Sunday, September 26, 2010

Buenos Aires it art?

Last fall, I visited for the first time Buenos Aires. The city of music, dance, political passion, contrasts...referred to as Paris of South America.

While I would argue that there is no comparison to Paris, I fell head over heals for the city... It was love at first sight. I embraced it all, the decrepit beauty of a once glamorous past, the heat, the smells, the gardens, the people, their elegance and fun loving attitude.

This post, however is not about Buenos aires, that post will follow. This is about the extraordinary graffiti painted on the street walls of Buenos Aires, especially in La Boca. La Boca district is geared to tourism with its bright houses, tango dancers and is a fun animated area. Being told by my taxi driver, not to venture inside the district but to stick to the open plaza, I was of course, intrigued to do just the opposite. After passing a few houses, I felt I entered a no man's land. You could feel the vibes of desolation, a couple of women stopped my husband and I and warned us not to walk any further as it was extremely dangerous with thieves and criminals abound. What I saw startled me, the most amazing graffiti in vivid color. I was enthralled by their composition and their message.

Looking at some contemporary artists (which i will not mention as I would never want to compromise the respected value of their art), there is such a fine line between the artistry of the street artist, often angry, abused, hungry and the picture hanging on the walls of the world's most important museums.

Entrance to the rough part of La Boca

The furniture design world also embraces the graffitis artform as  illustrated below.
 Indeed, for my new Amara furniture collection event (on October 7th) I am planning to paint a mural with primitive african patterns.

AD#87 Campana sofa, Edra

AD#87 Armchair designed by Franco Albibi and Franca Helg for Cassina

AD #87 sofa designed by Ron Arad for Moroso

AD#87 sofa Sebastobal , Mise en Demeures France

AD # 87 Design by Gaetano Pesce, B and B Italia

For us living in New York, we are quite familiar with the graffitis covering walls, bridges, tunnels..Some young artists at heart endanger their lives by spray painting on gravity defying  spots, especially on bridges...we see it all, rude graffiti, gangs marking their territories, and the occasional surreal beautiful and artistic graffiti. How do you feel about graffiti? do you view them as destruction of public properties or as a scream for help, as an expression of one's deep feeling and artistry?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Exotic jewelry....a must have

 While traveling through Burma, Laos and Thailand in search of antique artifacts, I discovered a gem of a fine jewelry store: "JAANA"
Jaana, a native Scandinavian who lives in Bangkok, crafts beautiful and bold pieces with stone and beads she has been collecting all over the world for the past 20 years. Her silver and jewelry are handcrafted by native white Karen and women from Burma.
I have been wearing her pieces for years and am always asked about their provenance, so I invited Jaana to fly to New York to show 30 of her most beautiful creations for a one time event at Interieurs.

Shortly after sunrise, I placed a few pieces on my stone wall to photograph and show you some of her work. Each bead, stone piece has a story....


Jaana's workshop is located in the North of Thailand, near Chang Mai. Men and women and girls have mastered the intricacies of cutting, carving, stringing the beads and silver.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's a party!

It has been a whirlwind since my return from Maisons et Objets in France.

I have been developing a wonderful relationship with the Editor and publishers of New York Spaces and  they will be featuring one of our projects in this fall issue. As a celebration, they will sponsor an event at our New York Showroom introducing our new Amara Collection.

Greg Glidden and I designed this collection in record time! I had a sudden inspiration while reading "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese and felt transported to Ethiopia. I have a deep love for tribal art and artifact, and this collection is  inspired by a beautiful ethiopian shield I acquired years ago.
I am just back from  North Carolina where I got a look at our first piece.... perfect! I would have never hoped for such beautiful workmanship for our prototype. Later, I will write a post on the process of creating a collection, from pure spontaneous inspiration to the actual launch .

If you live in or are traveling to New York, I hope you can join us for this fun event.

Please RSVP directly to I have a special treat for my blogging friends.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Maisons et Objets: Trends part 2

Shelter was a current theme in many displays and  installations....seeking the ultimate refuge, anxiety about a very uncertain future, the demands of a virtual, global world, make us look for our very own cocoon. We need to create an environment in which we can let go of our defenses, be ourselves, invite our family and friends, treasure private times.
We can create such an environment through color, textures, nature, soft designs. We need to explore outside the standard and expected vignettes. Let's bring in the old and mix it with the new....experiment, be daring, after all this is your life, with its ups and your cocoon, your refuge.

This is what I would label as conceptual design....

I saw many different types of individual cabins, this being modeled after a gypsy's camper

A modern version of the mobile cabin

Wish I were  kid!!

I noticed a strong trend towards rich colors, daring palette of purples, reds, lime green with the occasional bright white, a touch of silver and gold

I have carried these merino wool throws in my fall color choices

Will be ordering the collection of beautifully handmade Italian ceramics by a young artist

Paola Navone, again this fall on display (soon in my showroom interieurs)

I ordered these bronze tables

loved the contrast of the japanese screen with the funky white cactus ceramics

Loved these plates designed by Paola Navone for Richard Ginori...very tempted to place an order

I met this artist and loved her work. I commissioned a series of sphere sculpture, including this piece

More to follow on outdoor furniture apologies for the rather poor quality of these images, but it is strictly forbidden to take photographs at the shows...I was yelled at quite a few times and pretended not to understand french...thanks for the I Phone, I was able to captures a few pics...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Paris Furniture Fair: Maisons et Objets...trends


4AM, wide awake, back in my own bed, I am deciphering through hundreds of images from the shows, ideas, new things, colors, pieces I bought, new artists i will represent, then Paris, always amazingly beautiful Paris, my hotel, the magnificent Monet paintings, then on to the South, my beloved Villeneuve les Avignon, my work with Bernard for a containeur full of great industrial pieces, my last day of work at the Avignon "deballage" where the antique dealers buy from each other and finally two wonderful days...just breathing the pine scented air, spending time with my husband, parents, cousins in Vence , Mougins, visiting and falling in love with the little town of Cassis on the Medeteranean...did i say falling in love...i always seem to do so.

I will first share my impression of the specific trends that I observed at the Maisons et objets fair. I was having dinner with Monique who is a stylist and editor with Cote Sud and she noticed the same trend....ANIMAL is. Where ever I looked, my eyes fell upon some sort of animal life, would it be on textiles, ceramics, furniture, accessories and "curiosites"...

I could not resist to indulge in this trend and placed orders on a series of bird tray....
More trends to come in the next post.
Aurevoir, Francine

Related Posts with Thumbnails Follow InterieursNYC on Twitter