The Mediterranean islands have long been a haunt for writers, poets and painters. Settled over the centuries by the Phoenicians, Romans, North Africans and many others, the islands’ cultural riches—and azure waters, warm breezes and botanical wonders—capture the imaginations of creative souls.
Mallorca has a history as an artists’ colony. George Sand and Chopin spent a winter on the isle, chronicling the sojourn in a book. The island was the home of English poet Robert Graves, who retreated to Mallorca upon the advice of Gertrude Stein. The surrealist painter Joan Miró married a Mallorcan and settled in Palma where he lived and worked in a midcentury architectural masterpiece designed by his friend Joseph Lluís Sert.
Today the island’s hidden interior and sleepy southeastern shore remain home to a host of international artists, including Josefina Pino and her husband, the Austrian abstract painter Peter Marquant. The couple is part of a diverse community of visual artists, filmmakers and aesthetes who share a passion for Mallorca.
Josefina and Peter live near a tiny village, in a converted farmhouse set among rolling fields and dusty desert grasses.
“I met the couple in the stone building that doubles as their home and studio,” recalls Mercedes. “I remember the warm afternoon light spilling through the house’s skylights, illuminating the artists’ bright paintings.”
As the day lengthened, Josefina stopped work to prepare dinner. The artists and designer sat outside, in the shade of an old fig tree, sipping red wine, intoxicated by the scent of wild rosemary and Josefina’s cooking.
Josefina’s work is imbued with a Mediterranean sensibility, much like the paintings of Matisse and Picasso and the collages of Braque. She is fascinated by female beauty. The women in her works are free, intelligent, creative, confident and conquering in love.
“I love the alignment of Josefina’s work with mine—and how my minimalist designs come alive set against the backdrop of her magical paintings.”
The through-line in all her art is the ocean: its fluidity, flora, fish and sea creatures. Using boldly colored paints and three-dimensional elements, the artist’s paintings and collages immerse us in magical underwater worlds filled with exotic plants and mythic sirens.
“I am drawn to Josefina's art for its sense of color and almost irreverent, raw use of technique and materials,” says Mercedes. “I love the alignment of Josefina’s work with mine—and how my minimalist designs come alive set against the backdrop of her magical paintings.”
Spring 2019’s Isla Collection features sandals crafted of wave-like folded leather. Minimalist slingbacks and feminine mules transformed into tridimensional lilies. Thin strappy styles detailed with leather and bead cactus flowers. A mule crafted with a clear, water-like upper that sits on a jute sole, like a basket on the beach.
“This season our sculpted heels are covered with driftwood-look leather and marbleized ‘stone’ resembling Mallorca’s dolomite and limestone.”
“I have a passion for architectural heels,” says Mercedes. “This season our sculpted heels are covered with driftwood-look leather and marbleized ‘stone’ resembling Mallorca’s dolomite and limestone.”
The collection is a salute to the art of living—and to your unique style.