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Ara Starck
Paris Insider Guide

Artist Ara Starck may share a last name (and project commissions) with her father the high-profile French designer Philippe Starck, but she is well on her way to forging her own clear and creative path. Having trained at the most prestigious institutions between Paris and London, contemporary painter Ara Starck’s style is distinctly her own. Her dreamy and delicate portrait-based work already promises a plentiful career ahead.

She is particularly well known for the spectacular painted ceiling at Restaurant Le Dali at Paris’ Le Meurice Hotel, in which four mini-compositions define the monumental dimension of the space. Long before she began painting, her father Philippe Starck was commissioned to entirely redesign the restaurant’s interior that was to be both homage to Salvador Dali and a backdrop for the cuisine of Executive Chef Yannick Alléno. Ara became aware that her father was in search of an artist to adorn the ceiling, so she stealthily proposed her idea in full anonymity to Starck and Franka Holtman, Director of Le Meurice. The rest, as they say, is history.

Here, Ara Starck reveals her favourite Paris hangouts.

What do you love most about Paris?
The lights. During the day, all year round, the lights infiltrate the streets of Paris in a very romantic way. At night, the way Paris is enlightened is very subtle, magical and makes every step around town a fairy tale.

Which are you favourite design and architecture landmarks in Paris?
La Cour Carrée, in the Louvre. The spatiality of this square is magical. And I like the idea that you can see the dome of the French Academy (Académie Française) aligned in the doors.

Mo Palais-Royal, Paris
T. +33 1 40 205050

Which are your favourite restaurants?
Mori Venice, the best Italian restaurant I know and which has very special fruit ice creams. The outside terrace of Kong is a surreal place on top of Paris.

Mori Venice
2 rue de 4 Septembre, Paris
T. +33 1 44 55 51 55

1 rue de Pont Neuf, Paris
T. +33 1 40 390900

Which are your favourite cafes?
La Perla, a Mexican place, which is full of life and great fun.

La Perla, 26 rue François Miron, Paris
T. +33 1 42 77 59 40

Which are your favourite bars?
Chez Camille, in Montmartre. A tiny place where you can play backgammon and drink a mojito.

Chez Camille
8 rue Ravignan, Paris
T. +33 1 42 59 21 02

Where do you go to relax and rejuvenate?
My ballet class and to Carita for their scalp treatment.

11 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, Paris
T. +33 1 44 94 11 11

What are your favourite museums and cultural attractions?
The Gustave Moreau museum and Le jardin d’Albert Kahn.

Musée Gustave Moreau
14 rue La Rochefoucauld, Paris

Jardin d’Albert Kahn
14 rue du port,Boulogne-Billancourt

Which are your favourite private galleries?
Artegalore, to discover new artists. And also Thaddeus Ropac.

Artegalore gallery
14 rue du Moulin Joly, Paris

Thaddeus Ropac gallery
7 rue Debelleyme, Paris

Which are your favourite shops?
The flea market every Saturday and Sunday. And Miu-Miu for the mini-skirts!

Flea market
Porte de Clignancourt, Paris

Miu Miu
219 Saint Honore
+33 1 49 26 06 45

Which neighbourhoods should a visitor seek out?
The best way to discover a town is to get lost and walk.

Which are your favourite weekend getaways from the city?
Any place as long as I’m with the people I love.

Do you have a favourite view of the city?
The view from ‘La belle étoile’, the rooftop suite of Le Meurice hotel, which has a 360° view of Paris.

Le Meurice
228 rue de Rivoli, Paris
T.+ 33 144 58 1010

Please describe a perfect 24 hours in Paris.
It’s perfect when I can work all day and see the people I love at night. So I start the day with a ballet class, then I enter my studio and leave it at dawn to meet my friends
at a concert.

What is your definition of luxury?
The possibility to create.

If luxury were a place, where would it be?
A comfortable bed, because it’s were you can dream.

If luxury were a moment, when would it be?
Early morning, that’s when your brain functions the best.

If luxury were an object, what would it be?
A brush, because it allows me to create.

If luxury were a person, who would it be?
A scientist, because knowledge and understanding is for me one of the greatest luxuries.

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