Travel & Events 15 Feb 2015

personal note: baby ostrisch rescue

In the remote desert of Namibia this baby ostrisch was lucky when we passed by. The animal got stuck in a swampy mud pool and was so weakened, that it could not get out. So Henk got to the rescue! We were happy to be there in time for this big baby bird who was reunited with its parents short time after. Angelique

Art & Culture 14 Feb 2015

the dangers of investing in art

Even beautiful art can be a fickle asset As elite guests walked into a new exhibition at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach in December, they were greeted by a cluster of three abstract black-and-white paintings. Created by German artist Anselm Reyle, the monochrome works were nothing less than a middle finger to the art world. The show was assembled by Peter Marino, an architect known as much for his outré leather biker outfits as his luxe retail interiors for Chanel and other companies. Including the Reyle paintings in his show was a trademark act of defiance—an unsubtle reminder to art speculators that their whims often transform art into a terrible investment they’d prefer to forget. “People don’t like artists whose price goes down,” says gallery owner and collector Adam Lindemann, who owns a work by Reyle. “The art market died in 2009 for about a year, and there were some casualties. Reyle was a noteworthy one, and so the art market selected him as a pariah.”

Art & Culture 13 Feb 2015

the most expensive artwork that no one wanted.

Painting of two Tahitian women by an artist whose work won little or no acclaim in his lifetime is sold for nearly $300m Everyone has their price, so the saying goes, and it appears that almost $300m (£200m) was the right price for one Swiss art collector. Rudolf Staechelin was the owner of the painting Nafea Faa Ipoipo? or When Will You Marry? by Paul Gauguin, but it is now thought to have become the most expensive artwork he sold it. The 62-year-old former Sotheby’s executive has a family trust that owns more than 20 impressionist and post-impressionist works, which had been on loan to the Kunstmuseum in Basel for almost 50 years. Staechelin confirmed to the New York Times that the 1892 oil painting of two Taihitian women had been sold, but did not confirm the identity of the buyer, nor the price. It is believed to have been bought by Qatar, which in 2011 paid a record $259m for The Card Players by Paul Cezanne. He said: “The real question is why only now? It’s mainly because we got a good offer. The market is very high and who knows what it will be in 10 years. I always tried to keep as much together as I could. Over 90% of our assets are paintings hanging for free in the museum.” Staechelin’s collection was put together by his grandfather, who became friends with artists and made most of his purchases during and after the first world war. He later advised the Kunstmuseum, which took his collection as a loan following his death in 1946. Gauguin visited Tahiti twice. His first trip was in 1891 after becoming estranged from his wife and was facing financial difficulties given the unpopularity of his art. He came up with the idea of making the voyage to paint illustrations for the most popular novel at the time, Pierre Loti’s The Marriage of Loti. Nancy Mowll Mathews, author of Paul Gauguin, An Erotic Life, told the Observer in 2001: “He portrayed the natives as living only to sing and to make love. That’s how he got the money from his friends and raised the public’s interest in his adventure. But, of course, he knew the truth, which was that Tahiti was an unremarkable island with an international, westernised community.” He was said to have had sexual relations with several of the women he painted in Tahiti, which include Vairaumati te Ioa, or Her Name is Vairaumati. His paintings were met with indifference when he returned to Paris two years later, and he then wrote an autobiographical account of his time in Tahiti called Noa Noa. According to Mathews, it was “the beginning of Gauguin’s writing of an erotic life for himself”. Those efforts also failed and the artist made a second trip to Tahiti. “He returned expecting the erotic idyll that was only ever a figment of his imagination,” Mathews said. “Of course, he didn’t find it and … he died a twisted and bitter man, having alienated everyone both at home and in Tahiti. It’s a sad story of a man who believed his own fiction.” Like so many artists, Gauguin’s talent was not fully recognised until after his death, which came in 1903 at the age of 54 from a morphine overdose. He was a major influence on 20th century greats such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Henri Matisse. Nafea Faa Ipoipo? can be seen at the Beyeler Foundation in Basel during February, before moving on to the Reina Sofía museum in Madrid and the Phillips Collection in Washington DC. The new owner will take possession of the work next January.

