When two of your best friends are from Romania, it’s obligatory to visit the country. This summer, it happened. It was my first time in the southeastern sovereign state of Europe. The Carpathian mountains surrounded us on our road trip to the third most populous city, Timișoara.
Driving by petrol stations, there were also manufacturing, technology and transport factories which showed that the country’s commerce and economy are doing well. From that, many more tourists will visit. Cruising in the countryside, the views were spectacular with lots of flowers and fields of grass to entertain the eye. I began to fall in love.
Arriving at my friend’s house, I received a warm welcome from an adorable dog. The photo below was taken right before he ran over and began to lick my feet. I think that was meant to be his way of saying hello. Either way, it was super ticklish. I started to laugh.
Continuing our adventure, we headed to Timișoara’s city centre. First stop, Memorialul Revolutiei. It was a museum dedicated to the Revolution in 1989. I learned a lot about how the city was established and why things operate the way they do there from a 30 minute film.
Next, my friends and I drove to the central area and began to walk around Piața Unirii. Eventually, we found a spot to to have lunch. There were great drinks, salads and burgers at M Bistro. Nearby, we visited the Timișoara Art Museum. No photos were allowed but I enjoyed the baroque, classical and contemporary works of art.
Soon enough it was time to explore more. Wandering along the main street, we ended up passing through multiple squares where we saw the Timișoara City Hall, the beautiful and old Opera House, a majestic Metropolitan Cathedral and the check out Timișoara city sign.
Then that evening, there was a cultural event happening in the Roses Park. Strolling by the river, I saw cool graffiti. When we got to the park, we watched dancers from Romania, Serbia and Portugal perform in their traditional attire.
After that, it was time to drink and dine Romanian style. The best place to end the night was at Pensiunea Annette with good food and friends in Covaci, Timișoara. I would recommend to visit this resort.
After settling in, I decided where to go for dinner. Close by, Bonaparte Restaurant was welcoming. Their savory seafood menu is amazing. I highly recommend the shrimp and scallops entree. The gourmet dinner menu was a bit of a splurge but birthdays only come once a year. Then for drinks, Notkins was a lively bistro bar with old school tunes to get anyone moving. Soon enough, it was time to call it a night.
Saturday morning, the Canadian Centre for Architecture was calling. The exhibition on display: It’s All Happening So Fast. Learning about Canada’s water consumption and views on desertification was well interesting. Then the wonderful walk along La Rue René-Lévesque was lovely seeing statues and the beautiful cathedral. Next I visited MAC, Musee d’art de contemporain de Montréal. The admission is 15 Canadian dollars. The exhibitions on display were: For time is the longest distance between two places and Le Biennale de Montréal. I spent over an hour there mesmerized by about thirty rooms highlighting modern art. You can tell I’m an art admirer. My favourite piece was an oil on canvas 2015 painting, ‘Long Distance’ by Nicole Eisenman. Staring at the work made me think about so many things at once. The coffee cup, calendar, element of writing with stationary and the screen are all there. It represented all the things that couldn’t be said for many in long distance relationships. Let’s call it a moment of realization in life.
Eventually it was time for a 1pm lunch. Strolling over to La Rue Square Victoria, I discovered Ê.A.T (Être-Avec-Toi). Translated into English, it means to be with you. It was a cool contemporary concept restaurant moderately priced and positioned in the W Hotel. There were detailed drawings and illustrations as wall décor. Also the cool vibes with ambient electronica music setting the atmosphere. The manager and waiters had excellent customer service too. I was fully taking in Montréal’s hospitality.
Exploring must be in my DNA because about an hour later, I was getting lost in Vieux Montréal (Old Montréal) and enjoying it. So many cafés and shops to embrace Canadian culture. Later on at 4pm, I met up with two friends who were staying in the gay village of the city at a hostel. Was it fun? Oh yes! Especially when they’re both named Alex and it’s happy hour forever. Drinking beer, throwing darts and playing pool in a massive basement while having crazy conversations about international current affairs was my evening. The excitement continued until my stomach grumbled. Must be dinner about 9pm. Of course coming here, I had to eat poutine at least once. There it is below and it was so filling.
