He’s funky and smiling, has just arrived in Amsterdam a few months ago and already presents a retrospective of his art and design in a splendid store that he turned into a pop-up gallery, in the Jordaan at Westerstraat 59-61.
That’s the bright side of Laurent Muller, gay French artist-designer, in love with Europe and Amsterdam in particular. Who is he? Laurent is a charming and cheeky forty-one-year-old young man, shaved hair, blue eyes, very social and full of ideas to make the most of life. He studied Design and Arts in Paris, worked in New York City, opened his first gallery in Malta and moved to London for his art.
Why Amsterdam then? After seven years in London, he started a journey of discovery, got invited to join a sex party last May, came back for King’s Day a week after, and just loved the mix of calm and sexyness of the city. Brexit gave him the signal to move and start his Dutch affair with a fantastic fetish party, followed by a sunny Gay pride and a glamorous Indian Summer! He got himself a second hand bike, found his atelier to rent in the Jordaan and opened his heart fully to a new adventure.
What more could you wish for? Laurent is like an ice-breaker, he just loves to meet and introduce people, to cook and mingle, to share his views on life. With internet and the apps it’s easy to develop one’s network, and Laurent believes we all need to get out of our comfort zone, to experience the new, taste the forbidden and grow a richer life. For example, on his first birthday in Amsterdam, last December, just a few days before Christmas, he invited thirty new friends over to his atelier and hosted a party under the dress-code “A touch of leather, and a touch of black-tie.” Every guest showed up dressed up for the occasion, from Scottish leather kilt to Tom of Finland characters, simply to celebrate life and creativity, with a good excuse to dress up.
That’s Laurent’s motto, to create any occasion to express emotions, to share our journeys, and to connect in a joyful dance of life. Nowadays he opens his pop-up gallery almost every afternoon and welcomes anyone to experience abstract art, and to view a few erotic drawings as well.
What’s next? Laurent is fascinated by the evolution of the gay scenes. In his view, the world of fetish is exploding boundaries, and more and more the fantasies mix and match the various codes of the past, allowing us to embrace our unique identity and openness. Sport, puppy, leather, rubber could all be played with, mix with art, food and design. Why not create dinner parties with special themes, some shows that speak about inner instinct, or drink-parties for single men and women to mingle with a twist? That’s the beauty of Amsterdam Laurent is in love with: a city of great possibilities. So watch out for him!
Pop-up Art Gallery Laurent Muller, Westerstraat 59-61,
open Tuesday-Saturday 14:00-18:00
and by appointment +31657888910.
Photography: Erik Verheggen