Ah, beautiful Paris in spring!
It is March 1973 and Paris looks gorgeous and inviting. Of course first things on the list were: find a place and let my agency know I am in Paris. At first we stayed with our friend Cooky Debidour and we checked the “for rent” lists, ideal would be an “Atelier de Artist” ( Artist Studio) and so we found an agent to look for us and they sent us to our first appointment that looked interesting because it was a little house surrounded by a garden. When we saw it we liked it although it was not very big, 2 floors and not very light but very nice, so we thought to maybe take it. But then a young woman came looking at it as well and she fell completely in love with it and she begged us to let her have it because she had already seen so many places and this was the one! We asked her if she had seen an Atelier d’ Artist and she said YES! 11 Rue de Douai, fantastic place, really good for you! We told her to hang on and went to see the address she had mentioned and we on our turn fell in love with that place when we saw it. A beautiful old elevator brought us to the 4th floor and we could not believe the beauty of it all, a big artist studio with an enormous skylight, an incredible wooden sculpted fire place so big you could stand in it, a grand entrance which was actually a room, a lovely kitchen, a very big bathroom and a very nice bedroom with big French windows, very high ceilings and a white marble fire place, that did not work but looked good. Double doors would open to the studio which besides the skylight also had 2 big windows to the street so the light was impressive. The entrance and the kitchen had both big windows to the courtyard, OK! My heart was booming, what a place, unbelievable! But to our big disappointment the lady said NO, she did not want to rent it to us. That was a blow and we started depressed going down the stairs. She must have felt how sorry we were because halfway between the third and second floor she called us back and asked Salvador if he was a painter and when that was confirmed everything changed, we went back up and heard the story of her father who was a painter and had build this studio ( and the whole building) in around 1890 and the whole building was hers and she herself lived in an other part higher up that in the olden days had been connected to the studio and that’s why there was this beautiful stairs and balcony there.
Now we were so happy, finally our own place, right in Pigalle near Place Clichy ( Moulin Rouge). A very interesting area where a lot of artists had lived and still lived, easy walk to Rue Lepic with its marvellous market, walking distance to Gare St Lazare and the Opera. In short a great place! Now we only had to make sure we could pay the rent which was quiet a lot at the time.
We had all our things, including our beautiful heavy Spanish table, beds that we had had made up, paintings, carpets and everything else sent from Madrid and when it all arrived and was put into place we were the happiest people on earth.
We stayed 8 years in Paris and did a lot of work so I have to divide that in several posts and honestly, at times it is difficult to remember exactly which year it was and I easily mix up 73 with 74 or 75 but that does not really matter I guess, It would be possible to do it exact but it would take a lot of time, so I hope you don’t mind.
Salvador started painting, it’s all he wanted to do, when friends came over he would continue working or make drawings of the friends,.
and made this wonderful painting of our bedroom.
Alejandro having a snack in the kitchen, look at that light!
Alejandro went to Ecole Bilinque in a beautiful place at Parc Monceau so he could learn to speak French and correct English. He spoke English already and Spanish but it was a good way for him to learn French. It was a very expensive private school and he was in the class with the son of Sophia Loren who I saw sometimes there picking up her son like other mothers. Alejandro looked so cute with his dark blue uniform and his big schoolbag. After a year or 2 when he spoke French fluently we thought it was ridiculous to pay so much money every month as he was already a full-blood Bilinque and the school was nothing special, just very chic and in a wonderful place, loved the Parc Monceau. Later he went to a Rudolf Steiner school and those, yes, are very special.
I myself was still with “Models International” and my first booking was with Helmut Newton for French Vogue….