Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Going Dutch

Well I'm back from our trip to Amsterdam. What an amazing city- we had heard some negative stuff from people we knew who had gone there but we had a pretty magical time (and no, we didn't partake in the "coffeeshops"- I saw enough Cat in the Hat fashion in the early 90's thanks). We went to visit artist Chris Berens and his dealer and our new friend Robbert van Ham from Jaski Gallery, who graciously put us up in an amazing little apartment over looking the Keizergracht...this meant we were pretty centrally located and we could walk almost everywhere. We visited with our gal Femke Hiemstra which is always great, found some rare old art books in a decrepit (in the nicest way) second hand bookstore, went out every night with artists and dealers for dinners. We went to the Rijksmuseum and saw Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" (which they sure love in Amsterdam) as well as Vermeer's "The Milk Maid", which is another one of those situations where you've seen that painting in books your entire life and feel pretty ho-hum about it, and then you see it in person and it's jaw dropping.
I really can't say enough good things about the city- we'll be back for sure.

Our place in Amsterdam thanks to Robbert at Jaski Gallery. Not too shabby at all! It was full of great art we longed to steal.

View of the canal out our window. All of Amsterdam seems to look like this- not just a couple of blocks.

These lil guys were in our apartment, by Les Deux Garcons.

The Rijksmuseum, most of which was closed for renovation.

Lots of stores have cats hanging around to deal with mice and rats. This guy hung out at a flower stall on one of the canal bridges. I became very fond of him quite quickly.

More street views

So pretty.

EVERYONE rides a bike in Amsterdam- in fact it becomes a bit exhausting always dodging them. Here comes Femke to meet us for dinner!

Also- lots of girls ride in heels. Here Femke and artist Angelique Houtcamp show off their amazing shoes. I was quite jealous of Femke's green boots with the cat head buckles. Fashion is pretty subdued in Amsterdam- but everyone is very tidy and groomed, no sweat pants. They settle for being tall, slim, and gorgeous instead.

One of the highlights was getting to spend time with artist Chris Berens and see his studio. He was working on the Roq la Rue show and I was blown away. I've never seen anything like his technique before. This is part of a new painting he was working on. Kenny and I filmed an interview and I took a ton of pictures- I will save that for Hi Fructose, will let you know when it goes up...

A shot of Chris' studio...high up in a little warren overlooking a canal. Pretty nice!