NMNM welcomes an exhibit into the “schizo-frenzied” works of George Condo

American artist George Condo’s imaginative and eclectic art works of subjects not-quite-human are going on show at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.

George Condo is a contradiction. He is both a Warhol acolyte and a lover of Old Masters. He played in a punk band in New York, but studied Baroque and Rococo painting. He also has rejected the old and supplanted it with his own version of modern art: a style comprised of figurative subjects that are the sort of things one would recognise, and sort of not.  

The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) has seized upon these contradictions and brought the works of the American artist, who is being represented by Hauser & Wirth, to the Principality for an exhibition entitled “Humanoids”, which is running from 31st March until 1st October. 

“The ‘humanoid’ is not a science fiction monster, it is a form of representation that uses traditional means to bring deep emotions to the surface of a person,” says Condo of his works.  

monaco george condo
Rodrigo’s Wife by George Condo. © 2023 George Condo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The exhibition’s pieces use a sort of reversed Cubist approach, taking subjects to the edge of being deformed in the Picasso way, but bringing it back to make them “almost human”, with the result being a unique mix of traditional portraiture and Cubist representations.  

Condo’s subjects range from Guido to Bugs Bunny to total unknowns, making it a real roller coaster ride for visitors. French curator Didier Ottinger calls Condo’s approach “schizo-frenzied”, saying he, unlike Warhol, chose “the museum over the supermarket” to great effect.  

nmnm george condo
Robot Girl by George Condo. © 2023 George Condo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The artist’s ties to the Principality go back to the 1990s, when Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s Artistic Director Jean-Christophe Maillot invited him to create a stage curtain in 1998. Two years later, he returned, but this time he was asked to design the scenography and costumes for the Opus 40 ballet.  

For more information, visit the NMNM website.   


Do you have an event in Monaco or the French Riviera that you would like us to include in our What’s On section and events calendar? Please email editor@monacolife.net.  


Photos courtesy of Hauser & Wirth / © 2023 George Condo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 

This article was originally published on 30th March.

Record attendances, early closures: A mixed bag as ski season draws to a close

The closure of Isola 2000 last weekend marks a definitive end to the ski season, but many of the region’s resorts didn’t make it so far into the year. 

“We have had record attendances every weekend in January,” proclaimed Virginie Tumorticchi, the head of the Isola 2000 tourism office. The resort experienced a bumper year with foreign tourists filling the slopes for five months. “It’s a record for the Nice-Côte d’Azur ski stations,” says Jean-Christophe Desens, the head of the resort, which at times welcomed 7,000 visitors a day.

When the slopes closed for the season on 23rd April, the curtain was drawn on a successful season, with around 50cm of natural snow remaining on the peaks of one of the region’s most popular resorts.

Early closures throughout the region

However, not all resorts have been as lucky as Isola 2000. Just a matter of kilometres down the road, Auron was one of many resorts forced to close early due to the lack of snowfall. Located at a lower altitude, the resort had initially planned to close on 23rd April but ended the season 13 days earlier on 10th April. The lack of snow was the deciding factor behind a difficult decision.

Changing meteorological conditions have also forced Valberg to adapt. “It’s rare that we go beyond the end of March now,” says Pierre-Ange Bazzali, the co-manager of a ski rental shop at the resort. This year, Valberg closed its slopes on 19th March due to rising temperatures and rain. The resort hadn’t had fresh snowfall since 23rd January.

“Compared to recent years, we worked well every weekend this season. The season has gone very well, despite very little snow,” added Bazzali. Gréolières-les-Neiges is another resort that was forced to close its slopes earlier than expected in March.

Whilst the return of foreign visitors en-masse was welcome, conditions at many resorts underwhelmed this season. Short but sweet is perhaps the best way to summarise the 2022/23 season for the Côte d’Azur’s popular ski slopes.


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 

Photo by Fun Radio Côte d’Azur/Facebook

The return of El Niño: what will the impact be on Monaco and France?

