Monday, 26 November 2012

Dalí: Cosmogonic Genius

I'm now writing for AnOther ... and I couldn't be happier about it, since it's one of my favourite magazines ever! So far I have published 2 articles in the past week (both about Spanish artists) and I can't help but sharing my latest one about Salvador Dalí. I know many people have trouble dealing with his work and his flamboyant personality, but I must confess I just adore him: he was deliriously creative, intelligent, articulate, hysterically funny, the king of overstatement... and he was hot when he was young. What more could one ask for in a man? In short: yes, he was a genius.

 "Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dalí". The man who once defined himself as a “cosmogonic genius” was second to none when it came to controversy. Seen by most of his contemporaries as an eccentric at best and a shameless buffoon at worst, he was judged by an art industry that despised in him the very same things it praised in Andy Warhol: megalomania, a taste for provoking and an audacity that knew no bounds. Dalí was in fact a pioneer exploring performance art ahead of his time, and his manipulation of the media has taken a whole new meaning in this Internet-driven century: the timing couldn't be more perfect for the retrospective that is currently held at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, which places the Spanish artist yet again right in the eye of the storm.
Salvador Dalí was anything but ordinary. From his childhood he had a rare conscience of his own greatness: "at the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since". His early years in the Catalan coast of Empordà would arise in him an array of Iberian eccentricities that went from food obsession to mystic outbursts and caught the interest of the group of surrealist artists led by André Breton. However, the young Dalí proved too outrageous even for them and was eventually expelled from the group after presenting his scatological painting The Lugubrious Game. From then on, stating "I am surrealism", he pushed the boundaries of art to delirious extremes like a near-death experience inside a diving suit during a performance. He never hid his appetite for fame and fortune, going as far as to invent his own anagram nickname, "Avida Dollars". From the 1940s he engaged in all kinds of creative projects: designing dresses with Elsa Schiaparelli, imagining movie sets with the also genial Alfred Hitchcock or even conceiving the logo of Chupa Chups sweets, still finding time to appear in numerous TV shows and, of course, to paint with a skill comparable to those of Velázquez or Vermeer.

The exhibition at the Pompidou Centre looks back on the painter’s life through more than 200 works of art comprising The Great Masturbator, The Persistence of Memory and other iconic paintings as well as readymade objects like his 1936 Lobster Telephone, films, jewellery or pieces of furniture mimicking Mae West’s features. Visitors will enter the exhibit through a giant egg symbolizing birth, and will exit through a brain, having experienced the hallucinogenic cosmos of this modern Renaissance Man.

Dalí is at the Centre Pompidou until March 25, 2013

Monday, 5 November 2012

This week: Kate talks, Anna Piaggi's last pictures and more...

 Monday : Anna Piaggi’s last photoshoot
 Barely one month before she passed away aged 81, Anna Piaggi, the original fashion icon, posed in front of Tim Walker’s lens for W Magazine’s 40 anniversary issue. The pictures are even more fabulous than you could expect and they have all the wabi-sabi eccentric glamour anyone could wish for. I just love that in this photo she is wearing that Jamaican-colored fur collar which I think was Dior circa 2001, I remember the campaign was shot by Nick Knight and featured Gisele and I was 16 and really stricken by it. I also remember she was wearing it when I first met her backstage at a Maurizio Galante couture show years ago.

Tuesday: Catherine Baba creates a new jewellery collection for Gripoix
If you are a fan of Baba’s Dietrich-esque, Von Sternberg-esque smoky, exotic, dreamy look, you’ll love that she has just launched a second jewellery collection for French brand Gripoix. This time you will find headpieces, bejewelled belts, rings that turn into pocket mirrors and cuffs that turn into powder cases in shades of red, gold and (obviously) absinthe green. You can’t get any more bohemian than that, and I’m in luck! She stocks the collection at Nouvelle Affaire, a boutique just around the corner from chez moi.

Wednesday: Kate Moss bares it all
Oh yes, at last. We have all been waiting for it for decades! “Kate talks” is the new “Garbo talks”. Last week she was all over the news when her confessions about her relationships to men, drugs and food were published as part of a new, promising Rizzoli book which will feature the most beautiful pictures of the model’s career as well as her own writing. And because we never tire of listening Kate speak, HERE is an interview the New York Times was able to get with her.

Thursday: British Vogue is so high-tech
After my Vogue America-obsessed years (I think that’s mandatory for every teenager wanting to get into the fashion industry and having watched Clueless too many times) and my short-lived taste for Vogue Paris (in my defence that was 8 years ago and Carine Roitfeld was still running it), the only vogue I still religiously read and cherish is the British one. Because I adore Alexandra Shulman and her views on fashion, because it supports rising British talent while remaining Vogue and because, let’s admit it once and for all, the British do it better. Part of its avant-garde bet is a groundbreaking iPad version of the magazine available to everyone with a subscription.

Friday: See the Ruby Slippers up close
If you haven’t yet been to the Hollywood Costume exhibit at V&A and have a chance to take a look, don’t miss it! I was lucky enough to be invited to visit it before it actually opened and I still can’t get over it. For someone as Hollywood-obsessed as I am, it was a lifetime dream come true to be able to stand in front of Dorothy Gale’s ruby slippers and to see Chaplin’s original Little Tramp costume up close. The exhibition is about much more than just iconic costumes, it actually woke really powerful emotions in everyone who was there, and I can guarantee it will do the same for you! In fact it was so amazing I think it deserves a whole post…

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Halloween Aftermath

On wednesday evening I decided to enjoy Halloween all the way... even my fingernails were celebrating! I had fun doing some nail art which I admit I copied from one of the patterns designed by the amazing GHETTO NAILZ girls. Ghetto Nailz is, I think, the first nail art salon in Madrid, which means it's also the first one in Spain. The trend is still far from arriving to Paris (seriously what's up with this city lately?! When did it become yawnfest central and the most old-fashioned fashion capital?) so I had to experiment and do the nail art myself. Actually I'm really happy with the results, although you can clearly see I'm right-handed when you look at the nails I had to do with my left hand:

I mean those darned Dracula fangs? Couldn't bite a neck if their life depended on it. However, despite still having to practice a bit with my left hand, I'm really happy with my newly-found talent and I'm even willing to start manicuring my Parisian friends who are craving nail art and can't get it done in the city's salons (seriously get in touch!).
How was your Halloween? I wanna hear all about it! I confess I still haven't taken down my decorations and my flat is filled with pumpkins and cotton cobwebs... and I absolutely refuse to change my manicure!