Culture – Artsy Fartsy – Top Picks From This Week In The Arts

From Pablo Escobar’s old Tulum mansion to Ai Weiwei making a powerful statement, this week we’ve listed some of our favourite recent news in the world of art and design.

Escobar’s Tulum Mansion Is Transformed Into A Five Star Resort

What would Pablo make of this? Well, we’re pretty sure he’d love it. Located in the Mexican beach resort of Tulum, the notorious Columbian drug lord’s mansion has been renovated and transformed into a boutique hotel by Lio Malca – an art dealer from New York.

Boasting 24 rooms, the contemporary space has been populated with a range of artworks from Malca’s private collection, including pieces from Basquiat. There are Persian rugs and long, sweeping drapes, as well as sleek white walls and polished concrete floors. And yes, there’s a hidden underground pool and steam room that lights up in different colors. Obviously.

The villa itself was rediscovered in 2003 and Malia has been working on the project since 2012. If you’re looking to check into the Paradise, check it out over here.


Ai Weiwei Packs 3,500 Refugee Life Jackets Into The Walls of A Danish Museum

Ai Weiwei continues to raise awareness for the ongoing European Migrant Crisis with his new installation at Copenhagen, Denmark. Titled Soleil Levant, the installation sees the windows on the Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s façade packed with approximately 3,500 life jackets salvaged from refugees in the island of Lesbos in Greece.

The Chinese dissident artist’s crammed lifejackets aims to show folks how “dangerously confined and painfully cramped” the journey is for refugees as they travel on lifeboats towards Europe. The name of the piece was inspired by Claude Monet’s painting from 1872 which portrays the harbor of Le Favre in France during the Franco-Prussian War (1879-71).

“Obviously Ai Weiwei wants to put attention to the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, or as he calls it, the human crisis,” said Kunsthal Charlottenborg director Michael Thouber in a statement. “The beautiful thing about this piece is that every one of these lifejackets, 3,500 lifejackets represents a human story.”

Soleil Levant will be on view at Kunsthal Charlottenborg up until October 1.


Scarlett Johansson’s New Documentary Gives You A Crash Course In All Things Koons

Last month The Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A, aka MOCA, held a gala in honor of the iconic artist Jeff Koons. To go along with the event, the museum produced a short documentary on the life and work of Koons, narrated by none other than Scarlett Johansson.

The fast-paced doc gives us some backstory into Koons’s childhood and early life. There’s good news for everyone working a day job out there — Koons’s early days in New York were spent working the ticket booth at MoMa. It also interviews numerous art critics and fans, with appearances by Lady Gaga, Pharrell Williams and art mogul Larry Gagosian.

The documentary then goes deep into Koon’s diverse inspirations and the meaning behind his art. It explains everything from why he’s so obsessed with dogs, where his blue “Gazing Ball” series comes from, and why his work is so controversial. Basically, it’s everything you need to know about Jeff Koons, condensed into an easy eight-minute watch.

Check it out below.