Everywhere I go, I see images of this giant silver stilettos prancing around Portugal. Turns out, it’s an exhibition at the Ajuda Palace by JOANA VASCONCELOS. I’ve seen this stilettos before, It was exhibited in Chateau de Versailles in Paris, where I also saw a similar controversial exhibition by Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. I was really fascinated to witness the conversation between the old and the new, the mix of pop and classical, so I knew I couldn’t leave Lisbon without checking out this one.
Joana Vasconcelos is a Portuguese artist who often creates larger than life sculptures, made up of regular objects from everyday. Her work is often described as humorous and irreverent.
It took time before my eyes adjusted in the darkness. Suddenly, I see specks of light all around. And like magic, I was surrounded by a glowing garden, a maze of luminous flowers! What a way to start off this exploration – welcome to the humorous and strange world of Vasconcelos.
I looked around the opulence of this beautifully preserved palace.
I felt like Alice, lost in Vasconcelos’ wonderland!
I then got to meet different ceramic characters created by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro,
wrapped in Joana’s handmade crochet work.
I love how each piece is strategically placed to match or sometimes clash with AJuda palace’ interiors.
Be still, my giant red heart.
I was just in awe when I saw this piece, which was one of my favorites. What’s more impressive is when you look at it closely and discover the material she used.
Imagine arriving in a meeting or a party with this fluffy helicopter 😀
And then, as if I was not overwhelmed enough, this humongous sculpture was peeking at me in the last room.
I was just amazed by it all.
The giant sculptures were truly other-worldly, all beautifully strange.
I dig her kitschy and over-the-top aesthetics.
Joana Vasconcelos, you rocked my world!
* Images shot with Lipad my I-Pad