“Dipingo autoritratti perché sono spesso sola, perché sono la persona che conosco meglio.”
L’artista messicana Frida Kahlo è una delle icone che più mi ispirano ogni giorno. Vittima di un grave incidente subìto da ragazza, riflesse nei dipinti la sua drammatica e travagliata storia. L’artista trasformò l’autoritratto in un mezzo di evasione dal quotidiano per esprimere il suo complicato mondo interno. Considerata da alcuni una pittrice surrealista, definizione che lei stessa rifiutò, insistendo sul fatto che ciò dipingeva non erano i suoi sogni, bensì il quotidiano.
Il tema che emerge da questo primo dipinto è sicuramente quello dell’alterità: la Frida raffigurata sulla tela è un’altra lei che si arricchisce di tutte quelle sofferenze che dovette subire nel corso della sua vita. Ma non solo, la dualità della sua persona ricomparirà anche in altri dipinti dove oscilla molto il tema della sua doppia natura sessuale: se da una parte l’ amore per il famoso muralista dei primi decenni del Novecento, Diego Rivera, fu particolarmente travagliato, d’altro canto ebbe alcuni flirt con alcune donne. Una sorta di ying e yang che fanno capolino nella figura di Frida.
“Dal momento che i miei soggetti sono sempre stati le mie sensazioni, i miei stati mentali e le reazioni profonde che la vita è andata producendo in me, ho di frequente oggettivato tutto questo in immagini di me stessa, che erano la cosa più sincera e reale che io potessi fare per esprimere ciò che sentivo dentro e fuori di me”.
L’amore incondizionato per l’artista Diego Rivera, le emozioni forti e le frustrazioni si espressero in un dipinto di grande rilievo Le Due Frida, in cui lo specchio gioca un ruolo centrale. Se in un primo momento della sua carriera come artista, lo specchio era una sorta di necessità dovuta alle condizioni di salute che la costringevano a letto, in seguito divenne un riflesso della sua realtà che poteva essere modificata in una visione del tutto personale.
In questo ritratto, che troviamo esposto, ritorna prepotente il tema della dualità dell’artista: la versione speculare dell’artista, seduta su una panca con alle spalle un cielo tempestoso, e risale al periodo di divorzio con Diego. Se da un lato troviamo la Frida europea, dall’altro lato troviamo quella messicana. In entrambe il cuore è esposto: nella Frida europea è aperto e i due cuori sono collegati tra loro da una vena, simbolo di solidarietà. Le due Frida si tengono per mano gesto confortante e consolatorio.
Lo sguardo diretto all’osservatore, immobile, impassibile, ermetico, le bocche serrate senza sorriso, rivelano una sottile tensione interna dell’animo della pittrice, che trova aiuto soltanto in sé stessa.
Nell’osservare le sue opere si ha costantemente l’impressione di una dualità tra vita e morte, femminile e maschile, fragilità e forza. La sua carriera artistica è caratterizzata da un’autobiografia pittorica per raccontare le sue sensazioni e i suoi sentimenti, e attraverso la quale rappresentò i momenti più significativi della sua vita, i dolori, la gioia, la paura della morte; nello stesso tempo creò un linguaggio figurativo arricchito da elementi surreali e fantastici, utilizzando la pittura per raccontare sé stessa, i suoi problemi fisici e di salute. In molti dipinti mostrò il suo corpo oggetto di manipolazione da parte dei medici, un corpo rotto, frantumato, sorretto da bustini, sedie a rotelle, ma non ritrasse mai il capo chino, al contrario viene sempre raffigurato alto, fiero e coraggioso, lo sguardo penetrante che non consente al dolore di avere la meglio su di lei.
Casa Azul, situata nel quartiere fuori dal centro di Coyoacán, per volere di Diego è rimasta quasi del tutto invariata, anche se il suo curatore, Carlos Pellicer, amico e poeta di Frida, dovette cambiare il punto di vista degli oggetti, assumendo quello dell’osservatore. Un posto magico, che rapisce animo e cuore, dove è il blu a dominare. Lo studio con pennelli e tele, la cucina dove giallo e Azul regalano vivacità e allegria e infine la sua camera da letto, dove, definita, la camera da letto per il giorno, riusciva a stare sdraiata vedendo le piante attraverso la finestra e sentire il gorgoglio della fontana. La forza di questa donna è tangibile nelle pagine del suo diario e nel guardaroba esposto. I colori e la vivacità dovevano compensare con la sua essenza. Temeraria, anche quando peggiorò, aveva sprazzi di allegria e umore festoso. Così la descrissero gli amici che la andavano a trovare.
