Meet the Buzzy Artist Who Did the New Van Cleef & Arpels Windows

When Van Cleef & Arpels commissioned buzzy French artist Alexandre Benjamin Navet to create site-specific works for its boutiques, the world was in a very different place. But on the eve of the long-awaited unveiling of Navet’s joyful illustrations, the timing couldn’t feel more right. Even before customers enter the Fifth Avenue flagship, the jeweler’s windows beckon visitors with paper cutouts of colorful, childlike trellises sprinkled with flowers. Inside, sunny strokes of paint line the risers of the curved staircase and wrap the wall encircling it, while Navet’s signature hand-painted vases rise up behind display cases bursting with fresh flowers. It is a mood-lifting pop in these difficult times. Below, AD PRO speaks with Navet about his collaborations with world-famous designers like Pierre Yovanovitch and the one thing Van Cleef & Arpels got him to explore for the very first time.

AD PRO: You do works on paper, canvas, objects, and furniture, and in interior spaces. Do you see them as a conversation among each other?

Alexandre Benjamin Navet: I work in various media: painting, pastels for frescoes or artworks, drawings, interior design for textiles or decoration…. Many of these are integrated into the project with Van Cleef & Arpels. It’s very generous. This is what I love in art and design—when someone can propose a full immersion in their imagination.

AD PRO: How do you choose what objects or furniture you paint on?

ABN: I love the idea to keep a strong connection with interior design and decor. I love everyday objects—utilitarian objects. Books, vases, for example, and architecture are very important in my everyday life, so they are in my artistic process.

It’s all about feeling: Sometimes I create the object or furniture itself, sometimes I draw them, sometimes I curate them and paint or draw on them. I hope I can bring something to the initial object.

AD PRO: You’re known for your site-specific works. What are some interiors projects you’ve worked on recently?

ABN: I love working on in situ fresco projects. Recently I had the opportunity to paint on a giant staircase in a dreamy private apartment in Paris fully decorated by Pierre Yovanovitch, with my palette of vivid colors. I also created an in situ fresco for the hotel Le Lou Pinet in Saint-Tropez designed by Charles Zana, inspired by Saint-Tropez drawings and provincial colors.

AD PRO: How does your art live in your own home?

ABN: My home and my studio are in the same building. I have always worked and lived this way. I don’t have many personal artworks in my interior, but I’ve started to buy and swap some pieces from contemporary artists I love. I like the idea that my office becomes little by little a theatrical scenery. I am currently painting a very colorful and ornamental fresco in the corridor of the studio to welcome back friends, partners, and collectors!

A colorful interior staircase.

Photo: Ricky Zehavi

AD PRO: Your relationship with Van Cleef began several years ago. How did it evolve into this collaboration? 

faqih keren

Related Posts

Downtown Franklin Shops Offer Unique Pumpkin Decor for Your Home

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. to Release Results for its Fiscal 2021 First Quarter on Thursday, October 29, 2020

This Pop-Up ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Bouquet Will Complete Your Halloween Decor

Flower-related businesses experience ups and downs during pandemic | Business Observer