Archive for category Travels
I’m excited to announce that I will be a Color & Design Advisor with PPG Pittsburgh Paints and their Voice of Color program. This program is something very close to my heart because it includes travel and color inspirations.
It started with my trip to India this past January. As I traveled to Rajasthan with my PPG color fan, I kept my focus on writing about the colors and what inspired me and the location of where they were found. For example, at the Taj Mahal, the bright saris the women wore and the vibrancy of the spice markets were endless. So imagine a 6’1 New Yorker walking through the streets of Rajasthan markets towering over the locals with my camera, my Pittsburgh Paints color fan and my journal in hand. I stood out like a big sore thumb, to say the least. This process allowed me to really focus on discovering a multitude of colors that I would have passed if it was not for my PPG project.
I appreciate Pittsburgh Paints reaching out to me even more since becoming aware that they represent a bigger story – their global and genuine coloration influence. PPG has the capability to manufacture in 26 countries, along with having trend analysts in nearly a dozen regions to forecast the future color stories for the world’s automotive, consumer electronics, aerospace and design architectural fields served my fascination beyond the obvious.
I am very excited to share my experiences and perception with the design community. As the program progresses, I will continue to update you on this project.
In the coming weeks, I will be traveling to Nevada to the Burning Man event. In the past, I’ve been very coy about attending this event due to others’ opinions. Enduring the comments of “why go” and “it doesn’t seem like a Vicente thing to do”, I always answer “why not” with a smile. Since being exposed to it through a friend with very elaborate pictures of the event, I was intrigued. I felt it was something I should experience and a place I needed to go. Some may call it a hippie festival, an art expo or even a Woodstock version of a sex and drug party. Regardless of what many may think, I am going to experience the creative process in an unrestricted environment in the middle of the Nevada desert. It’s a place for people to be innovative, and let loose their fantasies and desires. Don’t worry; I’ll have plenty of photos to share with you all. If interested, check out the burning man website at http://www.burningman.com/.
For so many years I have heard about Gaudi and his work in Barcelona. He is known for his whimsical architecture and nature-inspired design. Seeing is work in person was certainly was worth it. I visited most of his buildings and gardens, including the apartment building La Pedrera. His attention to detail is amazing. He used organic shapes threaded throughout the architecture and interestingly-shaped chimney stacks on the roof. There is museum on the rooftop showing the progress of his design and evolution through scale models, plans and objects. You get a sense of how he developed his ideas and brought them to fruition. There is an apartment that you can walk through and he see how he laid out his spaces. I think he sacrificed some functionality to fufill his aesthetic goals. In general, when you look at the building and the lobby, even the most miniscule elements were embellished with with tile, metal, wood, or anything that he could get his hands on.
I also visited the Palau Guell, a private residence which was built between 1885-1890 with a much more somber construction. The space is still loaded with details but feels very introverted. You don’t get a sense a light and openness when you walk through. Gaudi used staircase rails, stained glass, and carved plaster throughout the space. Only when you reach the roof do you feel a sense of lightness and spirit in his design.
Out of all the private residences he designed, the one that I enjoyed the most is Casa Batllo. He plays with color and the space has a strong art neuvou influence. He uses almost anatomical elements in the design, like ribs and gills.
His crowning glory is the cathedral, Sagrada Familia, which is still under construction even after many decades of work. It soars to the heavens with a great sense of lightness, because it is all built out of light-colored stone juxtaposed by bronzes depicting the life of Jesus. There are several entrances, each with signficance about the life of Christ. All in all I have gained a great respect for a man whose dreams were made into reality. He was truly one of the most individual architects of the 19th and early 20th Centuries whose work spoke of his vision…a very different contrast to Mies van der Rohe.
In Barcelona, you can take a funicular (tram) to see the Miro museum. It’s worth seeing, there are beautiful Miro pieces at the museum. You can take a walk to the National Museum Catalunya, which was built for the same world’s fair as Mies’ Pavilion. It’s a lovely walk and you will certainly enjoy it.
It was three hectic of touring, walking, and trying to absorb the city. In between, I saw my goddaughter who lives in Barcelena and drank some good Spanish wine. All in all, three productive days.
Well…I’m back in New York after spending several weeks traveling abroad and shopping for the showroom. Before the trip fades away in my memory, I want to share different parts of my trip with you.
From New York I went to Spain, and my first stop was in Barcelona where I made a pilgrimage to see the Barcelona Pavilion. This incredible space was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain.
It was quite an experience. Mies’ talent and his design’s timeless quality makes this pavilion one of the most incredible pieces of architecture that exists. It epitomizes what contemporary design is all about. He plays with texture and pattern between different marbles, reflective steel, and clear and frosted glass. He also thought a lot about how light plays in the reflecting pond. The simplicity of one beautiful piece of bronze sculpture floating in space is quite amazing. It’s a sculpture by Georg Kolbes, and is named Dawn. I got chills just standing there and taking in the space. If there was ever a temple built for modernity, this is it.
