“I paint flowers so they will not die” ― Frida Kahlo

HIDDEN GEMS #01 / AUG 2016 / BY DIMITRIS PANAGIOTIDIS

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“I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of “madness”. Then: I’d arrange flowers, all day long, I’d paint; pain, love and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like at the stupidity of others, and they would all say: “Poor thing, she’s crazy!” (Above all I would laugh at my own stupidity.) I would build my world which while I lived, would be in agreement with all the worlds. The day, or the hour, or the minute that I lived would be mine and everyone else’s – my madness would not be an escape from “reality”.” ― Frida Kahlo.

Exposed – A Sculptural Installation

LAURA ELLEN BACON
LAURA BACON
Exposed – A Sculptural Installation Flanders Red willow. Photo by Laura Ellen Bacon and Tony West.
Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, Cumbria 2012 / lauraellenbacon.com

Laura Ellen Bacon says “Trying to create something that can immerse a person’s attention, even momentarily. I like to create things that people can make a connection to and natural materials offer some kind of primitive connection that some of us crave, once in a while.”

Laura’s contemporary sculptures were initially inspired by nest-like forms and she has since developed her own unique language with materials – a language that communicates the properties of the materials she uses and her strong desire to turn chaotic amounts of raw materials into ‘spaces’ of some kind. Powerfully organic in appearance, she invariably creates site-specific art and has gained a strong reputation for her large works in built environments, interior settings and rolling landscapes, including Chatsworth, Sudeley Castle (for Sotheby’s) and The Artists’ House at Roche Court in Wiltshire. Laura Ellen Bacon is a sculptor who works raw materials into large-scale or, ‘human-scale’ works in both interior and landscape settings. Working with predominately natural materials and her bare hands, her works embrace, surround or engulf architectural and natural structures. The work of Laura Ellen Bacon has been described as, ‘monumental’, ‘uncanny’, ‘compelling’ and ‘beautifully strange’.

KAHLO by Andrea Kettenmann

TASCHEN
Frida Kahlo
Kahlo by Andrea Kettenmann. Published by Taschen. Hardcover, 21 x 26 cm, 96 pages / taschen.com

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.” ― Frida Kahlo.

The arresting pictures of Frida Kahlo (1907–54) were in many ways expressions of trauma. Through a near-fatal road accident at the age of 18, failing health, a turbulent marriage, miscarriage and childlessness, she transformed the afflictions into revolutionary art. In literal or metaphorical self-portraiture, Kahlo looks out at the viewer with an audacious glare, rejecting her destiny as a passive victim and rather intertwining expressions of her experience into a hybrid surreal-real language of living: hair, roots, veins, vines, tendrils and fallopian tubes. Many of her works also explore the Communist political ideals which Kahlo shared with her husband Diego Rivera. The artist described her paintings as “the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.”

Frida Kahlo
Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress, 1926. Mexico City, Bequest of Alejandro G.mez Arias © 2015 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/ Photo by Bridgeman Images / taschen.com

This book introduces a rich body of Kahlo’s work to explore her unremitting determination as an artist, and her significance as a painter, feminist icon, and a pioneer of Latin American culture. The author, Andrea Kettenmann (born in 1959) studied art history in Gießen, Göttingen and Heidelberg before joining the art history department of the University of Hamburg. In 1986 she visited Mexico on a fellowship, and now lives there, working as a freelance art historian. She has now worked on a number of exhibitions and catalogues, including the catalogue for the retrospective on Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo’s husband, in Detroit.

