As summer comes to a close, I felt it was time to give you all a little update as it feels like it's been a while... I have had my hands full with party organisation, as my partner Marc and I decided to celebrate our love with family and friends and boy did we go big, as we hosted four fabulous parties. We inaugurated the celebrations at Classico Beach Club in Costa de Caparica, then hosted a 'Thierry Mugler' themed party at our home, before we travelled to Malta for a boat party bonanza, followed by a pool party finale.
Burning Man Project
Invited to the world famous Burning Man Project, I of course jumped at the chance!!! I have always been curious to see what it's all about. I love the music and was especially intrigued to see whether the art pieces are as extraordinary as implied by the media.
Travelling with two of my best friends (David and Max), we embarked on our journey into the desert and made ourselves at home in our tent, as we faced one of the hottest, and dustiest years, complete with two long sandstorms. Our camp Daydream had a sound/music focus but also a strong interest in art. On day one, we went out mural painting on the Playa, but unfortunately didn't last long because of the extreme midday heat.
This year my friend Victor Spinelli who has visited Burning Man for the last 17 years was asked to create a massive art piece, of his iconic DiverUP. This gigantic installation (the helmet alone spanning 3 metres), was such a beautiful piece which really stood out on the Playa, shining bright in red copper.
The daytime on the Playa was so scorching hot that we decided to exist as night owls, enjoying many of the fabulous DJs playing from Robot Heart and Mayan Warrior, two of my favourite venues. Here we met some old friends of my brothers and made new ones, (who now already feel like old friends). I also got to meet the legendary DJ Yokoo, pictured together in the last picture below!
On one of my many cycles through the Playa, I came across the Temple, an incredible structure and in comparison to all the rest of the installations, this had a very particular energy. In complete silence, people were moving around very slowly, reading all the saddest dedications. This was definitely a place to reflect, but I was left puzzled as this temple had no roots and would all be burnt down in the next few days - the day after the Burning of the Man.
I learnt about the link between the Las Fallas festival in Valencia and Burning Man whilst here. A very similar week long event, ending in a single night of fiery destruction, with no physical trace to be found next day. If you want to read more, I found this interesting article.
Next Stop - San Francisco
My next stop was San Francisco, which still remains one of my favourite cities in the world. A place I could definitely see myself settling, thanks to its fabulous bay full of boating action and exceptional vineyards close-by. Actually Lisbon and San Francisco do have a lot of similarities, not just their bridges; so it doesn't surprise me that so many Americans from California are choosing to reside in Lisbon nowadays.
A special exhibition was taking place at the MOMA, featuring one of my favourite Mexican muralists 'Diego Rivera', showcasing his works from the early 1920s through to the mid 1940s. Most of the works exhibited were easel paintings and drawings which were widely exhibited and collected especially in the US.
My main interest in this show was to understand how Rivera created his murals; using the fresco technique. Full scale cartoons were transferred to the plaster, providing an outline before he quickly added paint on a coat of wet plaster, before it dried. The process required many hands and much skill from masons who prepared the walls and carpenters who built the scaffolding.
As seen while we were in Mexico city earlier this year, Rivera was hired to paint murals in public buildings as part of a campaign of national reconstruction after the Mexican Revolution. While in the US during the Great Depression, Rivera created some of his best works using his modern figurative style to reimagine the Mexican national identity.
Here this piece de resistance "Pan America Unity" known as, 'The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South' on this Continent, was created for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Fran in 1940. This mural was created to demonstrate that despite their great differences, Mexico and the US shared a creative force and revolutionary impulse that distinguished them from Europe. A fundamental role for a more equal society.
The next day before leaving San Francisco, I visited the De Young Fine Arts Museum. This landmark art museum was located in the lush surroundings of the Golden Gate Park. The building itself is very impressive, designed by the Swiss Architect Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects in San Francisco. I chose to focus on the American Art from the 17th through to the 20th centuries.
Before heading off to my favourite neighbourhood, Sausalito across the bay, I joined a bunch of burners for a lunch gathering and immersive art experience at Gregangelo's Velocity Art & Entertainment. Rather weird at first but the day ended up being quite good fun. It reminded me of my days teaching English as a foreign language, a great outing to get people communicating while having fun discovering a little more about oneself.
Gouda 750 Years Celebration
During my time in the US, these paintings of Gouda were exhibited at the Agnieschapel as part of the 750 years celebrations in Gouda Holland. A place, that is held close to my heart, I was honoured to have been asked to play a part in the celebrations.