A Peek at the Process | Shopping the Malbec Collection
The last 12 years with Elsie Green have been full of unexpected surprises. On our February buying trip, I had one of those perfect moments.
We visited Pierre Malbec, a painter Elle Decor called "L'Artist Broconteur" (The Flea Market Artist) and spent the afternoon touring his studio, discussing his process for creating his own art, and shopping his private collection of hand made ceramics.
Our French team met the artist on a prior trip shopping with his brother, an antique dealer in the town of Uzes. As with most relationships we've built over the years, the French team's charm got us invited back for a longer visit.
Mr. Malbec greeted us in his down vest covered in tiny brushstrokes of paint, and opened his pottery shed to share with us his vast collection of hand made ceramics that he'd acquired over many years. As we made our selections, he shared stories about his collection, his art, and his work as a painter.
Occasionally, he pulled something I chose off the table and said "non, pas ça" (no not that) with little to no explanation. Pas de probleme.
As the afternoon wore on, Mr. Malbec invited us into his studio to see his work and his own collection of paintings from other artists. Then Philippine whispered those magic words into my ear "I think he's going to invite us into the house."
|image courtesy of maison pelican|
And so he did. Pierre and his wife characterized the house as "un loft à la campagne" (a loft in the country). The interior was stripped down to its essence with plaster walls, polished concrete floors, but retained some of the original doors, windows and built in cabinetry. The perfect marriage of old and new, and filled with a perfectly edited collection of iconic mid-century pieces from Knoll, Bertoia, Prouvé, Yanagi and Eames.
Pierre has turned the surrounding property into a sculpture garden of sorts with some of his own work.
It was one of those magical days when all my interest collide: art, design, shopping for beautiful vintage things, and meeting people living creative lives.
One of the many gifts Elsie Green has given me is a deep well of inspiring experiences like this one that I draw from every day. Merci, Elsie.