Jaume Plensa: Spain


Jaume Plensa was born in Spain in 1955, and shares his residence between Paris and Barcelona. Between his first exhibition in his hometown in 1980 and today, he has been living and working in Germany, Belgium, England, France and the US. Also, teaching at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where we celebrated recently his artwork for Ruinart. Today, he shares with us his favorite spots in Spain, his home country.


Your favourite city?
BARCELONA. It is my city where I found home, a place where I could develop my work. It has the perfect size, it is not too big and not to small. It is right in front of the sea which is important for me.


Your favourite hotel?
VILLA REAL in MADRID. I feel at home. I could never separate a place from the people and I love the ones that are working there. They have taken me as a friend. I always stay there when I am in Madrid. It is a very charming place right in front of the congress.
Plaza de las Cortes, 10, 28014 Madrid, Phone: +34 914 20 37 67


Your favourite restaurant?
There is a beautiful restaurant in BARCELONA near my studio that has become like my office where I meet my friends, LA PART DELS ANGELS. The name stands for this little quantity in the wine that evaporates in the barrel, it is the angel’s share. For me, it is such a beautfiul name as I am always working with invisible emotions.
Passeig Bertrand, 27, 08980 Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Barcelona, Phone: +34 936 66 66 44


Your favourite sightseeing spot?
I love the little city of SITGES, little town nearby Barcelona, right in front of the sea. It is the perfect place to spend the afternoon, very picturesque.


Your favourite museum?
The MUSEO DEL PRADO in MADRID because they have something fantastic collection, they have art works from Velázquez, Goya and Hieronymus Bosch, which belong for me to the most important artists of all times.
Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid


Your favourite piece of art?
LAS MENINAS, a 1656 painting in the Museo del Prado in MADRID, by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. It is the first time in history that somebody had the capacity to paint space, just the emptiness. It is a remarkable piece of art.


Your favourite shop?
L’ILLA DIAGONAL – it is a small commercial center where you can find a little bit of everything.
Avinguda Diagonal, 557, 08029 Barcelona, Phone:+34 934 44 00 00


Your must-have accessory?
When you come to Spain, the best you can bring is an OPEN MIND and to be completely free of prejudices. We are very welcoming, we love to share. It is a great place for conversation.


The best soundtrack for this destination?
FLAMENCO, it is important for my country, a very emotional way to express especially in the South of Spain.


The best book to read while being on vacation there?
DON QUIJOTE by Miguel Cervantes Saavedra. Last year was the Cervantes year as we celebrated 400 years since he died in 1616. It is a key book for Spain, a concept of our history, Cervantes is equivalent to Shakespeare.


Thank you, Jaume Plensa, for sharing your insider scoop on Spain with us!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Locations, © Sandra Bauknecht

Ruinart Jaume Plensa Launch Event in Paris


Two weeks ago, I flew to Paris to attend the exclusive launch event of Ruinart’s new artist for 2017: Jaume Plensa, the renowned Spanish artist who is known for his monumental sculptures in steel, glass, marble, polyester resin, concrete and bronze.

He is recognized for his silhouettes of human bodies seated or kneeling who seem to scrutinize the horizon in a meditative manner, like the contemporary thinkers. His sculptures, which play with the relationship between words, signs and the human body, have today become his signature. They are recognisable amongst all the works of art throughout the world and have turned Jaume Plensa into one of the most important players of the contemporary artistic scene.

Jaume_Plensa_Artwork_RuinartPlensa’s amazing art work for Ruinart

Each year, Ruinart invites an artist to create a special artwork for the oldest Champagne house of the world. With Plensa, Ruinart has chosen an artist who has been able to express language, but more importantly the alphabets, the cultures of the world, their spiritualities, their transmissions and the visionary and erudite spirit of dom Thierry Ruinart, a key personality in the history of Ruinart at the confluence of philosophy and the art, merging the heritage with the future.






The event took place at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris where Plensa also gives lectures. First we had the possibility to explore historic documents while enjoying my favourite champagne, Ruinart‘s Blanc de Blancs. Later, we were asked to move into the next room where the stunning installation by Jaume Plensa was revealed in his presence that will later tour the world.


The sculpture takes up the shape of characters that he has already created, but there is never any repetition in his work. Every piece is unique. Every letter, assembled by hand, creates a second skin for the form, which is always reborn in a different manner. In the base of the sculpture he has engraved two dates: 1729 and 2016. They are like a secret code, an encrypted message, linking the history between the foundation of Maison Ruinart and the creation of the work of art.

Jaume_Plensa_Sandra_Bauknecht_RuinartWith artist Jaume Plensa at the event in Paris

The next morning, I had the chance to interview Jaume Plensa who is a very witty, charming and interesting gentleman. I loved his answers, the most significant quotes are in bold. Enjoy!