The La Niña weather phenomenon, which intensified droughts and floods in several regions of the world, is finally over. But the one that is likely to follow, El Niño, will bring with it a whole new range of problems.

La Niña, the “cool phase” of the weather phenomenon El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), has been raging since 2020, lowering the temperature of the oceans and increasing rainfall patters in different parts of the world.

Now, according to a new update from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), El Niño, the “warm phase” of ENSO, has a high probability of returning this summer, bringing with it warmer waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

And while El Niña managed to reduce the impact of global warming last year, the WMO has warned that El Niño risks fuelling a new peak in global temperatures, and there’s a good chance that we will experience the hottest year on record.

“The first triple-dip La Niña of the 21st century is finally coming to an end,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas. “La Niña’s cooling effect put a temporary brake on rising global temperatures, even though the past eight year period was the warmest on record. If we do now enter an El Niño phase, this is likely to fuel another spike in global temperatures,” said Prof. Taalas.

El Niño is a natural weather phenomenon that occurs irregularly at two- to -seven-year intervals. It is characterised by a warming of the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, unlike La Niña where the surface waters are colder than normal.

The variation in the temperature of the oceans plays an essential role in our climate. Each degree lower or higher affects the heat transfer between the ocean and the atmosphere. These variations are also a major factor in ocean currents, which are responsible for transporting heat and moisture across the globe and can therefore have a significant impact on climate. The oceans also provide a source of moisture to the atmosphere, which is essential for precipitation and average temperatures.

Experts at the WMO suggest that there is a 55% chance of El Niño developing in the June to August period this year.

Impact on France, Monaco and Europe

The El Niño and La Niña phenomenon occurs naturally, but it is taking place against a background of human-induced climate change, which is increasing global temperatures, affecting seasonal rainfall patterns, and making our weather more extreme.

In France and more widely in Europe, climate experts agree that there will be little to no impact of El Niño. But other areas of the globe will not be so lucky, namely the American continent, Oceania and the countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

Previous episodes saw more low-pressure weather than normal, but also warmer temperatures than average. So, when El Niño hits this summer, it will increase the number of heat waves as well powerful storms.

Will 2023 break the record?

The year 2016 was the warmest on record because of a combination of El Niño and climate change. There is a 93% likelihood of at least one year until 2026 being the warmest on record, and a 50:50 chance of the global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era, according to a study last year by the UK’s Met Office, which is WMO’s lead centre for annual to decadal climate predictions.

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  


Photo credit: Photoholgic on Unsplash

Monaco Streaming Film Festival now open for submissions

The Monaco Streaming Film Festival will be back in autumn for its third edition, but it is already casting the net for submissions from talented filmmakers from around the globe.  

The Monaco Streaming Film Festival, an event that is “dedicated to showcasing the best in filmmaking from around the world”, is looking for filmmakers to submit their latest streaming projects for consideration. 


Now in its third year, the festival features dozens of films – some of them premieres – that are set to be sold directly to the streaming market. 

It’s a great opportunity for exposure for filmmakers, but the festival also brings together producers, creators and talent along with distributors, sales and technology providers to network and look at ways to get projects from the planning stages to the streaming services.  

Complementary side events include access to an array of industry insider information at panel discussions, masterclasses and keynote presentation events.  

There is also an awards show, which celebrates the best of the best in a variety of categories, such as Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Film, Best Documentary Short, Best Music Video and Best Animation. Plus, the jury members select three distinctive films for consideration. The winners receive the Jury’s Special Gold, Silver or Bronze prize.  


Submissions can now be sent in, with the first 50 applicants getting a 25% entry fee discount. The early bird deadline is set for 31st May, and the final deadline for submissions is 31st August. 

For a complete list of rules and fee scales, as well as information on how to put forward a project, please click here

This year’s Monaco Streaming Film Festival is being held from 31st October to 3rd November at the Grimaldi Forum.  


Do you have an event in Monaco or the French Riviera that you would like us to include in our What’s On section and events calendar? Please email editor@monacolife.net.  



