A month ago I had the chance to travel to Paris and Reims with Ruinart, the oldest (1729) and famous champagne Maison. It was a dreamy experience as Ruinart is definitely my favorite champagne not only to sip but also to learn from. Indeed, every year Ruinart collaborates with an artist who creates and interprets his vision of the champagne house and its domain through several artworks. This year, Vik Muniz, the Brazilian sculptor famous for his unorthodox choices of material for his art compositions was chosen and revealed as the Ruinart’s artist 2019.
After checking-in into the beautiful Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers in the 3ème arrondissement de Paris, it felt like I was day dreaming. The press and bloggers from all around the globe were reunited in Paris for this event. In the afternoon, we left rainy Paris for the stunning region of Champagne where the sun was welcoming us. The Maison Ruinart is located in the village of Reims. Upon our arrival it seemed that we entered an haven peace in an outstanding landscape. It was the first time I ever visited the Champagne region and it was simply sumptuous.
On site, we pursued with an official press conference revealing officially Vik as the new artist in residence. A new component was added to this year collaboration; the “Food for Art”, which brought both creative art and gastronomy worlds together. Vik Muniz and the Chef David Touain, awarded with Michelin **, were exploring the common ground of the domain in Reims. We were immersed in the universe of Ruinart by visiting the crayeres which are the cave of the house. Those impressive caves are 40 meters deep beneath the surface of the ground and naturally cold to preserve the bottles of champagne. Along the way we could observe some photographs of Vik’s artworks, followed by a gastronomic dinner from Chef Touain.
On the following day, I could interview Vik. Despite the short time at my disposal I could feel Vik’s great and positive energy as well as his humble personality. Indeed, Vik was not always sipping champagne around the world during exhibitions. He remains down-to-eath in spite of his success. We talked about his social engagement with his charity school back in Rio which allows children and adolescents from favelas to be creative and to participate in extra scholar activities. For him, the aim of the collaboration with Ruinart is to continue learning and never stop exploring.
In the evening, Ruinart and Vik were presenting the collaboration through five artworks and installations in the very chic Palais Brongniart in Paris. Internationally recognised for his sculptors and art pieces, Vik focused his vision on the nature and the domain in Reims. Each artwork was related to natural artefacts, such as the “Chardonnay Leaf” which was representing a huge chardonnay leaf made out of leaves. Or the “Flow Vine 1” and “Flow Vin 2”, both recreating the vine stocks made out of blackened wood and charcoal.
Along with the Palais Brongniart, the installations were simply impressive and stunning. Add to this le gratin Parisien including Caroline de Maigret and some Ruinart Blanc de Blancs to put the ice on the cake. I also had the chance to talk to the designer Ron Arad, famous for his well tempered chair. Not to mention, ending the evening clubbing in the most stunning place with chandeliers and hip hop music with Parisian street style icon Gregory Robert aka Gogolupin and friends. Definitely a Parisian trip to remember and to already look forward for next year’s collaboration!