Monday, 31 December 2012

Not So Poor

With a stone stuck in a tree, Giuseppe Penone caused a minor sensation at this year's Kassel Documenta.

Idee Di Pietra (2012), bronze and stone, Karlsaue Park

As the youngest member of the 1960s Arte Povera movement (literally poor art), the Italian mostly used natural materials such as wood, and rebelled against the corporate mentality of the market.

Breathing Leaves, 1979

These days, the complex relationship between man, art and nature is still Penone's focal point. But the materials have become a little less poor. The tree for the Documenta, for example, was made out of bronze.

Penone's new installation Spazio di Luce (Space of Light), now on display at London's Whitechapel Gallery, is an 11-metre long cast of a tree covered with bronze and lined with gold.

Spazio di Luce (2012), 12-metre bronze cast of a tree, gold-leaf interior

But some of Arte Povera's original intention remains. As a way to support the publicly funded Whitechapel Gallery, a limited edition etching by Penone was offered for sale at the Frieze art fair Limited Editions stand. It sold out before the fair was over (just like last year's Wolfgang Tilmanns edition).

Luckily I was there to grab one. Afterwards, I felt rather poor.

Limited Edition - Spazio di Luce, 2012

As a final flirt between Ricchi e Poveri, the Château de Versailles has now announced that Penone will be its Guest of Honour this summer. After the somewhat bombastic shows by Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami (pics here and here), this collaboration promises to be both beautiful and organic.

Let them see Wood.

Sculture di Linfa (2007), marble, resin, bark, wood, leather

Down to Earth

Monday, 24 December 2012


A big fête is nigh.

David Hammonds, Bliz-aard Ball Sale (1983); and Pippi Långstrump, the strongest girl in the world (1969) 

For the right sound, check out Kumi's X-mas mix here. And this 90's gem.

          Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas Live - Ca. 1998

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bowie & Bela

This is what I needed for a good start to the holidays: Tim Walker and my favourite model Małgosia Bela unite again for the British Vogue December issue, in a psychedelic homage to David Bowie.

Also, the similarity between Bowie and Bela is striking, especially during his Diamond Dogs period...

Cover of Diamond Dogs

Bowie shot by Terry O'Neill, ca. 1974


Diamond Dogs TV Commercial 1974

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sing Me a Cake

The French, apparently, love combining music with patisserie. Kumisolo's latest song Fondant au Chocolat is a delicious point in a case. And a recipe to warm up this winter.

And here an inspiration, Catherine Deneuve preparing a love cake in the film version of the French fairy tale Peau d'Ane (1970). 

Cake d'Amour

Bon appetit!

Tokyo-Paris Express

My friend singer songwriter Kumisolo is like a cross between Anna Karina and Sailor Moon: The best of what her cities - native Tokyo and adopted Paris - have to offer.

Recently signed by EMI, Kumi is now taking France by storm. Parisian chic and Japanese kawaii pop merge effortlessly in this stunning single, a consciously plastic song about easy loves and fragile hearts. Wanna sing along?


As a multitalent, Kumi also created flower wreaths with my boy Laurent in Paris as part of her Kumi & Cam series.

Kumi and Laurent

Follow her stylish blog and get her new EP here! And stay tuned for a Vogue Fabrics performance in London. Kumi is coming.

Kumi in action 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Aesthetic Post

Sorry for the silence. Today was my last day in the New World, and I went to send a postcard at the Palacio Postal in Mexico City's historic centre. I did not actually expect a palace.

Mexico City's Palacio Postal (1909)

I was even more impressed when I saw this gigantic mosaic depicting the Aztec's founding story - when the nomad tribe saw an eagle eating a snake on a cactus, that is where they founded Tenotichtlan (later Mexico City). I had to look thrice to believe the whole thing was made out of stamps.

Pablo Magana Gonzalez, "Escudo Nacional" (made from 34 279 stamps stamped between 1890 and 1934)

Now this is dedication to Old World mail.