To end the night at 11pm, I attended a gig for Ferry Corsten and Kungs at the vibrant entertainment venue, New City Gas. There wasn’t a long queue to enter. I saw that Canadians do dress up to go out. They party hard as well. Lots of dance and debauchery took place for around three hours. And I loved every minute of the music.
Now it was Sunday Funday! Being lazy, I ate at the hotel’s restaurant, Le Darlington. Yes it was very darling lol. Then the time came for the inevitable as the concierge brought my carry-on. A 40 minute bus ride to the airport. Taking in all of the art, architecture and beauty left to see, I smiled at the Montréal cityscape. In all, it was a great weekend. Merci Montréal. A bientôt, bisous!
Contemporary Tokyo-born artist, Takashi Murakami unveiled a new exhibition, “Learning the Magic of Painting” this week in Paris.
The mixed media works feature pop art blended with Japanese culture from A to Z: anime, Buddha, cartoon characters and dragons to traditional Zen. The bright and cute items span three spaces with colourful psychedelic themes.
The first floor pays homage to the British painter, Francis Bacon with a series of sensational sculptures. Then there’s a room filled with textured tiles of the artist’s signature skulls. The other space shows over 15 painted handbags accompanied by paintings. For viewers, this will be art on a different level.
Explore the exhibition at the Galerie Perrotin which is on display until 23 December.
Sometimes I visit art galleries in the evening after work. Something always stands out. Today it was the painting seen below. Canadian painter and printmaker, Philip Guston uses abstract expressionism with cartoon vibes to create vibrant works. Most of the pieces highlight social realism. The exhibition, Philip Guston: Painter, 1957 – 1967 is on until 29 July 2016 at Hauser & Wirth in Chelsea, New York.
Frieze New York is coming soon to the city with their fifth edition to present a variety of international contemporary art.
From 5-8 May, artists can admire a range of mediums and works from over 200 galleries representing four continents. The program consists of artist commissions, educational talks, imaginative installations, powerful presentations, solo shows and special sections. Buyers will envision the must have pieces to improve their collections. Get excited and explore the creativity at Randall’s Island. Book tickets here!
Dedicated to modern and contemporary art, the Met Breuer opened this week to Members only on the Upper East Side in New York.
The beautiful landmark building designed by architect, Marcel Breuer on Madison Avenue and 75th Street welcomed art lovers to view almost 200 works from the 15th century to present day.
My favourite exhibition, Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible commenced on the third floor in the Renaissance period. Self portraits by a renowned Dutch painter aligned the museum walls. At one point, I remember looking up and seeing this quote: “A work is complete if in its master’s intentions have been realized,” said Rembrandt van Rijn. His Baroque etchings were masterful as always bringing back memories of visits to Amsterdam and Leiden.
Continuing to take three steps and pause, I wondered what makes a piece finished? It was then I took a left into a small room with countryside paintings and prints by Joseph Mallord William Turner moving into English romanticism. Traveling east for artist, Eugène Delacroix, l landed in French romanticism. Soon, nature ran its course in landscape paintings from French Impressionist, Claude Monet leading to short flashbacks of Musée d’Orsay and Le Petit Palais.
On the 4th floor, we entered the world distinct painters. Starting with classic style of Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso. Of course, pop art pieces from Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol were there. Then media, colourful wrapped sweets in the corner and dirt significantly positioned made the transition into modern periods.
Swiss artist, Alberto Giacometti‘s existentialism sparked attention as a group of ladies discussed their perspectives. German visual artist, Gerhard Richter was highlighted for his production of abstract art with hints of photorealism. By the last room, I had a seat and admired the series of vibrant green paintings by American artist, Cy Twombly.
In all, it was a lovely spring day to get out and explore. Surely the exhibition left you wondering why is it necessary to finish art if certain strokes or themes can change a concept. Stay tuned until the Met Breuer opens to the public on Friday 18 March 2016.