José Miguel Maschietto: My idea at le Palais Art Hotel is to recreate that atmosphere like it was in Paris at the end of the 1800's

Le Palais Art Hotel Prague is a 5 star luxury art hotel in Prague and one of the few art hotels in Europe with an amazing art selection with more than 150 art pieces as part of their private collection. It is a unique place where you can find the full and complete collection of Le Corbusier. This 5 star hotel owned by Italian company Torino Praga Invest, offer the most valuable art pieces - beside Le Corbusier, many other important names such as Ludek Marold, Miloš Reindl, Lea Vivot, Gordana Turuk, Jadran Šetlík, Pavel Brunclík, Emilio Fornieles and Jiri Kaifosz. I had the opportunity to speak with the Artistic Director José Miguel Maschietto, who presents to us the interesting gallery and art venue of Le Palais Art Hotel Prague.

Photography: Le Palais Art Hotel

José Miguel, what are your goals as the Artistic Director?
As Artistic Director one of my goals is to increase the collection and create on a regular basis, let’s say every 2 months, exhibition openings with the main goal to select and present to the Czech and international audience at the highest level possible, prominent talents in the field of art and culture from music to photography, sculpture and other forms within the frame of fine arts. Concerning exhibitions and venues, I am planning to host every season at least 5 important exhibitions with Czech and international artists.

We have already presented in our art hotel many well known artists, just to mention some of them: Roberto Coin, Prada with the unique launch in Czech Republic of the PRADASPHERE (an exclusive historic book - limited edition, with the full story of the famous italian fashion maison) plus, many others as Olga Rusakova or Natali Ruden.

Photography: Le Palais Art Hotel

Do you look for new talents also?
Yes, besides the great names already represented in our Art Gallery, I am always looking for new talents to present – with interesting skills or an interesting profile in the field of culture, which means not only in the figurative or contemporary art, but in all aspects of art.

Another of my goals is to get involved with many different types of art because new forms of art are coming, as we may see from the video mapping or art performance. Art is developing alongside new technology at the same rate and so creating and readapting new ways of expression, for example the street art, which has been for so many years ignored, now has come back as an interesting art segment. Personally speaking, I have always been interested in those types of art because there are many extremely talented artists which for different reasons didn´t have a chance to approach an important gallery or venue.

How many people can you host during the exhibition in general?
It depends a lot on the type of exhibitions. The last exhibition opening we hosted here in our space was called: "Titani | Titans" a project created in cooperation with the new Italian branch of MAZARS International; we presented two collections at once from the highest cultural environment in Prague and in the Czech Republic: “Desdemona | Passion collection” from Jadran Šetlík, well known especially in Czech Republic and central Europe as a photographer, celebrity portraitist and art creator; and: ”Eva | Desire collection” from the well-known, in the highest Czech cultural environment, Jiří Kaifoš, Sculptor and Academic Master.

On that occasion the number of guests went up to 80 invited VIP, art lovers, top business managers and members of the board from different and prominent business industries; but of course, there are some occasions where the number of guests may be higher; for example, we hosted Emilio Fornieles Exhibition Opening (one of the last artists that is now part of our collection). Emilio painted here on the terrace at the opening exhibition. He made one of our paintings - acrylics colours black and white as an homage to Kafka and to his Metamorphosis. He painted, with his specific and unique technique, the face of Kafka himself. The technique he used in this process was special in that he painted upside down, with the audience not being able to see his progress until the end, when he revealed his painting to them and added the colour which made Kafka's face appear.

Our regular exhibition takes one month in general and sometimes we have the closing exhibition. Emilio Fornieles had such a big success, especially with the media and for the art community in Prague that we decided to reinvite him as well for the closing exhibition which was connected with the charity event. The hotel and owners are very amenable to this topic. We did this charity event in cooperation with Slunce - and on that occasion the patron of the evening was Master Karel Gott. I can say that Karel loved Emilio's technique and after one intensive lunch/meeting, Emilio made a portrait of Karel - having Karel here on the terrace, he made the same painting with his unique technique - still painting upside down and the final result was something absolutely impressive with an outstanding ovation.