Travel & Events 12 Feb 2015

review: little kulala, a true oasis

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stayed here for a week, renting the whole lodge. After visiting this little paradise you will understand why…. On less than 50 yards away, an oryx walks through the grass, towards the high dunes, disappearing in the horizon. He shared water with ostriches, springboks and jackals at the pool near the restaurant. It is almost an unreal sight to observe this antelope, floating from a privet Jacuzzi. The oryx changes into a dot. Quietness, space and clouds fill the view. In Little Kulala, south of Namibia, this is a daily ritual. Kulala means sleeping in Oshiwambo, a local language. Dreaming might have even been more applicable, because the luxury transforms into nature. Everything about this desert resort is inextricably linked to its surrounding. From the restaurant with the high reed roof and wooden ceiling and floor, from the tree stump made railing on the veranda, to the high nature stone fire place and bar and reception which form one big piece of wood. In addition, the mystical natural interior is filled with artistic accessories, like lamps made of branches and wool pillows shaped like stones created by the wonderful South-African artist Ronel Jordaan. The eleven lodges have a typical architecture, also a mixture of natural material, like wood, reed, bamboo and Granit stones. These are also eco-lodges, heated by solar panels. Looking through a panoramic window it is what you call a ‘room with a view’; the stretched landscape is absolutely sublime. There is also an outdoor shower and sleeping among the stars is also possible: on demand the staff can organize a matrass at the roof terrace. The local friendly staff is very flexible, and can easily organize special dining requests, massages or champagne at your room. A true oasis near the gates of Sossusvlei. Little Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Sossusvlei/Naukluft Reachable by air or car. For bookings: Untamed Traveling:, (0031) 0487 540367 €500 p.p.p. night (incl. food & drinks). Angelique Pics: Henk Bothof

Art & Culture 11 Feb 2015

it was about time, eh?

Hollywood Agency to Manage Careers of Visual Artists Should painters and sculptors be treated like movie stars? United Talent Agency thinks so. The Beverly Hills, Calif., agency known for representing actors like Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie said Tuesday it has launched a division called UTA Fine Arts to manage the careers of contemporary visual artists. The move marks the first time a Hollywood talent agency has stepped into a role traditionally played by art galleries, and it underscores the growing commercial appeal that top artists wield in the global, multibillion-dollar art market. Photo: Joshua Roth, who will head the UTA division, attending a gala in Los Angeles honoring Martin Scorsese and David Hockney, with his wife, Sonya, in 2013. GETTY IMAGES

Art & Culture 10 Feb 2015

when the art is watching you. museums are mining d

One morning last week, a team of experts at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum searched for hidden spots in the rotunda to conceal tiny electronic transmitters. The devices will enable the museum to send messages about artworks to visitors via their smartphones while at the same time collect details about the comings and goings of those guests. At today’s museums, all eyes aren’t just on the art. They’re on the visitors.

Art & Culture 07 Feb 2015

i'd like to show you my works

I am a Rotterdam based artist specializing in autonome art and art applications. I create artworks in private and public space. When working on art commissions my aim is to give voice to a room, a voice that bridges between the building and its user. In my uncommissioned art I follow my own fascinations. My drawings or experiments often re-emerge within the context of my projects.

