Earlier this week I showed you the result of my little spring project: our submarine yellow door. A fresh new color on the door requires new "art". So I replaced the pale blue prints of our staircase by something new. I found several vintage x-ray scans that have the same color as the staircase (<- video):
I like it that the dark colors reflect the view. It would be even cooler if the x-rays would be backlighted, but a simple white piece of paper is just enough to distinguish the patterns. Simple & effective, right?
Matisse cutting into color
Situated along the highway between our home in France and our family in Holland, is this lovely museum: the Musée Départemental Matisse. Both my husband and I are big afficionados of the work of Henri Matisse. Many years ago we visited his home in Nice (turned into a wonderful museum) as well as the famous Rosaire chapel in Vence, South of France. But, as Matisse was born in the North of France, we are lucky to be able to pop by the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis every once in a while.
We went there last week and it was (again) such a breath of fresh air. The current exhibition shows Matisse's paper cut-outs that were not used in his finished works. I love the "perfect" proportions of these shapes in gouached paper and the book covers on show were also really awesome. Seeing Matisse's work always moves me: it has this rare quality and sensitive handwriting that really speaks to me. It's hard to capture it in words or photos: you should really see & feel for yourself :o)
Unfortunately no photography allowed at the exhibition (as opposed to the permanent collection) but these few phone pics will give you a little preview of what's there to see.
So next time you'll drive from Amsterdam to Paris or vice versa, make sure to stop by the Musée Matisse. It's worth it!
Musée Matisse /// Palais Fénelon /// 59360 Le Cateau-Cambrésis /// +33 (0)3 59 73 38 03
Open every day except Tuesday: 10AM - 6PM
During a quick visit of the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, I spotted this pretty pendant lamp designed by Front for Zero lighting. Swedish design trio CKR also used this lamp in the famous lobby of the Nobis hotel, where it looks really stunning. But to me, this historic ceiling looks even better as a backdrop for this lamp called Camouflage!
I count 8 pendant lights in our home (oops!)... so there is not a lot of place left for one of these beauties by David Trubridge:
A night in Sweden
Ever since returning from Stockholm, I've been kind of stuck in Sweden through the books of Stieg Larsson. I'm in the middle of the third book now and watched the American and Swedish movies too. I remember my guide in Stockholm pointed out Lisbeth's and Mikke's apartments in Söder. It didn't mean much to me then but totally makes sense now. Did you read these books? Did you like them?
Last week I spent an evening at the Swedish Institute in Paris. First for fika at Le Café Suédois. Hmmm! Next door, glass & ceramics artist Mårten Medbo was exhibiting his work. I like how his sculptures are not quite abstract or figurative, but mostly very organic and inspired by nature.
The displays and colors reminded me of what I saw at Blås & Knåda and Konsthantverkarna in Stockholm:
After visiting the exhibition it was time for some music. Or better said: some "sound" by Midaircondo. A Swedish duo exploring avant-garde sound art, electronica, jazz and melancholic pop. They were in town for a concert at Unesco the next day for International Women's Day.
The motion graphic backdrops portraited the women themselves walking up and down a stairway.
My favorite piece by Mårten Medbo was this comic blob sculpture:
► The Swedish Institute in Paris is a really nice place to relax after a stroll through the Marais neighborhood or a visit at concept store Merci. In the summer you can enjoy your kanelbulle in their quiet garden. Bliss!
Institut Suédois /// 11 rue Payenne /// 75003 Paris /// +33 (0) 1 44 78 80 20.
Open every tuesday through sunday: 12PM - 6PM.
A walk around Stockholm
Flying to a tropical island in the middle of the winter to get a boost of sunshine & vitamines (and additional tan!) may sound attractive. But to me visiting Stockholm, with temperatures at around 0°C had the same effect. Except for that tan of course. The extremely blue skies reflected by the water and the fresh frosty air were just what I needed to keep me going until spring.
