Regardless of how many reviews you read, nothing will quite prepare you for the artistic world that awaits behind the doors and up the winding staircase of 59 Rivoli.
Before you even enter, you’ll notice the building at 59 Rue de Rivoli isn’t like the others on this famous Paris shopping street. Often decorated with posters, banners, and some sort of multimedia artwork dangling from the balconies, this place is home to an enormous artistic space that serves as a squat, workshop, and gallery.
Free to enter, you’ll walk past the ground floor gallery and into the graffiti-covered stairwell. Then, make your way up the seven floors of studios to admire pieces of contemporary art, chat with the artists, and watch as they create their works.
If you arrive near closing time, they may even offer you a drink or a cigarette (this is Paris, après tout)! Don’t go too late though, or else you’ll get rather abruptly shooed as someone loudly shouts that it’s closing time.
30 different artists call this place home, so there’s a bit of everything. Politically-charged collages cover walls, plants break through cement blocks, and bright paintings adorn easels.
With three or four different songs playing simultaneously in the background while you wander around, a trip here is the sort of sensory overload you need to break out of the routine. There’s something completely unexpected and raw about this place, and the fact that it’s on one of the most famous streets in Paris, just a few blocks from the Louvre, only heightens this sensation.
Continue your artistic explorations and visit one of the 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries in Paris.