Art & Culture 08 Feb 2015

picasso’s granddaughter plans to sell art, worryin

MARSEILLE, France — Since Marina Picasso was a child, living on the edge of poverty and lingering at the gates of a French villa with her father to plead for an allowance from her grandfather, Pablo Picasso, she has struggled with the burden of that artist’s towering legacy. When she was in her 20s and inherited the 19th-century villa, La Californie, as well as a vast trove of Picasso’s art treasures, she turned the paintings to face the walls in resentment. Through 15 years of therapy, she dissected bitter family memories of her grandfather’s perceived indifference and her brother’s suicide. In her 2001 memoir, “Picasso: My Grandfather,” she bared her pain and anger at the Picasso clan. Now 64, Ms. Picasso acknowledges that she is expanding her rebellion by preparing to sell off many of his artworks to finance and broaden her philanthropy — aid for a pediatric hospital in Vietnam and projects in France and Switzerland benefiting the elderly and troubled teenagers. And her unconventional sales approach is reverberating through international art markets, worrying dealers and auctioneers accustomed to playing key — and lucrative — roles in the sale of renowned art. In an interview, Ms. Picasso said she would sell works privately and would judge “one by one, based on need,” how many, and which, of the remaining Picasso works, of about 10,000 that she inherited, she would put up for sale. Ms. Picasso has been regularly selling her grandfather’s works for years to support herself and her charities. And since the death of her longtime dealer in 2008, she has tried various strategies in the market — auctioning two major paintings in 2013 and displaying a collection of nude drawings by her grandfather at Sotheby’s in Paris last year. But her decision to sell them on her own suggests a more aggressive effort to purge herself of her legacy. And while other Picasso heirs have occasionally sold works, Marina Picasso is the only one who seems to be “accelerating” the sale of art objects, said Enrique Mallen, an art history professor at Sam Houston State University in Texas who created the Online Picasso Project to track the art. “It’s better for me to sell my works and preserve the money to redistribute to humanitarian causes,” Ms. Picasso said, speaking publicly about her new strategy for the first time while inspecting a hospital site in Marseille, where she is financing a psychiatric unit for teenagers in crisis. “I have paintings, of course, that I can use to support these projects.” The news of her unusual strategy is spreading in select circles by word of mouth, generating rumors and misinformation — including a recent tabloid report that she planned to sell off her grandfather’s villa and seven major works. That is leading to speculation that she could flood the market and depress prices. “Instead of having a dealer show them, it’s been an open secret that there are works for sale and people have been asking other people if they would be interested,” said John Richardson, a Picasso historian and biographer in New York. “I’ve been asked by odd people who tell me, ‘We are in on a great deal, and Marina is selling all her stuff.’ ” While bypassing dealers and auction houses in the sale of major works is not unusual, sellers going it alone can be at a disadvantage in trying to estimate the value of their own works and to vet the buyers and their source of funds. At the same time, with some auction houses increasing their fees, it can be a smart move in the end for a seller eager to make more money. Ms. Picasso, who inherited about 300 paintings among those 10,000 Picasso artworks — ceramics, drawings, etchings and sculptures are among the others — said she had not decided on the number to be sold and had no plan to put the villa on the market. But she knows which piece she will sell first: “La Famille,” a 1935 portrait of a family surrounded by an arid landscape. “It’s symbolic because I was born in a great family, but it was a family that was not a family,” Ms. Picasso said. By the time of his death in 1973, Picasso had created some 50,000 artworks and left behind a tangled brood of four children and eight grandchildren, as well as wives and muses, who have had a long-running battle over his estate and his legacy. Ms. Picasso is the daughter of Picasso’s son Paulo, and she has long kept her distance from the rest of the family. For years she was guided in her sales by Jan Krugier, a Swiss art dealer who curated and sold off many of the best works in her collection until he died in 2008. She was disappointed, she said, by other sales routes, like a 2013 Sotheby’s auction of two major paintings, including “Femme Assise en Robe Grise.” The works drew $6.8 million, according to Sotheby’s in Paris, but Ms. Picasso said she had expected more because buyers knew the money was going to support her charities. Her timing is good: Last year, auction sales of Picassos were second only to those of Andy Warhol — $449 million last year in a $16.1 billion international market, according to Artnet, the New York-based art researcher. While the sales will broaden Ms. Picasso’s philanthropy, they will also help her move on from the burden of her family history, she said. Ms. Picasso said that she had no photographs of herself with her grandfather and had none of his works until she received her inheritance. She recalled that he would fashion flowers out of paper for her, but she was never allowed to keep the trinkets. Her father, Paulo, was the son of Picasso and his first wife, Olga Khokhlova, a Russian ballerina. Ms. Picasso said she still suffered from the memories of Paulo serving as her grandfather’s chauffeur, among other lowly roles, and begging for money. Her mother, Emiliénne, split from her father and struggled with alcoholism. She relied on handouts from her ex-husband to raise Marina and her older brother, Pablito. “I saw my father very little,” Ms. Picasso said. “I didn’t have a grandfather.” Her alienation from her grandfather and his entourage intensified after her brother was barred from Picasso’s funeral in 1973 by the artist’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque. A few days later her brother committed suicide by drinking bleach. Contributions from friends paid for Pablito’s funeral, according to Ms. Picasso, who supported herself then by working in a hospice for autistic and mentally ill children. Picasso left no will when he died at 91, setting off a bitter struggle among his widow, children and grandchildren. Unexpectedly, Marina Picasso was named an heir, inheriting a fifth of the estate, including the villa. “People say I should appreciate my inheritance and I do,” Ms. Picasso said, “but it is an inheritance without love.” In the end, she learned from her past. “It was really difficult to carry this celebrated name and to have a difficult financial life,” she said. “I think because of it I developed my sense of humanity and my desire to help others.” Olivier Widmaier Picasso, a grandson descended from the artist’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, who published his own biography of Picasso, holds a more benign view of his grandfather’s legacy. As for Marina, with whom he tangled when he tried to brand Citroën cars with Picasso’s name, he said he understands her anger, but thinks it is misplaced. “We need to be honest,” he said. “Pablo Picasso was not the cause of all of this. Her mother had exclusive custody. Picasso didn’t want to give money to her mother because he worried she wouldn’t spend it on the children. So he paid directly for their schooling.” He said he was surprised to learn about Ms. Picasso’s sales approach. “All the heirs have always worked with major dealers, like Picasso did in his life,” he said. “They know the market and the buyers and work to avoid any bad moves.” In the 1970s, when the estate was split to pay off taxes, “La Famille” was considered one of the most valuable because its realistic style was so unusual, he said. “The scale is enormous and it is obviously an important work,” said James Roundell, a dealer with Simon Dickinson Fine Art in London, who says it is worth “in the millions” of dollars. Ms. Picasso, who has five children, three of them adopted from Vietnam, said that selling more of Picasso’s art to expand her charities is a fitting use. In just the last year, she has donated 1.5 million euros, roughly $1.7 million, to the Hospital Foundation of Paris and France. Some went to the psychiatric emergency unit for teenagers, and Ms. Picasso also financed a project for elderly patients in long-term hospital care. “I live now in the present,” she said. “The past rests in the past. But I will never forget, never. I respect my grandfather and his stature as an artist. I was his grandchild and his heir, but never the grandchild of his heart.”

