As I may have mentioned, I am half french. And my french side is full of prolifically talented artists. My grandmother was a weaver who had a retrospective at the Pomidou, her husband a modern architect, and her sister and brother in law made up the artistic team known as: claude and francois xavier lalanne.
Growing up, I was heavily influenced by trips to france visiting my grandmother and claude and francois. Claude and Francois lived in an old stone house outside of paris with a courtyard and a cutting garden, their sculptures embedded into the environment.
The workshop was adjoined to the house and everything about their life was an expression of creativity. It was not about knowing the right people (although man did they actually know all the right people) or owning the right things. They were blazing their own path and the focus was on their work and on quality of life (they were the best cooks).
Everything was beautiful. Everything was a moment.
My new nephew is Claude’s great grandson and so she came for a visit last week. It was wonderful to see her in california and she surprised me with a very special gift. A crapaud of my own. She even apologized for it not being the green one that I prefer (it reminds me of my grandmother who had the green one in her home) but the brown one instead.
I am seriously touched since their presence in my life has meant so much to me. It makes me feel like a real part of the family and it’s basically just incredible to be handed such an important heirloom. It arrived from france and is sitting in my apartment; gleaming and beautiful and a reminder of so much more.
so merci, claude. je t’embrasse.
(Images are from their catalogs or are my own. The interior with the crocodile chair is from Vogue Living and the one above is obviously from Life)