The gallery owner Cristina Grajales he lives under the precept of order and harmony is his favorite language. From New York, his name is a must for everyone in the world of avant-garde utilitarian art and design.
But this time he receives us, thanks to technology, in the greenery of his country house in Pereirain the middle of the coffee axis of Colombia, the land where she was born. There she recently presented ‘Las Tres Pieles’, an exhibition with the type of art that touches all of us, in collaboration with the Art Museum of Pereira.
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up? ‘In making coffee. It’s the first thing I do, as a good Colombian, then I read the printed New York Times, it’s the way I connect with the world to get ready and start the day. I am very organized and I look at priorities’, she affirms with a smile.
Going into the matter, it is evident that the world of Cristina Grajales It works like a perfectly mechanical watch, one of exquisite design: ‘Design for me is discipline, structure. A world without design would be very sad and chaotic. Living in a planned, well-proportioned space, with order and rigor… A space where everything communicates: space, design and architecture. That mentally helps our being and our soul’.
We usually see Cristina Grajales in the infinite white of his gallery, which is currently being prepared for a John-Paul Philippe show. But today, framed by the huge pine trees in her garden, the question naturally arises: What role does Latin American design play in this?: ‘I was one of the first to show pieces from Colombia, Paraguay and Chile in New York, I understood that it was a process that required a lot of education and explaining the richness of our countries, our traditions, cultures and how we bring them into the 21st century’.
And what do you expect from new creators and designers?: ‘The designers and the general public, are much more vigilant and there is more concern about the spaces. We are in a fertile moment, in which there is a lot of inspiration and tools, platforms…’. But in a world full of trends, and some uncertainty, how is it possible to identify good design?: ‘All designers want to know that, especially when they want to work with me, but I think it’s an intuitive matter. What I answer is that in the design there should be creativity, innovation, originality and most importantly, execution. Designers sometimes have the idea, but then they get lost in the execution.’
‘Today we are all looking at AI and learning, two of my designers work with robots, which are ultimately guided by them. We think about how to integrate this technology in a way that is humane, that is sensitive and that is a good for the community, that is my concern,’ he says.
And after having worked on the most iconic pieces, the most revolutionary designers and the most representative collections of the 20th century, is there anything that continues to surprise you or take your breath away?: ‘Yes, a while ago I bought the piece from Carlo Molino for $3.7 million at Christie’s, an important moment in the history of design, because the message was sent that collecting the legacy of the great masters requires a price… Recently, at the great Adam Lindemann sale, we managed to get our hands on a set of sofa and chairs Jean Royère, another wonderful moment. Those pieces still take your breath away and show us why so many designers still see them as a reference.’
And what remains then now?: ‘With the ‘Three Skins’ in Pereira people felt part of the community and the museum. That is what interests me the most. Show how we can bring our love of design to the people, break old moulds, work across disciplines, get in on the action, to inspire new creators and to look beyond.’
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