Cars, Boats & Planes 03 Feb 2015

yacht that's life in turkey & greece this summer

THAT'S LIFE is a modern yacht with an alluring profile and a sophisticated, European-style interior.  She was built to a hoteliers exacting standards and is an enticing blend of the traditional and the modern - a celebration of "la dolce vita" with wide, uncluttered teak decks and a warm, inviting interior that is appealing in its elegance.  White washed American oak, Burmese teak and custom-designed textured carpet are keynotes, further harmonized by the use of marble and chrome throughout.  Apart from the meticulous care with which the yacht has been hand crafted, particular attention has been paid to lighting - especially the use of natural light, which greatly enhances the feeling of space on this standout yacht. Just as the yacht's interior connotes luxurious living afloat, the above decks areas are designed for ultimate serviceability with plenty of aesthetic touches. The forward deck has a small settee and coffee table, which converts into a cocktail area in the evening or a quiet place to listen to music and stargaze after dinner.  A leisurely breakfast can be enjoyed on the aft deck, with fabulous all-around views and cooling breezes making for a pleasant start to the day.  Lunches and dinners can be served either al fresco or in air conditioned comfort of the deck saloon.  The multi-functional deck saloon, which features large windows from which to enjoy panoramic views, cleverly converts into an indoor cinema with the use of a disappearing Smart TV and reclining sofa with pull-out leg rests.  Guests of all ages can enjoy games here as the yacht is equipped with the latest interactive games. "THAT'S LIFE" comfortably accommodates up to ten guests in five beautifully handcrafted cabins, each with en suite facilities.  The master cabin, located forward of the saloon is light-filled and spacious.  This cabin features a superbly comfortable king size berth, an attractive en suite with twin rain showers and a full complement of technological components. The forward guest cabin is similarly spacious and offers a king size berth.  The starboard aft guest cabin offers two single berths, while the port aft guest cabin is ideal for the younger members of the charter party, fitted as it is, with an extra-large single and a pullman berth.  The aft master cabin is full-width in size and accordingly, very spacious.  Mirroring the communication and entertainments systems of the forward master cabin, the aft master also offers a very roomy en suite and abundant storage space. This is a yacht that will capture your imagination. Allow the Eastern Mediterranean to work her magic, as you enjoy a comfortable, carefree vacation, attended by your captain and six other professional crew members. Durukos Yachting ( is the central agent of this beautiful yacht. Please contact Ms. Aysegul Duru ( to charter her this summer on the Aegean.

Sports & Leisure 03 Feb 2015

modernized vintage bicycle

The Pininfarina Fuoriserie is a Modernized Vintage Bicycle Published: Nov 6, 2014 • References: pininfarina & luxurylaunches The Pininfarina Fuoriserie is custom-made, limited-edition bicycle made by the same company that designs exotic Ferraris. The Italian design company introduced the sleek, tailor-made bike at the Seoul Living Design Fair. The bike features a retro design inspired by the brand's other vintage styles; for example, the Carrozzeria Pinin Farina. In the Fuoriserie, the vintage aesthetic is referenced in the leather handlebars and seat, as well as the chrome frame clad in walnut briarroot. The bike boasts contemporary features, such as a Bike+ booster system that helps the cyclist conserve their energy throughout their ride. The small-scale engine promotes endurance, allowing the user to complete longer distances with ease. The high performance bike also includes an LED lighting system and plug to recharge your mobile.

Fashion & Design 03 Feb 2015

wedding dress weighs 400 pounds

This Opulent 'Fantasy' Wedding Dress Weighs 400 Pounds Published: Jan 6, 2015 • References: huffingtonpost & gizmodiva Made up of 400,000 crystals, 500,000 glass pearls and plenty of beading wire, the Fantasy wedding dress is a hefty one that weighs in at over 400 pounds. Designed by bead artist Gail Be over the course of three years, the dress was crafted over the span of 20,000 hours with help from 23 assistants. The millions of beads that adorn the dress spill onto the extravagant train, which is over 20' long. Aptly named Fantasy, unfortunately the dress is so heavy, it's impossible to walk in. When modeling the dress, Jessica Collette notes: "It hurt and I couldn’t move, but I felt like a fairy-tale princess." Since it's definitely a showpiece, Be has hopes that the dress will be used in a movie and then end up in a museum.

Cars, Boats & Planes 03 Feb 2015

hybrid superyacht

The Savannah is the World's First Hybrid Superyacht Published: Feb 2, 2015 • References: & gizmag The Savannah is a superyacht, created by Feadship De Voogt Architects, that is claimed to be the world's first hybrid superyacht. Not only is this impressive creation powered by an innovative power plant, it is also the first superyacht to be almost entirely metallic painted. You know a yacht is a luxury yacht when it is designed to carry more crew than guests. This one is designed to hold 12 guests and twice as many crew. As far as the power setup goes, this hybrid superyacht makes use of a Wartsila 9L20 4-stroke engine arranged to allow for excellent fuel economy and quiet cruising. While there are many superyachts out there, what makes this one so eye-catching is the fact that it is eco-friendly but doesn't compromise on luxury.

