Monthly Archives: May 2015

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

As I mentioned earlier this week, I spent Memorial Day very calmly, enjoying a very sunny summer day at The Cloisters. It was an absolutely wonderful day, during which I saw the most inspiring architectural pieces in this beautiful place, I had a delicious and fresh salad for lunch while overlooking the Hudson river, and read almost a full book under the sun. And, of course, I took lots of pictures! So rather than talking about how I felt, I hope I can share it, somehow, through my pictures.

A Day at The CloistersA Day at The CloistersA Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

A Day at The Cloisters

Love,
Laura
Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Two weekends ago, right before all the auctions started taking place at Christie’s I visited their NYC building to take a look at the amazing works of art they had on view. Although I am not—yet, I hope—able to actually get any of those for my apartment, I did love being able to spend a calm afternoon looking at all those beautiful pieces and dreaming of the day I can call something like that mine!

Visits to Christie'sVisits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Visits to Christie's

Love,
Laura
Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

By this point is absolutely no surprise that I’m writing about art. It’s one of the things I love the most in this world, and I don’t seem to get enough of it. Ever. So you might imagine how excited I was when I got my invitation to the VIP Preview of Frieze New York. Not that I wouldn’t have gone anyway… But being able to see it before anyone else—yes, I’m a little bit competitive sometimes—and not having to face the crowds—which is something I truly dislike—made my day month.

Frieze New YorkFrieze New York

Frieze New York

So yesterday, after working pretty much all day on my last final, taking a long shower and—finally—putting on the Valentino studded sandals I got for my birthday, I went out of my apartment ready to have a fun evening off. Since I was determined to make this my celebration for having successfully completed my first year of Graduate School, I decided to take the ferry ride all the way to Randall’s Island and enjoy the view of New York in what ended up being a wonderful spring afternoon.

Frieze New YorkFrieze New York

Once I entered the art fair, I walked all around it several times, trying not to miss anything. I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those of you who will be going at some point this weekend—and you should totally go—but I can’t avoid sharing some of my favourite pieces…

Frieze New YorkFrieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

Frieze New York

After walking for quite a while, drinking a glass of wine, and greeting a few friends, I was more than ready to head back to Manhattan. But before I did, this wonderfully calm evening got even better when nature surprised me with the best sunset I’ve seen in quite a while—and I guess that’s a lot to say from someone who lives in the West side and sees the sunset pretty much every day.

Frieze New YorkFrieze New York

Frieze New York

Love,
Laura
Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio

Give Me Love: Yayoi Kusama at David Zwirner Gallery

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

As I mentioned yesterday, Yayoi Kusama’s Give Me Love is currently on view at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea and, to me, it’s a must-see this month. I had the chance to visit on Saturday and had lots of fun in the Obliteration Room. So if you love art, dots—because that’s what Yayoi Kusama is all about—and have some free time, you should totally visit. It’s worth it!

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration RoomYayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: the Obliteration Room

Love,
Laura
Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio

“China: Through The Looking Glass” at the Met Museum

China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume Center

As you might have seen on my Instagram, on Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend the Preview of the current exhibition at the Met Museum Costume Institute: China: Through The Looking Glass, and I’m completely obsessed with it. Although I’ve only attended a few exhibitions at the Costume Institute and my opinion is probably not the most educated one, this one is my favourite so far and I can’t wait to go see it again!

China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume Center

I am not really sure if the exhibition was meant to have a precise order or not—and this is a problem I’ve found common in many of the fashion exhibitions I’ve attended—so I decided to follow my instinct and make my way through it using the order that seemed most logical through me. I started on the Anna Wintour Costume Center Galleries and then made my way up to the Chinese Galleries in the second floor. Although it did make sense most of the time, sometimes the way I transitioned from one gallery to the next was not very smooth. But it was all beautiful, despite the order/disorder, and magical.

China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume Center

The moment I entered the principal gallery of the Costume Center I felt immersed in an atmosphere of mysticism, a land unknown to me, but somehow familiar, from all the images I’ve seen from it throughout my life. The music was intense and the film clips from The Last Emperor helped create this atmosphere, where a time long gone in China was recreated through the art of dress. In the movie, it is possible to see the wonderful dresses worn by men and women alike, where red—probably the most powerful colour in China, according to what I’ve learned from my Chinese friends—and rich, colourful, even golden, embroideries were the main protagonists. The costumes from the film clip create a perfect conversation with the garments being exposed in this part of the exhibition, as contemporary creations from Western fashion designers are juxtaposed to historical garments that were actually worn by the Emperors back in the time. From the beginning of the exhibition, the interaction between East and West is more than clear, reflecting the main intention of Andrew Bolton, curator of the exhibition.

China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume CenterChina: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume Center

China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume Center

China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume Center

The smaller gallery of the Costume Center provides a short escape from the intensity of dynastic life in China. Transporting me to a later, post-dynastic period, I saw the beauty of the Qipao, both in a variety of film clips and the designs inspired by this classic, yet sensual shape of dress. The film clips emphasise the love stories of the women wearing the Qipao, and the music is more than perfect to create a nostalgic atmosphere of the love gone. Eros (2004), for example, shows not only the story of the woman, but also the making of the beautiful dress she wears. In The Mood for Love (2000) the dress hugs the woman’s body, perfectly highlighting her natural curves, and the camera angle, which focuses on this lover’s body, definitely shows a sexualised perception of the Qipao—and the Chinese woman as well—showing a perfect example of what Laura Mulvey calls the cinematic “male gaze.” The film clips and the music accompanying them builds up the perfect mood for the gallery, where love—or the absence of it—is definitely the main theme. There is also a sense of multiculturalism, again, of the interaction between China and the West in the music. I particularly adored hearing the song Quizás, quizás, quizás as part of the soundtrack, as it reminded me of my childhood and clearly raised all types of emotions in me. And because exhibitions are particularly successful when they manage to make the audience emotional, this was definitely the point when I fell for this one. I was beaten!

China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume Center

Right next to the wonderful atmosphere of love in the film clips, there were several dresses, all arranged next to the other, showing more contemporary, Western interpretations of the Qipao. Designers included Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, John Galliano for Dior, and even Jean Paul Gaultier. The Qipao is definitely one of the greatest symbols of China in the west, it is simple and versatile, and can be adapted to a large variety of colours, textures, and maybe even fabrics. No doubt it has been a great inspiration for many Western designers, and I’m really glad it got its own little gallery in the exhibition.

China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met Museum Anna Wintour Costume Center

On another note, despite the curator’s idea of showing the interactions between China and the West, the fact that the exhibition is actually called “China: Through the Looking Glass” inherently implies that it shows a vision of China through the Western eye. There is a question of stereotyping and colonialism that definitely needs to be addressed, and the exhibition itself managed to include it. In the first floor, a tiny lobby that separates the first part of the exhibition with the next, explores some of the cultural appropriations of China in the West. We see the Mao suit used by Tseng Kwong Chi as a vehicle to explore Eastern stereotypes in the US in the 1980s, part of his “East Meets West” series, and how Vivienne Westwood later used the suit as part of one of her collections in 2012. We also see red guard uniforms appropriated by Galliano for Dior in spring/summer 1999, and even how Andy Warhol used Mao’ face in his art, which was also included in Westwood’s dresses. This cultural revolution, which took place in the late 70s and the 80s, which influenced the American and European avant garde, is said to be inspired by President Nixon’s visit to China in 1973.