Carolyn Mara: a Wes Anderson-designed bar in Milan

Carolyn Mara is a multimedia artist whose work encompasses photography, video and performance, as well as her signature paintings for which she uses a mop as a paintbrush to create exuberant canvases imbued with a vivid sense of spontaneity and intuition. She was born in Houston and currently lives in Miami, but her parents are from Milan, a city which she returns to regularly. When she’s there she likes to visit Wes Anderson’s surprisingly under-the-radar bar at the Fondazione Prada.

Every time I visit Milano, I always make sure to stop in at the Fondazione Prada. It started out as Miuccia Prada’s personal art collection and grew into this amazing art museum. The space itself is beautiful, a mix of old buildings and new structures with high ceilings and lots of natural light. It was designed by Rem Koolhaas and has incredible views of the city. 

The museum’s permanent collection has stunning pieces by artists like Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, plus there are always amazing temporary shows on. But what I love most about the Fondazione Prada is its Wes Anderson-designed bar, Luce. The bar is honestly one of the best-hidden gems in the city and weirdly almost nobody seems to know about it. 

I’m a humongous Wes Anderson fan and have been my whole life. Maybe that’s why I’m so fond of Luce. But it has this awesome vibe that I think anyone would appreciate. It’s modelled after a typical Milanese café and there are so many beautiful period details that mix well with the space’s amazing colour palette of faded ’50s pastels. Plus, the bar is full of cool things that reference Wes Anderson’s movies, like a Steve Zissou-themed pinball machine. 

Luce is supposed to be a homely kind of place, one that gets used in a genuine way, and the bar’s menu reflects that vision. It’s a place where you can grab a sandwich and a coffee or a beer but it’s also a place where you can sit and play tunes from a vintage wood-veneered jukebox while you eat. I just love the vibe and highly recommend.

Bar Luce, Fondazione Prada L.go Isarco, Milano; fondazioneprada.org/barluce-en/

Explore Carolyn Mara’s work at carolynmara.com

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.