Working out of a cramped studio at Agence Louis XIV, one of France's trendiest ad agencies, and using materials as simple as corrugated cardboard, glue and Magic Markers, 33-year-old Amelie Dillemann is making a name for herself in the galleries of Paris. It all began seven years ago: Worried about her brother, who was grieving over a breakup, she pieced together a tribute to the moods of a broken hearta monster with a long, nasty tongue, a knight with his heart in his hands, angry clouds tossing lightning bolts"to remind him that love is something to live for, not die over." Since then she's captured a strong following with her droll painted-cardboard re-creations of 18th-century furniture.
For her Christmas table, Dillemann combined comfort with a fillip of anxiety. "I wanted to express some traditional aspects of family," she says, "so I chose colors that are warm but also maybe a little strange for Christmas. Black is pure and beautiful, and it blends very smoothly with orange." The artfully draped gold tablecloth glows against a background of rust-colored walls. On the mantle, she has created a surreal still life, resting a small mirror against a larger one and adding oddly simple elements: a plate of plums, books, a candle and a "Rohan" wineglass from Baccarat. Her ideas are a long way from traditional holiday decoration, but as Dillemann shows here, even the unconventional can be inviting.