José Miguel Maschietto with Mr. Karel Gott | Photography: Le Palais Art Hotel

What are your plans as the Artistic Director for le Palais Art Hotel?
My idea at le Palais Art Hotel is to recreate that atmosphere like it was in Paris at the end of the 1800's - where the artists were not only gaining exposure but they become part of the environment where they were hosting and exhibiting their own art pieces. This doesn´t mean that it concerns only painting, but also sculpture, music, visual art, photography, design and fashion, because as the technology is running forward the new forms of art like design and fashion (fashion has mistakenly has not been considered as forms of art for a quite long period of time; first of all as an Italian, I would like to say that Moda is one of our trademarks in the word and second, I would like names some of the great innovator as: Coco Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace and Velentino Garavani..). Fashion, as it has been proved, has influenced many other environments and many other ways of living, of thinking and of design style.

Photography: Le Palais Art Hotel

What are the exhibitions to be attended?
I am working right now to make one very big opening and several important exhibitions for Le Palais and for the segment of art. The names we are working to bring on board are very “big names” and the only thing I can divulge right now is that we are going to present something that has never been presented before, it will be a world premiere. Visitors are welcome to come and enjoy a very exclusive experience and something absolutely unique. I can´t go deeper because I want to keep it as a surprise. Besides all this, I’m working to create regular appointments also with musicians as for us it is important to present talent with interesting backgrounds and of course we can’t ignore that the young talents as artists, musicians, painters, designers are our next generation, so the idea is to also create some live unplugged concerts. I’m talking right now with Czech radio in order to establish cooperation with them and broadcast all over Prague, Czech Republic and wherever the radio signal can be reached.

How do you select Artists?
I receive on daily basis dozens of requests, often from young artists, sometimes very interesting ones who would like to make their own exposition here at Le Palais, because besides a hotel we are an art hotel with our own Art Gallery. Artists are looking at us as a luxury venue which can offer them certain types of visibility due to our exclusive collection in terms of marketing, our cooperation with important media, portfolio of contacts and as such we are quite a unique opportunity for them.

Do you visit any Czech exhibitions?
Yes, I would like to be in touch and informed about everything that is important here in Prague and in the Czech Republic and I try to attend and visit the main exhibitions and festivals. Besides this, I like sometimes to be contradictory - if everybody is going to the right, I like to go in the opposite direction... Sometimes this is the key point which makes us unique. As Artistic Director and Art Curator, one of my duties is to select talents, create a concept and follow the full production in order to present them within that art concept. Artists can send me their requests, even though we receive many e-mail requests and presentations sometimes from artists which, although not yet known, have something interesting to say and we may consider them for an exhibition.

I plan to do next June a collective exhibition of artists from all the regions in the Czech Republic. It will be a “one month exhibition” and we will also keep a space for younger and talented artists.

Can non-hotel guests visit your Art gallery and view your collection?
We are open to the public regularly, 7 days a week so everybody can come here and ask at the reception to visit the gallery or the hotel. There will be myself or some of my colleagues to welcome them and show them part of our collection.

Photography: Le Palais Art Hotel

What do you personally recommend for your visitors to see?
One of the diamond points is our complete lithography collection of Le Corbusier; this is the only place in Europe where you can see it from the first to the last pieces. We have 2 dedicated suites to Miloš Reindl as well as the meeting - conference room with some art pieces from him. We have also names such as: Lea Vivot, Pavel Brunclik, Jiří Kaifoš, Gordana Turuk, Emilio Fornieles and many others so everyone will find something absolutely interesting in accordance with their taste.

Photography: Le Palais Art Hotel

What was your biggest success in the field of Art and design?
So far it was bringing on board the PRADA group, and produce an exclusive event for them; the presentation of the PRADASPHERE which required a lot of work behind the scenes. It definitely was one of those key moments that gives us the energy and motivation to grow even further. Prada is not only fashion but there is also the Prada foundation with many other different segments under it.

Which artists have you personally liked lately?
I will answer more literally: Things you fall in love with, are those that you haven't discovered yet.

What do you plan for the future?
I have a few exhibitions on my mind, one of Pavel Forman, who doesn´t need any introduction and another by Rudolf Burda, Dominik Mares and more.. The project with Rudolf is to create a special space for his artworks and integrate his Art as a part of our collection that people from many parts of the world would love to see, to enjoy a new experience and yet another way of experiencing the magical city of Prague.

Author: Jarmila Kacerlová