Cuckoo and Coco traveled this month to Milan.
My grandmother’s exhibition of paintings and artifacts created out of her friendship with Coco Chanel is now on view at the Palazzo Morando in Milan, Italy until March 2, 2014.
And since I am currently living so close to Italy, I couldn’t resist the chance to attend the opening reception as well as visit the country for the first time. It would seem easy enough to get from Spain to Italy in just a few hours…or so I thought. Missing my connection in Madrid made it almost sure that I was going to also miss the reception. After a quick cry in the Madrid airport, I changed my clothes in a bathroom toilet stall and put on my make-up on by the sink next to the hand dryer. Yes, I was one step away from being Madonna drying her armpits in a night club bathroom in Desperately Seeking Susan . I visited the duty-free perfume shop to do my own arm-pit cleaning and voilà, I was ready to board the plane to Milan. After consulting with fellow passengers on the fastest way into the city center, I found myself on a train from Malepensa to Cadorna sitting next to a Spanish cardiologist who helped me on the airplane. Jumping into a taxi in Milan, my cabdriver and I communicated while I spoke Spanish and he replied in Italian. After explaining I was late, he pushed through the traffic as nimbly as possible to get me to the last few minutes of my grandmother’s private viewing. Running inside with my suitcase in tow, I was greeted by the small group of curators and devoted assistants. I made it with minutes to spare. Here I am with my mom Jeffie Pike Durham (center) and the curator and author of the book on the exhibition, Amy de la Haye (right):
Here is a really charming and funny press release from the Hotel St. George that has been badly translated into English including an incorrect title. And here are some more Italian press releases in the Comune de Milano, Like Magazine, Milano Dabere, Italy Destination, Milano Weekend, and OK Arte. I love this picture from the opening with some very stylish Milanese viewing the work. Click here to view the entire installation with shots of all the paintings, clothing, and memorabilia.
It was a little strange to see all these paintings that I grew up with installed in a public venue. Stranger still seeing clothing and jewelry I remember my mother and grandmother wearing encased behind glass. Being late made me want more time to visit with these paintings even though I saw them everyday of every year growing up. Maybe I wanted more time to visit with Cuckoo. But mostly I’m so glad to be able share her and her work with the rest of the world.
Back in Valencia my studio hosted its annual mercadillo de navidad. Fifteen artists were invited to present their artwork for an under 100 euro sale. This is the main space of Sporting Club Russafa with tables set up for the sale:
Here are some of the paintings I offered and painted just for this occasion. These were started over the summer to flesh out new ideas for some large scale paintings. I also made some postcard sized versions for sale similar to the ones in the back of the Distortion exhibition catalog.
The president of the Americans in Valencia Club helped me organize a Christmas party in mine and José’s studio space for all our friends. We served mulled wine and had home-made cookies for the children to decorate.
But the prize for the most entertaining part of the evening had to be given to this guy. A present-day beatnik with dreadlocks reciting poetry at unfathomable speeds before a live auction of artwork.
This month’s music: Cut Copy