Travel & Events 02 Jan 2015

short reportage: silence at clay castles, namibia

There is no windy breeze, no singing birds, and no sound at all. Nothing but sand and clay, surrounded by big basalts and dark rocks. The sun shines brightly, burns almost. Your own breath is the only sound you will hear around the phenomenal Clay Castles of Skeleton Coast. Around the Hoarusib River, at the north of Namibia, there are dozens of clay castles, which are ten thousands years old, and tens of meters high. They are hidden in several narrow gorges around the river bend. This unique natural phenomenon was formed due to sand and water, which were blowing into the gorges and stopped by dune walls. From here little lakes developed, which through years of rain fall, built layer for layer clay substance to finally form the so-called Clay Castles. The question is how long this fragile substance will stay intact because of the increasing rain and erosion. Because of its isolated location there are barely any tourists around here, so who wants to enjoy a moment of total silence and Zen, have to experience this.  Angelique van Os & Henk Bothof  

Travel & Events 30 Jan 2015

review: mondrian soho, true fairytale

Speaking of comfort, New York has so much great hotels to offer, one can barely make a choice. We selected two ‘rising stars’ and one timeless classic, variating from fairytale settings to modern open mind and ultimate treats of hamman. We are starting with the Mondrian Soho, a true fairytale. Hidden in an alley of Spring Street, the big building is barely noticed. The gracious rusty bows of the facade are namely blending in a natural way into the street view, like it has been there forever. SoHo is one of New Yorks famous shop areas, but is also known for her solid community. Behind the facade, attention goes to the beautiful pavilion- The Garden Room-, that from the inside reminds at a fairytale ball room with a ceiling of glass, a lot of chandeliers strolling towards the entrance, the romantic bow of green leaves introduces the wonderful world of Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la bete (1946). This young hotel, created by designer Benjamin Noriega-Oritz, is fully based on the fairy tale of Belle and the Beast. The beauty of the interior symbolizes Belle, whereas the beast refers to the raw city life and reality. Everything in this ‘castle’ refers to the classic story, with a modern interior design à la the painter Mondriaan. Basic colors are white and azure French blue hues, from the lobby to the penthouse at the roof. It evokes a provocative fantasy, translated to every detail, from the ground floor which even blends into the street, to fire torches, which serve as lamps and rose motives at the walls, referring to this fairytale theme. Restaurant Imperial no. Nine, next to the Garden Room where Belle and the Beast fall in love, has a three dimensional atmosphere, because of optical deception by mirrors. The restaurant is famous for its fish specialties. There are also well known cocktails on the menu of John Lermayer, one of the specialties of the Morgans Hotel Group, what also counts for its breath taking views. The hotel has 270 guestrooms and there are several floors that have roof terraces, fine decorated with chique and classy launch furniture. Rooms 1804 (Deluxe room) and 1807 are one of the pearls with their perfect viewings: 10-foot floor- to ceiling glass windows. From your bath tub you look straight to Fifth Ave. Who wants to escape from the busy city, can experience a true fairytale here. Tip At the top floor of the Mondrian Soho it is possible to organize weddings or parties. There are also business meetings at this floor, which makes negotiations easy, surrounded by the NY skyline. Price From $319 per night (Superior Queen) up to $1800 per night (Penthouse) To book Address: 9 Crosby Street, NY 10013| 212 3891000 / 00800 4969 177O Angelique van Os

Cars, Boats & Planes 21 Jan 2015

tesla's stock value...

Frank talk from Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show sent the company's stock falling one Wednesday, after the CEO warned his company wouldn't achieve profitability until the dawn of the next decade. The big worry for shareholders appeared to be Musk's statements on Tesla's Chinese fortunes. The company's efforts there suffered a fourth-quarter sales decline that saw consumer concern over the network of quick-charging stations that provide Model S owners with free electricity, IBT reports. According to Musk, that particular thorn in the company's side has been dealt with, and if Chinese consumers are still concerned, further expansion is already planned, but not all pundits are convinced China's charging problem is behind Tesla. The fate of Tesla's zooming stock price depends, above all, on this question: What matters more, long-term potential or short-term execution? All the analysts project that Tesla will be bigger and more valuable one day than it is now. The argument is over how bumpy the road will be to get there and whether that matters to investors. Please share your comments on this blog :-)

