August 26, 2014

madrid, spain: art + architecture









Things I did in Madrid:
Walked the entire city and enjoyed the phenomenal, archaic and beautiful architecture
Ate tapas and drank sangria at El Mercado de San Miguel
Visited El Museo Nacional del Prado and observed 15-19th century art
Took a nap in Parque del Retiro
Rocked in a chair in el Palacio de Cristal
And I suggest that you do all of these things :)
Love,
JaKenna

August 24, 2014

figueres, spain: salvador dali museum








My older brother, Thomas, first introduced me to Salvador Dali when I was 12. He had a book of Dali's work in his room and I would sit and stare at the surrealism in front of me. Beautiful, creepy, multi-dimensional, grotesque, completely enthralling and addicting. His work has always stayed with me. In college, instead of the usual dorm room adornments, I had Hallucinogenic Torreador, Swans Reflecting Elephants, Meditative Rose and Galatea of the Spheres framed and hanging on my walls. I once had a very peculiar evening with one of his paintings that only my closest friends are privy to... And I intend to keep it that way (insert mischievous smile here). 

I jumped at the opportunity to visit his home town in Figueres, Spain, where he built the world's most intense surrealist museum. Seeing his work first hand reminded of those moments in my brother's room when I was young. As if I was seeing it all for the first time again. The more I lost myself in his work, the more I would discover. Doors within doors within doors and levels within levels within levels. At times, I'd have it figured it out, or so I thought, until I saw something completely new when looking through my camera lens. 

It's an incredible moment of discovery when you realize there is so much more to discover. Endless. In a way, this entire trip seems that way. As if there are endless doors and adventures to discover. And the beautiful part is, there are. 

Love,

JaKenna

August 21, 2014

barcelona, spain: antoni gaudi + sagrada familia










There are many questions running through your mind when you see the Sagrada Familia for the first time. Where am I? What kind of Alice in Wonderland hole have I tumbled down? What is this place? And these questions are all valid. And completely sane. 

This basilica is unlike any place I've visited. Ever. The Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi, defined his aesthetic by blending nature with structure and pure wonder. Doesn't it look like you're walking through a forest in those images? The columns, with branches stemming into the ceiling and boasting stunning bejeweled knots in their stone bark, stand tall and are anything but imposing. Rather, they simply welcome you into their forest with the right balance of natural and colorful light bouncing through the stained glass windows. 

The outside facades greet you. One side, a full recreation of the nativity, life and death of Jesus. The other facade, appears gothic and frightening, but is actually representing a celebration of his life. Those of you who know me well know that I do not subscribe to a religion, but it's hard to deny the beauty in its story telling. 

Every inch is a symbol and has meaning. All there's left to do is stand and gaze in awe and wonder. And maybe start drawing. 

Love, 

JaKenna

August 13, 2014

days 3-7: copenhagen steals my heart



















Copenhagen. You stole my heart! Now what am I supposed to do? I had this whole traveling adventure starting in Barcelona and a last minute flight delay and quick decision rerouted me to you. And now you're all I can think about. Let's talk about Copenhagen. 

I first thought my connection to the city was because of its similarities to New York. I felt at home there. The hustle of the city, prevelance of hipsters (they're global!), focus on fine culinary arts, etc. But now, I know it's because of who I met and how much they welcomed me into their lives. No hesitation. Just warmth and curiosity. And I went along for the ride, armed with only my camera and a willingness to immerse myself. Musicians, artists, creatives, thoughtful thinkers who value discussing art, culture, music, life philosophies, political strife, revolution, anything stimulating. Almost everyone I met is pursuing a masters in their field, always deepening their understanding and continuing to learn. It's an impressive dedication to higher education. 

And bonus! They're also down to party. I didn't sleep the entire time. I'm not kidding. My jet lag has now been replaced by Copenhagen energy levels that I'm still recovering from. But I miss it. I really do. And every person that I met while I was there. Most significantly my two Airbnb hosts, Chris (photos 6 and 9) and Nick (photos 4 and 5). Thank you both for the most rad experience. From the Rolling Stones to Elton John, super moons to super villains, long nights to long days. I knew I was home when you left me a copy of The Prophet to read during my stay. I can't thank you enough for your kindness, generosity, hospitality and friendship. Should I come back in September? Rock on!

Love, 

JaKenna 

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