Monaco Streaming Film Festival another success


Photo source: Jeremy Yap for Unsplash

Monaco Council raises pool entry price for non residents to “reduce overcrowding”

Prices at the Stade Nautique Rainier III swimming pool in Monaco’s Port Hercule have risen significantly by 60% for non-residents, angering workers and those from the surrounding region.  

Not long after Monaco Mayor Georges Marsan was re-elected in March, the municipal council set to work on several price increases at public facilities around the Principality. One was a 60% hike for non-residents at the Stade Nautique Rainer III swimming pool, a popular spot for locals and those from neighbouring villages.  

The admission price went from €7.50 to €12 per session for adults. Many of those who do not live in Monaco, but work or once worked in the Principality, and regularly use the facilities are more than a little put out.  

The townhall has justified the act by saying that energy costs are high and the cost of running such a facility has also increased, but also because the swimming pool gets overly crowded in the high season, making for a less-than-pleasant experience for locals.  

More than 51,000 sessions each season

“Each year, the swimming pool is a great success with more than 51,000 entries from April to October, forcing the staff to stop access on certain days,” said Marsan. “This year, the municipal council has therefore decided to revise the rates upwards for people from outside the Principality in order to favour the Monegasque population, some of whom deplored this overcrowding.”  

Fuel has been added to the fire by a decision to lower the entry fee for over 60s and residents.  

One upset user from Beausoleil told Monaco Matin, “I am very unhappy. For my part, on a day off, I spend the whole day here with my children to enjoy this pleasant swimming pool… It’s lamentable and it sends a bad image. It’s a meaningless decision. 20% more and a local worker rate would have been wiser.”  

Cheaper alternatives in neighbouring towns and cities

Fortunately, there are alternatives. There are lovely facilities in nearby communes, whose entry fees may be more favourable to those not willing or able to pay Monaco prices.  

Menton’s pool has a €3.50 fee for adults and €3 for children 10 to 17, and only €1 for kids three to 10. Younger than that and they enter for free.  

In La Turbie, the price is €5 for adults and €2.50 for children.  

The pool in Roquebrune Cap Martin, the Bains du Cap, has priced entry at €7.50 for adults not residing in the town, and €6 for residents. For resident children aged 3 to 12, the entrance ticket is €5, and €6.50 for non-residents. 

In Nice, depending on the sites, admission to local swimming pools for adults and children is between €3 and €10.10.  


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  


Photo by Monaco Life

May 1st strikes: travel to be heavily disrupted

bank holiday strike

Trouble is brewing for travellers trying to get away, or around, for the May 1st long weekend as the pension reform strikes peak on France’s Fête du Travail. 

The 1st May is France’s Labour Day, and strikes are a traditional mainstay for the country’s workers.

But as unions across France have been in an ongoing battle against an increase in the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, the May Day protests are set to be even more pronounced.


A third of flights are expected to be cancelled from Orly, Marseille and Lyon during the May Day long weekend. In Nice, and in Roissy, a quarter of flights are likely to be cancelled by the civil aviation authorities.  

The air traffic controllers union, USAC CGT, has filed an official strike notice for 1st May, and the SNPNC-FO union, which represents air hosts and hostesses at low-cost carrier Vueling in France, is likely to follow suit, with the further dates of 6th, 7th and 8th May flagged for additional strikes.  

Though airlines usually contact customers directly if flights are affected, it is also recommended that passengers check for themselves before setting out to the airport this weekend. 


Train travel will also take a hit on 1st May, though details are not yet available. A press release from the SNCF union, however, points to “major May Day strikes and demonstrations”.  

Notices will likely be released on the weekend with the schedule alerting passengers to which lines will be interrupted.  


In the Alpes-Maritimes, the Lignes d’Azur will be stopping all trams and buses on Monday 1st May, together with the Mobil’Azur service, Parcazur, commercial agencies and the customer relations centre.

General strikers are also being asked to gather at the Jardin Albert I in Nice at 10.30am on 1st May.  


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram


Photo source: Caudron Laurie Flore for Unsplash