The sun shining through the windows of the National Museum, on the last day of a beautiful exhibition called Slow Art, about contemporary fine craftsmanship:
Winter in Stockholm means shorter days, from about 8:30AM to 3:30PM, which made the blue tones of the sky change fast...
But don't worry, Stockholm by night is almost just as pretty:
And the best thing was that I didn't feel unsafe even once. Or well maybe 1 time, when I saw the outlines of this homeless fox statue in the dark... creepy but funny when I saw it again the next morning :o)
When traveling there are so many things that catch my eye, like beautiful typography, pretty street art or bold colors. Here are two unexpected drawings I liked: above a comic drawing by Got & Pétillon in the French capital of comic books: Angoulême.
And below the beautiful traces of the sea on a beach in Galicia, Spain. What do you like to spot when you travel?
"Seriously, aren't you bored with sheep?", Le Baron Noir by Got et Pétillon:
Sara Fanelli's Onion
As a belated xmas gift, I received this beautiful book by Sara Fanelli, called The Onion's Great Escape. It's the perfect read on this Blue Monday, supposed to be the most depressive day of the year.
I first discovered Sara Fanelli's illustrations through Joanna's blog Kavka Design ( a graphic designer & illustrator herself! ) and really love her colorful, detailed, quirky, graphic universe.
The book is filled with nice handwritten typography and many many questions, like:
After reading the book, you can pull out the Onion so that he can start a life of his own.
Here's how it works:
What do you think of Sara's work?
More Verbeke Foundation
We felt extra lucky that the sun started to shine after leaving Antwerp ( at 20 minutes ) in the pouring rain. The autumn sun was just what we needed for a walk around the extensive park (12ha!) of the Verbeke Foundation, which is filled with creative buildings in reclaimed materials of all kinds. I showed you my favorite already, but here are some of the other creations you will find in the park:
Above: the exterior & inside of the observation tower in steel sheet metal.
Below: a former safety capsule now used as a "Capsule Hotel" by Denis Oudendijk.
Below the wooden "Dome" by Aenaes Wilder. The view from the inside is spectacular. I haven't done any research on the construction but I somehow hope the wooden beams keep in place under their own weight and that there is no invisible secret like nails or wire. ( update: there is... screws! )
The Verbeke Foundation also offers B&B opportunities. In the summer it must be amazing to sleep in one of the bubbles or even in the "campingflat": 4 tents on a scaffolding construction. The Blob VB3 below by dmvA Architects is beautiful from the inside:
Curious about the WEIRD things you can see inside the Verbeke Foundation? Check my Facebook page!
Open Space @ Verbeke Foundation
After our sunday brunch in rainy Antwerp, we left for the Verbeke Foundation just outside the city. I was told it is a bit of a lugubrious art center and indeed certains pieces & rooms gave me the shivers. But overall it presents an unpolished view on contemporary art, which is rather refreshing.
Walking around the extensive park (12ha!) was lovely as it is filled with creative buildings in reclaimed materials of all kinds. Culture, nature and ecology go hand in hand at the Verbeke Foundation.
My favorite building in the Verbeke park was this structure by Jason van der Woude. He built it during his artist in residence program, in 2009-2010, out of leftover doors & windows from a renovation project in Breda (NL). It is called Open Space, Open Function and has no particular function. Read more about his adventure here.
You can't go wrong with a palm tree, at least in my world!
The squares of the windows recall a little bit of Mondrian, but mostly: they made me dream of replacing our damaged windows at Studio Sapique by a pattern like this! For many reasons that wouldn't be an option, but it would be so pretty!
So what do you think of this space? It has no particular function, but what would you use it for?
Inside A Cidade da Cultura
After taking you for a drink at A Cantina & showing you the exterior of A Cidade da Cultura, today I'll take you inside the Galician museum. The current exhibition Gallaecia Petrea is about the presence of stone in the history of Galicia, from prehistory to today.
