Wine tasting while painting: a new way of understanding art envisioned by Guadeloupean Garry Deferi and Jean-Paul Tran

At the WAWI art gallery, the concept is simple: “Brush in one hand, glass in the other”. Envisioned by Guadeloupean Garry Deferi and his friend Jean-Paul Tran, “After Work Drink and Paint” has become a must for Paris sightseeing. Look back at a unique evening in France.

In Paris, not far from the Place de la République, there is, of course, the most original concept of the capital. The painting workshop is accompanied by a wine tasting.

The origin of this idea is two friends. Garry Deferi, was born in Les Abymes and arrived in Paris in 2015 to undertake his Masters in Banking – Insurance. During his studies, he met Jean-Paul Tran, with whom he created an art gallery.

Then strangers to the artistic world, the two enthusiasts now fill their gallery with some twenty new people at every event. They seem to be looking forward to 2023 which is full of ambitious projects.


At the turn of the night with friends, as a couple or alone, art gallery WAWI opens its doors for a week for art-sensitive souls. The two former classmates offered apprentice painters the chance to attend a workshop given by an experienced artist. All of this, accompanied as each person likes, with a glass of wine or soda.

After the introductions were over, Beyonce unveiled the speakers, and the art of speaking. The warm and lively atmosphere suddenly breaks the apathy we usually encounter in art galleries. Bought by attendees between the ages of 25 and 40, the gallery has gradually become known since its founding in late 2021 thanks to social networks, word of mouth, or through an “idea outing” website.

Smiling, the apprentices were already thinking about their next reservation. Émeline, 38, can’t wait to return with her two daughters for Sunday’s version of “Brunch & Paint”. And for their monthly outing, the person who invited her, her friend Karine, has never regretted lending herself to pictorial art in these conditions “J’loves to go out, laugh, have fun. This time, we said we’d paint, with good wine and music, that’s great!”.

Dewi’s self-interpretation workshop led by Ko.In.Art, a Martinican artist

But above all, galleries are built around reflection: how to bring people (other than insiders or collectors) into art galleries? Hours of brainstorming proved that the two enthusiasts were on point to create an event around the exhibit. Desacralization of art. Celebrate art. This is what motivates them.

Inaugurated in January 2020, the WAWI gallery from the start has adapted to successive lockdowns by offering online galleries. Completely removed from the artistic world, Garry and Jean-Paul very quickly positioned themselves within the street art movement.

We must have come from outside, we are outsiders. Street art is a very interesting gateway for people who didn’t grow up in art because that’s what’s happening now, that’s the trend right now.

Garry Defer

Meticulous and observant, Jean-Paul and Garry very quickly identified the demand for “after work”, which continues to grow in an active population. A “trendy” and Anglo-Saxon concept where, after the work day is over, it’s time to relax. It boils down to moments between colleagues or friends that we spend drinking or eating, usually at bars. A way to escape the torment of everyday life.

Faced with such an undifferentiated offer, gallery WAWI plays on originality and affinity for art to be the first and only one to offer this in France. As a result, events sell out every week.

And success is based not only on the peculiarities of the event. Indeed, art has been shown to be beneficial to our well-being. According to the World Health Organization (WHO),art has a positive influence on health throughout life “. In the trend to promote well-being in the workplace, this concept, which is very wise, has established itself as a unique experience that is “inevitable” for living in Paris.

for Dr. Piroska Östlin, WHO Regional Director Europe,”fto bring art into one’s life throughactivities such as dancing, singing or visiting museums and concerts gives us additional keys to improving our physical and mental health.”

Martinique Artist Ko.In.Art. always needed art to calm his hyperactivity. From a very young age, he had composed works to entertain himself, decompress or just to concentrate on something else. The visual arts teacher who studied at the Caribbean Arts College in Martinique has lived in the Paris area for five years. He defined his art by “a “melting pot” of color and emotion, around identity, femininity, Africa and Caribbean”.

To pursue the promotion of foreign art, the gallery manager wants to propose at least once a year an exhibition of artists from abroad. “We wanted to put together an exhibition about the symbols of the Caribbean cultural world, about the Caribbean carnival, its symbolism…” explained Garry,has lived to be 23 years in Guadeloupe.

For now, visit the WAWI Gallery from 13 January 2023 to discover “Nuances de Noir(s)”, an exhibition honoring Pierre Soulages, the famous his use of black reflections, which he called “black light” or “outrenoir”.


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