Jaume Plensa Ruinart_3

What are the basics of creating for you? With what do you start?

That is a very interesting question as this is something I am asking myself every day in the studio. I guess the main subject in my work is that I try to create something that people could touch and be touched by. I work a lot in public spaces. Mainly my work is based to identify yourself in the myth of others. We have to break borders and the walls we have been permanently creating throughout history. When I am working with alphabets or portraits of people from different cultures, it is interesting to recognize that we are all so similar. It is just the little things that differ.

Jaume Plensa Ruinart_6

You use a lot of letters in your work. Do you have a favorite letter or alphabet?

You cannot compare one alphabet with another. When you see Hebrew for example which is very rigid and you compare it with Chinese, that seems to be fireworks. Hindi is so beautiful always with a line on top which makes it so rich to look at.

Jaume Plensa Ruinart_10

How long was the process to create for Ruinart and did you have immediately something in mind when you were approached?

In general the way I work is that an idea is born with the shape, the material and the specific scale. Obviously depending if it is for a show, a gallery or for a public space, my attitude can be changing.

It took me around 6 months to create the piece that had been revealed last night. I never understood art as a direction. My obsession was to grow up as a person, art was just the consequence of my life. I have never been interested in being in artist, but I enjoy it very much to express my emotions with visual art. The main material is life.

Jaume Plensa Ruinart_8

When I listen to you, I don’t get the impression that you will ever loose inspiration. Do you ever feel pressure to not being inspired?

Not at all. Creation is a way to breathe. I love when I am flying and the flight attendant is saying «If the pressure is low, please pull the oxygen mask, press it firmly on your mouth and breathe normally.» There are many moments when life asks us to breathe normally, I think it is something we must honor, it takes a little while but the most beautiful experience is when you understand that you are breathing normally.

Jaume Plensa Ruinart_9

Do you ever get frustrated when you are creating because something is not working out the way you have planned it?

Of course. My assistants are happy when I am not there. I have a lot of temperament. Creation is a dialogue with you and yourself. You could be your best friend, but also your worst enemy. That is one of the most beautiful experiences in creation when you must understand yourself, when you must accept yourself and this gives always a lot of frictions.

Jaume Plensa Ruinart_7

The best about Jaume Plensa?

I have the privilege to be an artist, so I have the capacity and ability to observe the world. That is an amazing situation.


Only 20 bottles of the special edition signed by Jaume Plensa will be available worldwide for €3500 worldwide.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Ruinart, © Sandra Bauknecht

Greetings from Beautiful Bordeaux


Greetings from beautiful Bordeaux where I spent the last two days as guest of CAUDALIEicon, the French beauty brand that is committed to delivering all natural, anti-aging skincare with the power of the vine. The port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France is home to the vineyard-inspired luxury house.

Despite the cold temperatures and the rain, I walked around the streets of this extremely picturesque town that is the world’s major wine industry capital. Its historic part is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century.

I had so much fun that I was jumping around…

sandra_bauknecht_caudalie_bordeaux_4Water mist effect

Located between the Garonne and beautiful 18th century architecture of the Place de la Bourse, the Mirroir d’Eau is the most-photographed site in Bordeaux and is listed as a contemporary World Heritage Site by Unesco. Designed by landscape artist Michel Corajoud, it alternates a mirror effect and artificial misting in an extraordinary way.

sandra_bauknecht_caudalie_bordeaux_5Pool mirror effect

sandra_bauknecht_caudalie_bordeaux_12In front of the fountain at Place de la Bourse

Place de la Bourse, also known as Place Royale, is one of Bordeaux’s most beautiful squares.

img_3306The cutest stores can be found in the streets of Bordeaux.


sandra_bauknecht_caudalie_bordeaux_10At the Place de la Comédie

Place de la Comédie is a place where the main streets of Bordeaux converge, including the 1200 meters long promenade Sainte Catherine, which is said to be the longest pedestrian shopping street in all of France. Mind the trams and settle on the terrasses to enjoy the beautiful sight of la vie bordelaise going by. A huge statue of a woman’s face, so-called «Sanna» by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, has been standing there since 2013.

sandra_bauknecht_caudalie_bordeaux_8Walking towards the Eglise Notre Dame la Grande.

The name loosely translates as the «Church of Our Great Lady». It is an 11th century Gothic church located at Rue Marbly and one of the city’s most popular buildings. Built by Pierre Duplessy, a renowned architect and town planner in the late 17th century, it is a listed historical monument.


Bordeaux is an extremely beautiful city that I can only recommend to visit. Stay tuned as I will tell you more about my hotel, Les Sources de Caudalie and all my little adventures here soon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht