During the recent market at the D&D Building in New York, I went and saw my friend Charlotte Moss present her new collection for Fabricut. Afterwards she introduced me to the film maker and photographer extraordinaire, Christopher Flach. Immediately I knew he was the man behind the 2007 short film of the iconic French decorator Madeleine Castaing. He graciously offered me a copy of his oeuvre. The film offers an amazing look at Mme. Castaing by those closest to her during her life. I was so intrigued by it that I wanted to know more. So I reached out to Christopher with a couple of quick questions and these are his answers.
What intrigued you enough about Madeleine Castaing to do a video of her?
I had always wanted to create a film about an iconic women. One afternoon walking along Rue de l' Universite, and crossing over onto Rue Bonaparte, I literally fell into Mme Castaing's shop... and said in French, "AH". Once back in San Francisco, I received a World of Interiors Magazine, from a friend, that had a one page story honoring, Mme Castaing by Barbara and Rene Stoeltie. I called them and they loved the idea. The adventure began.
Barbara and Rene, led me to the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley; Lord Cholmondeley, loved the idea and kindly provided his footage of Mme. Castaing for my film. All in all, it really it was Barbara and Rene Stoeltie, and especially Rene's photograph's, that truly brought Mme Castaing to life.
2. What was the most interesting aspect of the project ?
To see the portrait of Soutine by Mme Castaing in Jacques Grange Parisian flat.
3. What were you surprised to learn about her ?
It was amazing to hear the story of Mme Castaing, putting the vacuum cleaner on reverse to blow the dust all around a room. As Barbara Stoeltie said, for Mme Castaing "Nothing should be to clean, or too neat for Ms. Castaing, for her a room has to be a bit tattered" which reminds me of my upper east-side flat as these pictures show.…
4. What are you working on now?
I just completed the film OLEK, "bad artists imitate, great artists steal," which is about the crochet artist and her work in New York. One can watch it on my youtube channel. Also November 5th, I am in a huge show in Miami Beach called "Sleepless Nights". For the third year, my video work will run on the shuttles buses for 24 hours a day as folks ride from venue to venue.