born, raised and living in Paris, obsessed with NYC.
Where’s the best place to live? Let’s draw to compare.
Do you come up with all the ideas yourself?
Yes, every idea is drawn first in my sketch book.
What are your five favorite sketches?
That would be the ones describing what Parisians can feel when they see their fellow New Yorkers’ way of living:
le café — a Parisian would think “they never sit down at terraces”
la conversation — “wow everywhere people talk so loud”
le taxi — “you never get a taxi in Paris”
le tip — “how do you know how much to give?”
l’hiver — “it’s cold but unlike Paris, it’s dry, look at this beautiful blue sky!”There has been a lot of interest in your work, to the point where it has spread over the Internet. How do you feel about so many eyes viewing your art/blog?
When I started the blog, I was staying in New York City. At first, my intention was to communicate in a different way with my friends.
The comments and support from a lot more people from the world came very early in the process; it’s that dialogue that keeps the blog alive — now that I’ve gone back to Paris, it makes me want to go back!
Art Nouveau: Les Questions de Savanna New
One of your pieces features a Parisian macaron and a New York cupcake. What’s the best macaron you’ve had in Paris, and what’s the best cupcake you’ve eaten in New York?
Hello Savanna New The best Macaron I had was not from Ladurée or Pierre Hermé (both great of course) but from Carette (caramel) on Place des Vosges
Magnolia Bakery is great even if I prefer a good cheesecake or carrot cake.
Would you rather be stuck in traffic in Paris or New York?
Well I’m never stuck in traffic because I ride a bicycle in both cities.
What do you think New York could learn from Paris? (And vice versa)
From Paris, New York should get the velib’ system — with proper cycle lines in the middle of Manhattan.
From New York, Paris should get a unique price for the metro ticket wherever you go in the Greater Paris.
DISCLAIMER: ALL ART REPRESENTED HERE IS COPYRIGHTED BY VAHRAM MURATYAN. HE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO LET US DISPLAY HIS WORK FOR THIS PIECE. YOU CAN PURCHASE THE PRINTS HERE!