What struck me even more than the exhibition itself, was the organic interior of the building: it's huge! The way of presenting the works of art was splendid too: lots of wooden pallets were used. A beautiful & clever solution as it also smells really nice!
My favorite piece of art:
It's difficult to capture the dimension of the museum on photo ( I tried video! ). For art curators this must be heaven, it's so big, you can show huge master pieces & extensive collections here...
Brrr, this is when we looked down from the 3rd floor. Look at those tiny chairs on the right:
In one word, this site is impressive. Impressive in size, in detail, in finishing touches, in materials used... I warmly recommend you to visit A Cidade da Cultura if you're in the neighborhood ( near Santiago de Compostela, Spain ). In the years to come, the construction of the Cidade will continue in a slow pace because of the crisis. But I know I'll definitely be back once it's finished. And you?
Type in Motion @ A Coruña
It's not a secret that I'm a lover of beautiful typography. When arriving in A Coruña during our stay in Galicia, the first thing that caught my eye was this huge poster of the Type in Motion exhibition. Of course I had to see this!
While this exhibition presented interesting music videos, short films, trailers, media facades & logos (amongst others), I had seen most of it before. It included short movies like the world famous Logorama, No Doubt's Hey Baby video, Studio Dumbar's Inholland identity video and tons of kinetic videos. My favorite was this French video by Arthur King: Le Sample ( with fun sound effects ).
The exhibition design was well done ( with titles shaped in colored seatbelt rope! ), good lighting, cool music videos. And an overdose of beautiful moving type. Nothing brand new, but being surrounded by beautiful type always feels good.
Type in Motion is a touring exhibition by the Design Museum in Zürich and represented in A Coruña by the Fundación Barrié and closed its doors last weekend. More info can be found here.
I always choose color & shape over pattern. But a bold graphic pattern every once in a while, does make me very happy. Like this wall decoration at the Center of World Cultures Zuiderpershuis in Antwerp, Belgium. Isn't it pretty? And you? Do you like patterns?
À la plage, à la piscine
Graphic, stylized, fun, sunny & colorful: these photos by Gray Malin have it all. He took these photos from a doorless helicopter hovering over beaches in France, the US, Brazil, the Caribbean & Australia. The series is called "À la page, à la piscine" and is perfect for the ones ( including me ) who spend their summer far from a beach.
But for our own beach break in september, I'd rather prefer this:
Copyright by Gray Malin: "The destination your walls have been waiting for".
Marimekko Helsinki map
Finland is placed very high on my places-I-want-to-visit wishlist. And not in the last place because of Marimekko. I remember my mother wearing a Marimekko shirt & skirt in the 80s. They were made with the softest jersey and had a timeless fit.
When in London I picked up a free copy of the Marimekko Helsinki map at the Marimekko store near Bond Street. I finally hang it on the wall last week because I really like it. It's a beautiful graphic drawing of Helsinki with a few pops of color:
The map takes you on a journey through the hometown of Marimekko: Helsinki. You can find the digital version of the map right here.
I paired the map with my Marimekko Räsymatto plate, Coca Cola & Comme des Garcons & Bomba energy drink bottles, a Chanel jewelry box and postcards by Julien Langendorff, Adrian Briscoe for Instilllife and Nathalie Gilles.
Some urban colors
Some urban colors to pimp up this grey & cold friday. Above: a two-headed fish in the making near the Canal Saint Martin, Paris.
Some poetry in Beauvais (Oise, France) by Ray Charles: Je suis aveugle mais construire plus malheureux que soi... j'aurai pu être noir.
Aloha my name is... lots of stickers outside Album Comics store near Saint Germain des Prés, Paris.
I love this stork! Boulevard Magenta, Paris.
Rendre à l'art la simplicité de ne pas l'être. Stencil by William Benhamou.
