Month: July 2017

SEOUL: The Tech, Tea & Karaoke Guide

Contributed with love and just for you, by Juyoung Yoon – Korean but really a Londoner at heart, lover of all things gold and Baroque, who is currently the art and exhibitions assistant at MARIOTESTINO+ At the crack of dawn (kidding) –  Start with the Aria restaurant at the Chosun hotel for the breakfast buffet – you’re spoiled for choice! There is also a  Louise Bourgeois,  Maman monumental sculpture in the courtyard that I always stop by to admire. A walks to digest – A favorite of mine would have to be Namsan Park trail. It’s a green oasis right in the centre of Seoul and you temporarily forget you’re in this huge city. The glimpses of Seoul that you get along the walk is pretty amazing (both during the day and night!). However, another walk I love is in Heyri Art Valley, an artist colony built by artists on the outskirts of Seoul (less than an hour drive and close to South Korea’s DMZ line). It’s full of galleries and artist studios so you’re guaranteed to discover something! My latest museum obsession – I have too many favourite galleries and museums like Gana Art, Kukje or Hakgojae but my latest obsession is the Korea Furniture Museum. There’s really nothing like marvelling at traditional Korean craftmanship all …

PIETRASANTA: Tuscany Lost in Time

I grew up spending my summers on the cozy hillside, Tuscan town of Pietrasanta. Wait, what am I saying? I still do. I’m actually sitting in the piazza right this second writing this! We used spend the whole month of July here – fourteen mischievous souls in total including siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and second spouses (the common thread in my family). And up until a few years, people didn’t seem to know where Pietrasanta was, exactly. I always found myself saying that it’s a 20 minute bike ride from Forte Dei Marmi. Everyone’s heard of Forte but still, I’m sure they didn’t know exactly where that was either. But now, call it Google maps, CNTraveller or whatever, Pietrasanta, our little secret lost in time, has become ‘cool’ in everyone else’s eyes which sucks for us because our well-kept secret is out and up for grabs. Now we run into random people we know from elsewhere intruding in our little slice of heaven that is essentially made up of a main piazza and a few side streets. Sculpting …

NYC: The {off-the-grid} Guide

Contributed with love by Miguel Batel – Mexican nomad fascinated with Japanese culture, currently based in New York City. Once upon a time he was the cultural attaché for Mexico in Canada; today, he’s focusing on personal photography projects, and works as a Producer and Lighting Director making some of the world’s most beautiful women even more beautiful. As much as possible, he loves going to Japan for the pure pleasure of getting traditionally tattooed and finding rare photo books. The best way to start the day –  There is a small place called Okonomi in Brooklyn that serves traditional Japanese set meals for breakfast and lunch. All the fish and vegetables are sourced locally and served in beautiful pottery. They take walk-ins only, but if there is a wait, it’s well worth it. A public artwork I like to go see – The Bust of Sylvette (1967), a monumental sculpture by Picasso that was recreated using sandblast cement by Carl Nesjar and Sigurd Frager, that is near NYU is incredible. It sits quietly amidst three Brutalist buildings by the great I.M. Pei. It’s a quiet pocket in the …

LISBON: In True Portuguese Style

Contributed with love by Isabella Aballi – “I have a thing for cooking, drawing, indoor plants, and music produced before I was born. Still waiting for Freaks and Geeks season 2… Currently Events and Press at Blain Southern”. When I wake up and I desperately need food in my belly – I make a pit stop at Choupana Caffé. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat or to sit back and relax a bit; the latter being in true Portuguese fashion. Try the pressed ham and cheese croissant – it will take you back to your childhood giving your belly that cosy carby feeling – yummm. A walk to digest my breakfast – Walk two blocks (enough walking for me) and you’ll hit the Jardim da Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian. Personally, I prefer the Modern Collection which is packed with incredible modern and contemporary artworks, a good chunk of them by Portuguese artists. For a country known for its orthodox ways, I was pleasantly surprised and immediately drank the Kool-Aid. My latest museum obsession – Casa das Histórias – …

Bird in Space

It all started with Marcel. You know, Duchamp? He is considered the most influential artist of the 20th century (not Picasso) and for some reason, I think of him more as a whacky scientist than an artist. Maybe that’s just because he was in everyone’s business introducing people to one another, revolutionizing, criticizing and influencing his contemporaries unknowingly. He knew everyone and he played a key part in so many historical twisted events. My favorite story in all the stories of Art History that of Brancusi’s fabulous Bird in Space, the golden bullet-like sculpture located at the MoMa in New York. It was originally part of an edition of nine bronze casts and seven marbles created in 1923. An American collector by the name of Edward Steichen bought one of the bronzes in 1926 in France and he asked the artist to ship it to the United States. “Sure” said Brancusi, “coincidentally, a very good friend of mine, Marcel, is traveling to the States so I’ll just send it with him”. “Cool” said Steichen. So off goes Duchamp with Bird …