Travel & Events 02 Jan 2015

travel tiip: wilderness and untamed traveling

Pure off the Road traveled to Namibia with Wilderness, a big tour operator in Southern Africa, who is cooperating with the Dutch travel agency Untamed Traveling. First mentioned, has a staff of mainly local people who are working on an honest and sustainable way and fighting for the conservation of flora en fauna. They have their own Children of the Wilderness and Wildlife Trust foundation, focusing on wildlife projects, educational research and management. The organization used to run the only Concession at Skeleton Coast, which is 200 km long and 40 km broad. You can only reach this by airplane and the accommodation has room for only twelve guests. Some other accommodations are the Desert Rhino Camp (Damaraland) and extraordinary Little Kulala. Check our pics and the next blog! For more information and bookings about the lodges and traveling to Namibia check: Untamed Traveling,, Zelksestraat 10, 6631 KE Horssen, The Netherlands (0031) 0487 540367. Angelique van Os Henk Bothof

Travel & Events 02 Jan 2015

reportage: save the rhino, namibia

Save the Rhino, tracking with rangers “Look, there is a fresh trail over here. The print is deep and without any brushes. The toes are pointing to the north, and the dung is fresh. You can smell it”, says tracker Martin Nawaseb, pointing at the ground. “Look at this broken branch. There has been a rhino recently here.” We are walking and driving through the hilly savanna and yellow green desert, which are surrounded by a wide landscape of Table Mountains and inactive crates. This is Damaraland National Park, some hours south from the Clay Castles, and about 150 miles above Swakopmund, Namibia. The park is the homeland of the black rhino, which we are trying to track. The local trackers, Martin Nawaseb, Denzel Tjiraso and Victor Useb are monitoring the rhino’s on a daily bases. They have given the animals names and observe their social behaviors. They all know them by heart, because every time a rhino is spot, they draw their externality. The rangers are working for Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) and cooperating with The Ministry of tourism and surroundings and Wilderness, a tourism operator who is supporting several nature conservation projects. According to a critical article of National Geographic, printed in 2012, around 400 black rhino’s were killed in 2011 in Southern Africa because of poaching. Due to the successful cooperation between Wilderness, SRT and the government, the population in Damaraland is increasing and has been doubled since the 1980’s. Because poachers are still active, interest groups are careful showing the exact amount of rhino’s that live in this area. The compact Desert Rhino Camp of tourism organization Wilderness, exists since 2003, and is part of the Palmwag-concession, which has a size of 1365km2. They allow visitors to do a rhino tracking only four days a week. The car is driving around one of the four water pools, where rhino’s might come. More traces. The trackers are following the bumpy sand road, but suddenly the traces disappear in the high grass. Victor and Denzel jump off the jeep. Both are walking a different direction, checking the shape of the tracks which trace they should follow. Little by little they are getting grip; after one hour Victor reaches for his binoculars. “He has to be here somewhere…yes, look, at the end of the bush!” The trackers are getting into the car, excited that they found a big male, called Ben. When a rhino runs, it can easily get a speed of 50 miles; the rangers do not take any risk to loose the bull. “This is an aggressive male, we have to be careful,” whispers Denzel. About 100 meters the rhino smells its company, and moves towards us with big steps. “In the car, now!” says Victor, when Big Ben is running towards the car within just 60 meters. Martin takes care for some distraction, by putting him self a bit further in the field. Ben appears very aggressively towards Martin at only 40 meters, scratching its legs into the sand. Martin stands mouse-still. He knows exactly how the animal will react and that he will run after making some threatened movements. Though, the adrenaline is rising, because the colossus is very near. After a minute Ben gives up, and indeed runs off in a trot. What an experience! When Ben’s silhouette disappears at the horizon, the trackers note his character. Back at Desert Rhino Camp, nature conservator and Wilderness manager Chris Bakkes, is joining us. After several jobs as an anti-poach ranger for the South-African Kruger Park, among others, and wondering though Southwest Africa after he lost his arm because of a crocodile bite, his full attention goes to the conservation of the Namib parks. “You know, the biggest problem in Africa is that the wild has too little living space. It is not about which species live there, it is about the habitat which is available or which has to be created. The black rhino, elephants and cheetah need big life surfaces. Only one rhino can move around 10.000 hectares. We have around 1,4 million hectares, so fortunately this is a good breeding ground. A good habitat is the future that is why animal spieces survive. I am glad that the time of poaching is behind me, I do not want to go back to the Kruger or Ethosha, and it is a zoo. This is the real wilderness. There are no fences or asphalt roads. This is pure nature.” Angelique van Os &  Henk Bothof

Travel & Events 02 Jan 2015

editorial, introducing the team

We, Dutch photographer Henk Bothof & journalist Angelique van Os, are thrilled to share our blogs with you. With our stories, we want to show the beauty of nature, landscapes, culture and people to promote tourism. We also write about people who and sustainable subjects which bring hope for the future. Finally, we search for inside out stories with locals who are important for their community, and in cities who know the art, music and food scene by heart, showing and sharing the most exclusive places. So please join the experience with us! And if you have any tips, don't hesitate to contact us Cheers! Henk & Angelique

