‘we call them dead villages’, is what i gathered from the owner of the auberge’s franglais.
opposite the auberge in vence is an ash tree of which it is alleged to have been planted in honour of francois I in 1538; the same tree which was painted several times by chaim soutine. the room next to ours was named after him. he, as well as other artists like modigliani, dufy and renoir we were told, stayed in the auberge. the owner, a sweet but strict french lady of about seventy, was born there on the first floor since it already belonged to her family. her father was a friend of chagall’s, her daughter subsequently also started working at the auberge. just between the two of them they managed the auberge and its restaurant with charm and efficiency. there is something sincere about that historical perpetuation of a place; it shows in the personal care taken with the guests, in the eclectic collection of furnishings and also in the state of the plumbing.
i’m plagued by thoughts on preserving some unique heritage or re-inventing a place of historic importance without changing it into a museum or a curio stop.
yet each man kills the thing he loves - oscar wilde
saint-paul de vence clearly markets its artistic heritage in a different way, the entire town has been transformed into a medieval shopping mall; an excuse for an array of suspicious galleries, one after the other. perhaps the picturesque streets are to blame for the tempest of tourist traps and commercial exploitation which invariably follows; perhaps the lack of local residents and escalating square meter pricing are to blame.
sadly, for all its instagram worthiness saint-paul de vence only seems to succeed in spiralling further into insincerity and superficiality.
Since it’s nearly impossible to gauge each individual’s level of sensitivity or stupidity, I’d rather play it safe and classify this site as suitable for adults only. Although that term is still nebulous to me, the responsibility remains that of the viewer.
The identification and definition of creativity are two different things. Challenging conventional interpretations and perspectives expands its validity and effect. I am convinced that collaborations and participation across creative industries allow for discovering a greater realisation of our potential.
I love mixing styles and textures, media and materials. But I believe in respecting personality when it comes to choosing work. There is of course the investment angle which is too boring to discuss here….or anywhere really. It is important to remember that when you live with art, it should be alive to you. That is to say it needs to move you. You need to have an affair with it.
Starting with the roof over your head and the clothes on your back. These are the things we inhabit. Without entering into the fashion vs trend debate. They also shape our sensibilities and the way we present ourselves.
Whether colour or form is your thing. Pattern or plain. What we choose to live with can make our lives easier or more challenging. Consider your commitment and convince yourself.
Since Eden it has been a fascination, inspiration, an indulgence of kings and common gardeners, a joy. No home is complete without it. Whether you go for potted, landscaped or organic, dry or shade, just go for it.
Most of which are filed under S for sentimental. I respect that.
Heirlooms. Bargains. Souvenirs. Gifts. Curiosities. Found Objects. Impulse Buys.
Never hide what’s important or meaningful. Denial is a very ugly word.
Get to know yourself and others. As much as we live in the same world, everyone has their own version of it. Live up to yours, never fear your dreams and ideals lest they remain aspirations forever.