Introducing the Galerie MAY Collection

Tuesday, April 12, 2022written by bryan edwards
Maylis and Charles Tassin

Galerie MAY was christened in 2012 – what inspired you to start this collection together?

We created Galerie MAY in the spirit of revitalizing the approach of the great interior decorators of the 1940s to 1970s. In 2010, when we imagined the first pieces in the collection, we wanted to contrast with contemporary creations by providing timeless, neoclassical pieces, in line with the various projects of major international decorators.

MAY is highly regarded for producing exceptional, modern furniture using traditional French craftsmanship and techniques such as marquetry, lacquer, and ceramics. How have you come to find the artisans that partner with you to create these highly unique pieces?

Charles:  I have met, through my Interior Design work, all the most beautiful workshops in France. Some of them work with us today. In addition, the year before the start of our first prototypes, Maylis carried out a tour of France's best artistic craftsmanship, thus completing the panel of all the know-how necessary for our collection. These men and women have the intelligence of hand, and the audacity and the technique allowing them to get as close as possible to our visions, often enriching them with their ancestral skills.

“our collection is a universe in balance between the masculine and the feminine...”

You are each an artist in your own right – tell us what your past creative experiences were and how they influence your collaboration (and marriage!) today.

Charles:  I come from a family of antique dealers and designers. When I became an Interior Designer, I designed many bespoke pieces of furniture for my various clients and projects.

Maylis: I am a visual artist yet dreamed of leaving the solitude of my studio to collaborate with craftsmen whom I called upon to set up my installations. My meeting Charles is much more than a love story. It's a perfect harmony, a total affinity of tastes, a common vision of decor that we develop with four hands, making our collection a universe in balance between the masculine and the feminine, the rigor and the madness, the structural and the organic.

Is there a historical era you feel has been underrated or overlooked?

Without hesitation, for both of us, the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance in Europe. The palette of Fra Angelico, the graphics of Paolo Uccello in the battle of San Romano, modernity in the purity of Haute Epoque furniture.

“...the rigor and the madness, the structural and the organic.”

Why did you choose your US launch in Los Angeles?

The richness of its architecture fascinates and inspires us infinitely.

From Tudor Villas to those of Spanish colonial inspiration. John Lautner, Frank Lloyd Wright, the follies of Tony Duquette… Our collection is inspired by all these geniuses and each of our pieces could in our opinion be placed there, because we have designed them so that they last and match all atmospheres and styles.

As designers yourselves, where do you see MAY evolving in the years ahead?

In our wildest dreams, we would like MAY by Charles Tassin to become, through its uniqueness, a stylistic reference in the Decorative Arts of the 21st Century.

— Rapid fire questions —

Current favorite artist?
Olafur Eliasson and James Turrell

Best restaurant in Paris?
Le Grand Véfour

What/where was your first date together?
A dinner with friends where we sang “Windmills of Your Mind” until 2 o’clock in the morning.

Which scent reminds you of home?
A wood-burning fire

Dream getaway spot?
A Castle in Scotland

Greatest musical artist of all time?
Mozart for Charles, Rachmaninoff for Maylis