Arles is a funny little town.
The town that collectively threw out Vincent Van Gogh for being the crazy asshole he was, and now, because the amount of work he produced in his short stay, profits from his time here through post cards, a cringey restaurant, and art foundations.
That said, there is a legitimately heavy focus on the arts. One of the world’s largest photography festivals covers the town, somewhat literally, for a good chunk of the late summer. Pieces are displayed in every available space from abandoned mills on the outskirts to the winding walls of the old city, where mountings from past exhibitions still exist.
The Luma Foundation recently put its mark on the city with a new Gehry building that rises contrast to the Mediterranean architecture. Small galleries dot the area between the Roman ruins and the Rhône. While leftist graffiti garnish alleyways that end up at a Romanesque church which holds the bones of saints.
It’s a funny town.