Travel & Events 09 Dec 2014

marlon brando's private island

Marlon Brando’s private island, Tetiaroa, opened to the public for the first time this past July. The island houses the newly-opened resort, called The Brando, where room rates reach £7,500 a night. The resort has been opened to commemorate the tenth anniversary of The Godfather actor’s death. The eco-friendly luxury resort is a true getaway on a French Polynesia private atoll located 30 miles north of Tahiti. Brando first came to Tetiaroa while filming Mutiny on the Bounty and was immediately smitten with the island’s beauty and the sense it gave of being closer to paradise. Enchanted by the Polynesian way of life, and especially by leading lady Tarita Teriipaia, he resolved to own the island in 1967. It was in this natural destination that he settled down, and finally found a home. Brando, Tarita and his Tahitian children lived on Tetiaroa for several years. Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty and cultural richness. “My mind is always soothed when I imagine myself sitting on my South Sea island at night. If I have my way, Tetiaroa will remain forever a place that reminds Tahitians of what they are and what they were centuries ago,” the late actor stated. In 1999 he partnered with Richard Bailey, a long-time resident of Tahiti who would create and operate some of the region’s finest resorts. Together, Brando and Bailey formed a partnership to pursue a vision of creating the world’s first post-carbon resort — an island where new technologies would enable a self-sustaining luxury environment for hotel guests, scientific research and full-time residents. The all-inclusive resort features 35 deluxe villas each with its own private beach area and plunge pool, restaurants showcasing Polynesian and French cuisine, a Polynesian spa, a lagoon-view bar, beach bar, pool, organic garden, library, boutique, water sports, and an environmental research station with guest programs. The hotel also offers world-class cuisine, with Guy Martin, Chef Propriétaire of the three Michelin-starred Le Grand Véfour, one of Paris’s top eateries, in charge of the a la carte menu at the two six-star restaurants, which will feature traditional Polynesian dishes. The 2.5-mile-long island is only accessible by private plane, and boasts white-sand beaches, swaying coconut palms, exotic birds, and abundant marine life.

Art & Culture 15 Dec 2014

egon schiele: 1890-1918

Born on June 12, 1890, in Tulln, Austria Egon Schiele was a major figure of the Austrian Expressionist movement. Schiele began drawing as a child and in 1906, at the age of sixteen, attended the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. During these years, he was strongly influenced by Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession artists whose style emphasized flowing line and ornamentation. Schiele and Klimt met in 1907 and Klimt was supportive of the young artist. He introduced Schiele to his own models and patrons, and helped him find work. He also included Schiele in the 1909 Internationale Kunstchau Exhibition of foreign and Austrian artists. In 1909, Schiele became dissatisfied with the academy’s conservatism and formed the Neukünstler (New Artists) Group with other dropouts from the Academy. Free from the confines of the Academy’s conventions, Schiele began to explore the human form and human sexuality in his work. At the time, many found the explicitness of his works ugly and disturbing. Through 1913, Schiele created his best known works – drawings of female models, either nude or semi-nude, in oddly foreshortened poses. In 1915, Schiele married Edith Harms, was drafted into the military, and assigned to various posts outside Vienna. Creating portraits of Edith, Schiele adapted a more naturalistic approach which he also used in the increasing number of portrait commissions he had begun to receive. “Draughtsmanship played a significant role in Schiele’s art. Although he produced few original prints, he made numerous independent drawings, in which he used pencil or chalk, and occasionally charcoal or ink, to create a sharply defined outline that he then filled in with watercolour or gouache. Schiele was shy and introspective, but obsessive in the pursuit of his art and in his contemplation of mortality, which provoked the confessional and compassionate tone of his work.” In 1918, Schiele received a large exhibition of his work at the Viennese Seccession. Just as he had begun to achieve commercical success, both Schiele and his wife contracted the Spanish flu. Edith, who was six months pregnant, died on October 28, 1918. Schiele died three days later on October 31, 1918 at the age of 28. Though Schiele’s career was short, he was extremely prolific. He created over three hundred oil paintings and several thousand works on paper. His work has inspired the work of later artists, especially in Austria, making him a major figure in 20th-century art.