Below are pictures I took of the pavilion. Enjoy!
Wow what a trip it was to Spain! Two days in Barcelona, two in Sevilla, two in Grenada, and two in Madrid…but I was able to see a lot in a short time.
My big stop in Barcelena was seeing the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe masterpiece that was built for the 1929 World’s Fair – I felt like I was going to church. It was so enlightening and spiritual to see his work. The other buildings at the World’s Fair site were also a sight to behold.
I was especially excited about going to Grenada to see the Alambra. I absolutely loved the Islamic architecture, and spent two days walking through the gardens. I also did a night tour, which was very interesting. I’d suggest going there first thing in the morning, and booking the tours ahead of time, as there are hundreds of people waking through.
As for shopping in Grenada, I found some great antiques at a store called Antiquedades Decoracion Abascal.
In Madrid I visited the Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo Reina Sofía, and many other beautiful sights.
I visited two shops in Madrid: Justiniano X SL and Mercedes Urquijo Antiquedades for 17th Century Spanish and other objects for the showroom.
The best meal I had in Spain was a magnificent dinner at the La Terraza Del Casino restaurant in Madrid which serves nouvelle food. I had the tasting menu which came with 15 small courses and it was delicious. The flavors were a combination of sweet and sour, infusion and froth – my meal started at 9:30 p.m. and I left at 11:45 p.m. I also tried several different wines. The whole experience made me want to come back to Spain just to eat there again. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough…plus it has a Michelin star.
The next day, I took off to Delhi for a whirlwind shopping trip with a furniture dealer. My next stop is Bali, Indonesia, where I’ll be visiting my good friend Bruce Carpenter who is the owner of Amirshop (which sells furniture and objects from different islands in Indonesia). I’ll be spending Christmas in Bali – it truly is the perfect place to celebrate the joy of the holidays.
I’ll post photos from my Spanish adventure when I return!
With all my travels, I’ve never been to Spain. This year is going to be my European trip. It won’t be a shock to you that I’m no longer going to Libya as I had originally planned…instead I’m traveling throughout Spain to Barcelena, Sevilla, Grenada, and Madrid. Seeing the Alambra in Grenada is, I know, going to be the highlight of the trip. There are going to be so many museums and sights to see…I will have an activity-packed time in Europe.
From there I’ll be going to Bali, Indonesia where I’ll shop for the showroom, photograph a residence for a new book, and spend Christmas with friends there. For New Years, I’ll be in Bangkok and will shop. On the 2nd, I fly to Myranmar (formerly known as Burma) where I have visited three times before but this time I’ll be sharing the country with somebody’s who’s never been there. It will be fun to experience it with them. I’ll be going to Yangoon, Mandalay, Bagan, and Inga Lake, then back to Bangkok, and from there onto Hong Kong to prepare myself for returning to New York and to do some shopping for the showroom. I’ll keep you posted on my travels!
Since many of you wanted to see more photos of my friend Tim’s French chateau, I created a photo album for you to see the beautiful place. You will have to wait for the Veranda magazine article to come out to see more interior photos of his chateau. I’ll keep you posted!
Yesterday I attended an auction at Christies outside of Paris, featuring items from the neoclassic Palais Abbatial de Royaumont. This small palace houses a remarkable collection of Old Master and 19th century drawings, European furniture and works of art, sculpture, ceramics, silver and Asian art.
I saw wonderful pieces of furniture, all from far-flung places and bid on two items (in the thousand to few thousand dollar range) but didn’t end up with anything. In general, prices were over the top, with dealers bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars for items like small side tables. I had a lovely time, nevertheless, and am enjoying my holiday in France!
Do you enjoy going to auctions? Have you ever come away with a beautiful piece that you love?
I’m getting ready for my trip to France. Many of you have been asking me where I shop in the City of Lights, here are just a few. If any of you out there know of any great flea markets in Paris please share.
Galerie Yvan Royer
La Cerisaie Antiquites
Alexandre Venturini Antiquities
Thibault De Chastenet
I am off to France in a few weeks. First I will head into Paris and hit up a few flea markets and hopefully catch some new shows. A good friend of mine, Tim Corrigan has this wonderful chateau and has been generous enough to invite 16 of his friends for a long weekend. I have been there once before and it is quite an extraordinary place, with incredible gardens, which I will try to get a few shots to show you. The chateau was featured in Architectural Digest and I heard that it will be in Veranda as well. Tim is the only person I know that can take a grand chateau and make it feel homey, I cannot wait to get there!
Believe me these invites don’t happen often in my life so I am very excited about this trip to France.