Entrare a Casa Azul, significa fare conoscenza con lo spirito di Frida, che ancora vive nelle sue mura.
Imagine to go back in time, when at the end of the ‘800, aristocrats spent their holidays at the beautiful Bay of Arcachon located in the south of Bordeaux (only 1 hour by train) on the French Atlantic coast and situated in the department of Aquitaine and Gironde. This place offers a wide variety of landscapes: exceptional architecture with its elegant 19th century villas decorated with delicate wood tracery. Arcachon is divided into different areas: the ‘Ville d’Eté’ (Summer City) corresponds to the bottom of the town and the seaside, the top of the town to the ‘Ville d’Hiver’ (Winter City) and the West and East to the ‘Ville de Printemps’ (Spring City) and ‘Ville d’Automne’ (Autumn City).
Arcachon was and still is a popular resort for balneotherapy. The little coastal town has a sandy beach and picturesque villas, in a Victorian style of architecture. The town is also known for its mild climate, lovely to have long afternoon walks on the beach, taking sun and swim in the cold waters of the Ocean.
What to do in Arcachon? The Saint Cecile observation tower, completed in 1863 by Paul Regnauld and assisted by Eiffel, is one of the landmarks of the city.
Test your luck at the beautiful Moorish-style Casino, that was built to entertain rich patients and their visitors and now still is an attraction for the city.
Take time for visiting the Dune du Pyla, the highest dune in Europe surrounded by pine forests. We saw it from the sea, during our boat trip.
Little shopping never killed nobody, several shops welcome you in the streets of the city center where you can find really good products, from clothes, to shoes and much more!
In these last years I had the fortune to travel a lot, visiting beautiful and interesting places, enter in touch with new cultures and of course, making new friends. Today, I am going to tell you my adventure in Tel Aviv, the new Miami.
Tel Aviv is not particularly appealing at first sight, but just after few hours wandering in the streets, the city put a spell on me grabbing me totally.
The side of the city that I loved more is Jaffa, the ancient port town that sits on a hill just south of Tel Aviv. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! In Jaffa you can’t miss many Landmarks: The Tower Clock in the middle of the square, the Flee Market where I have spent hours roaming these shops where you can buy anything from vintage luggage to furniture, books, clothes and jewels, St. Peter’s Church and the Al-Bahr Mosque, overlooking the harbor, is the oldest Jaffa’s Mosque.
Welcome to the Royaume du Maroc, welcome to Marrakech. The first time I entered in Morocco, I was highly surprised about how in the chaos they have a working law system. Sometimes it seams rules are not applied there, but they have an implicit and basic code rules that makes this city really safe even for a woman. When I have been the second time, I landed at the Menara airport, a very modern structure in this beautiful traditional ancient city. It’s a Muslim country, they have to pray 7 times a day, but when you hang out around Medina, you see people who are much more into business than religion. Moroccans speak up to four languages to interact with tourists and are always there to try to sell you authentic traditional goods at suq, the traditional market. During my staying, I really had one of the best shopping experience! I have been captured by the owner of the shop and invited to seat, sipping traditional Moroccan mint tea while the owner of it showed me every possible color and design camel leather poufs. In the end it was impossible not to buy one of it after a really long negotiation lasts almost 1 hour.
Outside Medina walls, there is the modern city, really occidental and for this reason it created less appeal to me because I prefer spending time into the “real” side, where the colors, the perfumes are much more intense. But, here there is a blue pearl that everyone should visit: Jardin Majorelle created by the french painter Jacques Majorelle in the heart of the Ochre City.
This luxuriant garden is a pleasure for eyes and for the body, far from the heat of the city. Around here you can hear just the babble of water and the sing of birds who find a refuge. Rare varieties of trees, cactus palms and exotic plants of dreamy origin, pools filled with water lilies and lotus flowers, create a very suggestive atmosphere. In 1937 Jacques Majorelle transformed his garden into a masterpiece: he painted the facade of his studio with a cobalt blue that accentuates the green of the leaves. The attraction of this garden was so intense to YSL and Pierre Bergé that in 1980 they bought it saving it from falling victim of a real estate project and becoming a hotel complex.
Let me read you a story about the origin of the most famous pastry of Belém…
“At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, in Belém, next to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Heironymite Monastery) there was a sugar cane refinery attached to a small general store. As a result of the 1820 liberal revolution, all convents and monasteries in Portugal were shut down in 1834, the clergy and labourers expelled.
In an attempt at survival, someone from the monastery offered sweet pastries for sale in the shop; pastries that rapidly became knownas ‘Pastéis de Belém’.