As of yesterday you can book your tickets for the Avignon theatre festival. In only a few weeks the Festival d'Avignon will start and during 1 month the rhythm of this city in Southern France will be defined by street theatre performances, tons of visitors (over 150.000!) and great theatre productions. But not last week. Of course the Palais des Papes and the Pont d'Avignon attract tourists all year round, but off the beaten path it was still nice & calm.
The tiles of this Beauty salon on the Boulevard Raspail, reminded me of the Camper boutique in Covent Garden, London.
I also stumbled upon quite a few interesting small boutiques & shops, like Kulte (their hipster owners were enjoying the sun on the pavement) and Le Carré de Blé, a nice biological bakery & pastry shop & "snacking haut de gamme". With beautiful bikes in front of the shop too.
Through Les Bon Plans d'Avignon I found Milkshop, where Thibaut and Maxime serve homemade milkshakes & delicous pastries & quiches with local ingredients. It's on my list for next time!
A provocative stencil on the pavement of Avignon and a beautiful poster drawing by Bastard Fly. So much more interesting than this year's dull festival poster...
If you're in Provence this summer, don't miss out on the Avignon festival. Buy yourself a ticket to 1 of the OFF performances and let some upcoming theatre talents surprise you. Enjoy!
With the beautiful desaturated Berlin photography of Sandra Juto in my head, I traveled to Berlin. The city turned out to be so much brighter than I thought it would be. So many colors everywhere! The amazing weather and creative conference absolutely helped a lot there too.
It appeared to me that somehow Berlin is to creatives, what LA is to actors. So many creative people everywhere, waiting for their 15 minutes of fame.
The city walls are covered with so much talent. Berlin street art is much more colorful than most things I see in Paris. And there is a lot MORE too.
The R.E.M. song Überlin was stuck in my head all weekend. The street art bunny appearing in the song's video was made by an artist called Roa. I stumbled upon his rats (see above) in the Prenzlauerberg district! Übercool!
What the jelly?
Bompas & Parr work with jelly ever so often, but take jelly to a whole new level. Sam Bompas & Harry Parr design spectacular architectural settings of jelly with a strong technology background. They collaborate with curators, cultural practitioners, and scientists for their projects. And recently with Kitchen Aid on a super cool project called A Culinary Odyssey, in order to look at the food of the future through prototyping the dishes of science fiction.
The event opens fresh areas for culinary speculation and food ethics by examining the physical, biological and astronomical possibilities of cocktails and canapes. The Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC) is making science fiction cocktails, Rhea Thierstein is designing sets that include the entire solar system in papier-mâché, Poietic Studio are building food levitation devices and the tropism well and Andrew Stellitano is developing the menu. On the evening, Future Laboratory will launch a report on science fiction prototyping and food preparation in the future.
The videos and photos of the event in London just look surreal. But what would this "cuisine extraordinaire" taste like?
LV & MJ at Les Arts Décoratifs
What starts on the first floor as a calm presentation of the innovative trunks and "fashion carriers" created by Louis Vuitton, ends on a more eclectic note on the second floor where a selection of designs by Marc Jacobs for the French fashion house are on display.
Why visit this exhibition? To enjoy the patchwork with Marc's favorite video extracts (Rosemary's Baby, Marc Jacobs on South Park, David Bowie, Annie, ...), to watch the beautiful and poetic synchronized dancing Fan Club video (also here) and gaze at the beautiful blue mannequin heads with balloon knots.
Another great thing in London is that admission to most musea, except for mayor exhibitions, is free. I visited Tate Modern and the V&A. Unfortunately the Serpentine gallery in Hyde Park was closed while they were preparing the new On the Edgware Road exhibition.
I wasn't aware that The Obliteration room project was actually at the Tate, part of the huge Yayoi Kusama exhibition. It was smaller than the images I've seen, but ohhh the joy of colorful dots...
The huge Anthropologie store with women's clothing, accessories and home decor was another treat. They featured beautiful fake cactus plants by a local artist (who was proudly putting them in place herself). Some of the other highlights were the fabulous vertical wall covered in plants, kept alive with rainwater and UV lights and the huge dressing rooms which felt like my own spacious walk-in-closet.