Art & Culture 09 Dec 2014

triple elvis sells for a record $81.9 million

Elvis Presley set new a record as Christie’s put up Andy Warhol’s Triple Elvis painting under the hammer on 12 November 2014 in New York. Christie’s sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art fetched a total of $852.8 million which itself set a record of the highest-ever total for an auction. Leading the sale was Warhol’s Triple Elvis which sold for $81.9 million. Standing with his trademark proud stance, Andy Warhol’s rare triple portrait of Elvis Presley dominates the shimmering canvas just as the singer dominated the cultural landscape of the 1950s and 1960s. Fascinated by popular culture, fame and celebrity, Elvis was the ultimate subject for the artist. At nearly seven feet tall, the image of Elvis Presley looms large in form of three figures. Displaying a confident posture, Elvis is staring directly out of the canvas with his famous “baby blue” eyes. Using a single screen, Warhol has repeated the image three times, each time producing an image of Elvis that is notable for its exceptional clarity and depth. The auction house also states that the quality of these renditions can be seen in the remarkable details that each contains; from the penetrating precision of Elvis’s eyes to the individual folds of his shirt, right down to the texture of his trousers, the exceptional detail of this particular example marks it as one of the pre-eminent examples from this important series of paintings. As well as the clarity of these images, Triple Elvis is also distinguished by the arrangement of the figures within the scope of the canvas. It is also learnt that the use of repetition was an important strategy for Warhol. In Triple Elvis, the overlapping images are reminiscent of a film strip, individual frames containing a single image but when viewed together producing a sense of dynamism and movement. The star’s powerful physical presence in Triple Elvis acts as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of the personality. Also Andy Warhol’s rendition of Marlon Brando in form of Four Marlons artwork fetched $69.6 million at the auction. Bidders from over the world competed for an exceptional array of Abstract Expressionist, Pop and Contemporary works from some of the century’s most inspiring and influential artists, including the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, Martin Kippenberger, Cy Twombly and Jeff Koons.

Cars, Boats & Planes 09 Dec 2014

ford shelby gt350

The legend is back. Ford is reintroducing one of its baddest, most capable Mustang models ever, the Shelby GT350, and from what the spec sheet says, this should be the best high-performance factory Mustang ever. With a 5.2 Liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine that makes over 500 horsepower, this new Mustang features a flat-plane horizontal crankshaft, for faster revs and a higher rev limit. With this design and other enhancements, Ford has said this will be the most powerful non-turbo V8 they’ve ever built and it will offer the balance and performance dynamics that make it a terrific track engine. As for the suspension, the GT350 will feature continuously controlled MagneRide dampers that automatically read road conditions and sense your driving style to adjust the suspension every 10 milliseconds. The aluminum hood has been lowered and sloped for improved aerodynamics and additional aero elements have been added to make this Mustang a monster on the track. The fascia with its lower front splitter provides significant downforce. The hood vent removes heat and reduces underhood lift at high speed. At the rear, a subtle lip spoiler across the trailing edge of the decklid increases downforce without adding excess drag.

Fashion & Design 09 Dec 2014

pirelli calendar 2015

The Pirelli Calendar 2015 has arrived. This year’s ultra rare calendar is titled “Calendar Girls 2015″ and was shot by photographer Steven Meisel. The 12 girls featured in the 2015 Pirelli Calendar are top and emerging models: the Americans Gigi Hadid, Candice Huffine, Carolyn Murphy and Cameron Russell, the Brazilians Isabeli Fontana, Adriana Lima and Raquel Zimmermann. Then there is Karen Elson from England, the Puerto Rican Joan Small, the Russians Natalia Vodianova and Sasha Luss, as well as Anna Ewers from Germany. The fashion editor of the calendar was Carine Roitfeld. “In my opinion, these are the key aesthetic models of today’s world. They represent the stereotypes that the fashion and star system impose upon us right now,” Meisel said in a press release. “I didn’t want to make a conceptual calendar, or link it to some particular location, but rather to create 12 posters in which women, in all their sensuality, are the absolute protagonists of 12 very different images. Since I wanted to limit the use of clothes and accessories and since I had absolute creative freedom, I found it very exciting to play with the colours, the makeup, and the materials. It was a very rewarding experience.”

Fashion & Design 09 Dec 2014

bulova’s most expensive watch ever made

Conceptualized by Bulova Corporation President Gregory Thumm, and hailing from the company’s Bulova Accu•Swiss brand, this 24-Karat Gold Watch marks the first edition in the company’s new Joseph Bulova Collection — which will all feature Bulova’s proprietary process (patent pending) for hardening of 999.9 pure 24-karat gold while maintaining exacting quality standards for finish and fit, and ensuring water resistance to 30 meters. Each Joseph Bulova Collection First Edition 24-Karat Gold Timepiece contains a 26-jewel automatic movement certified as a chronometer by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC). In addition, the cases have been certified by the Bureau Central du Contrôle des Métaux Précieux for fineness and purity of the gold, with every watch bearing the St. Bernhard dog’s head precious metal hallmark. Each timepiece has been constructed in a unique capsule form, with bezel, case and caseback anchored together with light and durable grade-5 titanium components to form an integral case. A separate sub-bezel, designed as part of the case, keeps the watch secure with a series of specially designed bumpers to deflect shocks and holds a sapphire crystal with five layers of anti-reflective coating. The strap design, a combination of an alligator strap and a 316L stainless steel mesh bracelet incorporating three microns of black titanium carbide, fixes together with a series of grade-5 titanium rivets designed to slip within the mesh, maximizing flexibility and comfort. Only 32 of these gorgeous timepieces are available and – with a suggested retail value of $42,000 – is the most expensive watch Bulova has ever produced.