At that period the area of Belém was considered far from the city of Lisbon and mainly accessed by steam-boats. At the same time, the grandeur of the monastery and the Torre de Belém (the Belém Tower) attracted visitors who soon grew used to savouring the delicious pastries originated in the monastery.
In 1837, the baking of the “Pastéis de Belém”began in the buildings attached to the refinery, following the ancient ‘secret recipe` from the monastery. Passed on and known exclusively to the master confectioners who hand-crafted the pastries in the ‘secret room’, this recipe remained unchanged to the present day.
Hello my dear friends! We spent the second day of our beautiful long weekend in one of the most magical district of Lisbon: Alfama, where São Jorge Castle dominates the city from the top .
Once visitors have reached the top of this fortress walls, they can walk along bastions and enjoy the panorama. Nearby you can see the magnificence of the Cathedral Sé built by Alfonso Henriques, this Roman church is one of the city’s great landmarks .
Miradouro de Santa Luzia, decorated with with plants and azulejo panels (ceramic tiles), it is a very romantic place. From this look out point, the view of the red roofs of the houses is absolutely breathless.
If you will be in town during the weekend, you can’t miss every Saturday the Feira da Ladra, the traditional flea market where are sold a myriad of all sorts of second-hand and new products, simply displayed on a stretched-out blanket.
While we were walking down the hill, we bumb into the famous poet Fernando Pessoa drawing with coffee.
Bairro Alto is a picturesque working class quarter that has traditionally been the city’s bohemian haunt of artists and writers. To reach this part of the city I suggest you to take the typical tram.
To the west is the district of Estrela, dominated by a huge domed basilica, one of the symbols of Lisbon and in front of it you can rest a while in the popular gardens of the city: Jardim da Estrela built in the second part of the XIX century.
And after this long day, drinking Porto at Pavilhão Chinês it’s obliged! A truly place out of the ordinary!
How many times I’ve been in Paris? I don’t know exactly! Every time is like the first time. The sense of astonishment, impatience and excitement that pervades me it’s always the same!
When I arrive in Paris Charles de Gaulle, I usually take RER, a train that reaches the city center in few minutes and it’s really cheap (around 10 euro). I suggest to stop at Gare du Nord and from there taking subway instead of a taxi, the city public transportations are well organized.
The best thing when you arrive in Paris is taking a walk and getting lost in the streets of this town, to discover some magical parts.
My favorite place in this town is Place de La Concorde, I love the two big Neoclassical fountains with bronze statues in the middle of the square, they infuse a sense of peace, but it hasn’t always been like that: during XVIII century, a lot of people were guillotined included Queen Marie-Antoinette. From here you can see the Tour Eiffel profile in the distance, the Arc de Triomphe at the end of Champs Elysées and you can reach easily, crossing les Jardin de la Tuileries, the Louvre and the Palais Royal the former residence of French kings.
If you have time, spend some hours at The Louvre (entrance costs around 11 euro), the most impressive Museum of Europe, where you can admire a lot of masterpieces of the most important painters or, cross the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge of Paris, and you will arrive at the heart of the city, l’Île de la Cité. Notre Dame, the iconic Gothic cathedral, will wait for you with its 54 gargoyles.
I suggest to return on the other side of the ciy, catch a glimpse of the Hotel de Ville and spend your time in the bohemian quarter Le Marais visiting the Centre George Pompidou, the modern art museum, the view from the top is astonishing!
Don’t forget to have breakfast, pain au chocolat or little madeleine are the best way yo start your day. My favorite bakery where you can find everything and more is Le Granier à Pain.
Take the subway and stop at Trocadero, follow the marble steps and from the wide esplanade you can admire the Tour Eiffel in all its beauty; cross the bridge and you will arrive under the big iron structure of this magnificent building. I suggest you to take the lift and go up, in the evening the queue is affordable.
If it’s spring or summer time, having a picnic at Champs the Mars could be a good idea: chilling drinking wine and tasting cheese will transform your day into a special one!
After your rest, you can have a walk along the Seine until Musee d’Orsay a pearl in Paris. Take the subway and reach Galeries Lafayette, a tour to the temple of shopping is a must!
If you still have time, take the subway (M12) from there to Abbesses the nearest subway station to Montmartre the famous artist quarter with its Sacré-Cœur Basilica. It has been the home to artists such as Salvadar Dalí, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.Once up on the hill, take the magnificent views of Paris.
Nowadays, the artistic spirit is still reflected by the many artists who occupy the square every day to draw portraits of tourists. Enjoy a delicious crepe at one of the many cafes.
For an alternative night enter into the famous Moulin Rouge on Boulevard de Clichy and enjoy a cancan show.
Doesn’t matter how many times have you visited Paris, there will be always something new to see!
Enjoy my gallery!