And above all the store smells great. For a moment I forgot I was actually in the middle of one the most touristic areas in London.
Somehow London overall smelled quite bad. Maybe it's all the fish&chips they serve to tourists? I was lucky to have dinner at the Island restaurant, part of the Lancaster Hotel overlooking Hyde Park, where they serve simple but tasty meals. Even their fish&chips was really good! And the Banamel cheesecake was to die for...
The only thing missing in my opinion was a good documentary about his life and work, as I crossed many lost visitors not knowing who Jean Paul Goude is and what they were looking at. However there was a video showing brief impressions of his projects and some shorter videos like the hilarious "How to improve your body proportions by adding shoulder pads, 30cm heels and a dental bridge" from the 70's and of course some Grace Jones music videos.
Some of my favorites were the series of Naomi Campbell and Björk. The images are so well executed, with such eye for detail and love for proportions, the human body&identity, colors and aesthetics, it's almost overwhelming. If you haven't seen it already, go visit the exhibition, you won't regret it.
So Far, So Goude
Anyway Jean Paul Goude made an impression, in every sense, on our (and my) imagination. My interest in his work and life grew slowly after watching several documentaries and reading interviews about him and his work. Mr Goude is a very intelligent man with a great sense of humor and an exquisite eye and an even greater esthetic vision that I really relate to. That is why I absolutely want to & will visit his current exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris: Goudemalion. Jean-Paul Goude une rétrospective / 11 November 2011 – 18 March 2012
And when you'll stumble upon a piece of street art by the Ukranian Stanislava Pinchuk on your final destination, how nice would that be?
Don't forget to pack some cookies by Cookie Boy for on the road.
Do the crayola
Time to bake the perfect crusty bread thanks to tips&tricks by French chef Richard Bertinet. Time to make my first ever fluffy homemade marshmallows: totally worth the mess according to Joy. And gaze at these incredible videos by Quayola in the mean time. Time to travel the world like James, to design my own shoes and to start exploring my city like Jørn. Time to do the crayola!
What the Jell'O
Besides art, of course I heart type!
Linda Lundgren did a great job with the styling for Scandinavian supermarkets Hemköp. It's the advertorial version of my MINImag!
Just a day before the shortest day of the year, I have some bright stuff to share. First of all some bright gifts from Pen Pencil Stencil (don't forget the news section for nice photos and ideas). Then get in the photo cabin and get your picture done! Have a playful afternoon and get out your Lego. Finally relax with this video of a scuba diving in a newly flooded meadow. Some bright and "interesting" thoughts on graphic design, especially for my fellow graphic designer collegues.
Merry christmas to all!
Tonight I'll watch Into the Wild. I already love the songs Eddie Vedder wrote for this movie, but I'm very curious to finally discover Christopher's great adventure to Alaska. A very different adventure about Alaska is I love Alaska. This documentary reveals the life of a middle aged woman from Housten, Texas, through her personal search engine queries. Interesting concept, but also very sad.
Browsing through a project book of The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude made me really want to go to New York City again. To discover the people and other highlights of the city. To eat a hot pretzel, visit the MoMa plus some other musea and just wander around. In the mean time I have some old jews telling me jokes. Or I have a look at the different volumes of the S+M+L project by Marvie. Or I dream of doing some 3D printing.
In case you need it to get through this cold and snowy february month: here is some help.
This is spring
The Sultan's Elephant
Even though it's sixteen years old, I never saw Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands before. Besides the brilliant play of Johnny Depp and Dianne Wiest, I really adored the pastel-colored neighbourhood. As always Burtons work was a "visual orgasm", to speak with the Germans, who created this design portal. A must-see!
Did you see the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Torino? I just saw a small part, but I really enjoyed the acrobats forming this huge peace dove at the end. The movements of the acrobats were so bizarre but really beautiful! Excellent!
Which way to go?