AURO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

NJU: COMMUNICATION LTD.
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AURO Extra virgin olive oil designed by nju: Communication Ltd. / njucomunicazione.com

The extra virgin olive oil Auro, comes from the desire and the passion of Jacqueline and Aurelio De Laurentiis, President of Filmauro, one of the most important film production houses in italy, and also President of Napoli Soccer. De Laurentis asked Antonino Mennella, another great extra virgin olive oil producer, to take care and follow the production of the Auro, and also asked us to design the label and ‘dress’ the bottle of his new product. The name ‘Auro’ becomes a graphic composition and plays with the length of the bottle. Full, elegant and bright. The gold foil celebrate the quality of the oil and conveys preciousness. The long, stretched text for Auro makes it appear tall, and written in gold it gives it an elegant appearance. Skinny bottles add to the height, also making it easy to leave out on the counter for cooking and food prep. Aiming for height rather than width, the bottles also seem to nod towards the idea quality over quantity — a small amount of Auro will go a long way with its rich flavor.

Chilean photographer

ARACELI PAZ
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Chilean photographer and Art Director, Araceli Paz / aracelipaz.com

Araceli Paz says “I’ve always been influenced by all types of art forms, not only photography. My very first contact with art was the European Renaissance and Baroque at age of nine. Since that moment on, I felt deeply moved by natural lighting.”

How did your art career start, and was it always photography centered?

My family was not happy with the idea of me studying art so I entered to a graphic design school. Of course I dropped it halfway but I have to admit that somehow it helped me become a more integral photographer.

When you are out shooting – how much of it is instinctual versus planned?

Always ends up being instinctual. Even though I’m a super structured person, actually what I like the most about photo-graphing is that is constantly taking me out of my comfort zone. The more I plan, the less I enjoy.

What do you think makes a memorable street photograph?

Certainly not the technique. It’s more about keeping your eyes and mind wide open. To achieve a good street photograph you have to be as receptive and fast as you can and it takes a lot of practice to get to that point. I’m not even close.

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Chilean photographer and Art Director, Araceli Paz / aracelipaz.com

What is your idea of happiness?

Weird as it sounds, the more you embrace the sadness, the happier you can become.

Suppose you were hosting a dinner this coming Saturday night. And you could invite anyone you wanted. Dead or alive. Which four would you invite to come over and why?

To see the face of someone enjoying a meal is unpayable. Anyone who understands this is invited.

El Jornalero by Alejandro Millan Ponce de Leon

CHIVAS MASTERS GLOBAL BARTENDING COMPETITION, SHANGHAI 2016
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El Jornalero by Alejandro Millan Ponce de Leon. Ingredients: 50ml Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, 20ml Amaro Averna liqueur, 15ml extra dry vermouth, 15ml homemade cacao and dry chilli syrup, 2 spritzes of mezcal infused with coffee beans and orange peel. Method: Pour ingredients into mixing glass, add ice and aerate by ‘throwing’ several times. Serve in a black mud jar. Garnish with dry orange wheel, sugared cacao powder and mint.

Alejandro Millan Ponce de Leon says “The global Chivas Masters final in Shanghai has opened my eyes and I hope that I have shown just what Mexico can do. It is a huge honour to hold the title of Chivas Master. The support of my team in Mexico and the amazing bartenders around me here at the global final has showed me that true brotherhood exists, and being able to work with these people is a great privilege.”

Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has crowned Alejandro Millan Ponce de Leon from Instituto Culinario de Mexico and Bootlegger in Puebla, Mexico as the 2016 Chivas Master. The first major bartending competition to be held in Shanghai saw Alejandro overcome fierce competition from 14 of the world’s most innovative bartenders over a five-day final. Due to his team spirit, hospitality and outstanding drink creations Alejandro was awarded the overall Chivas Masters title. The expert panel of judges were impressed by Alejandro’s winning local cocktail, ‘El Jornalero’, which displayed a culinary connection with his region’s indigenous ingredients and showed a great authenticity tying it to the roots of his Mexican culture. Max Warner, Global Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, commented: “The third year of the Chivas Masters global bartending competition has shown the world that a great cocktail is more than just an exceptional spirit base, which is of course essential: teamwork and collaboration are also key components in delivering a memorable drinking experience. Our winner Alejandro epitomised these values, underpinned by truly outstanding bartending skills – a worthy winner, supported by his team.”