When she was 13, Agnes Monplaisir visited an art exhibit where she saw the works of Claude Monet and “fell in love.”
By the time she turned 18 she opened her first gallery, small by any standards at 80 square feet, in the Bastille district of Paris. Her next was larger at 350 square feet, and her current space, the eighth rendition operated under her own name, at 1,600 square feet, might alone tell the story of her determination and success.
Along the way, she has developed a client list of a who’s who, including Francois Pinault, and a reputation as a champion of emerging artists Africa, Oceania and Latin America.
Her appreciation of diverse artists hails from her birth country of St. Lucia where she says, “We are all mixed (race).” Speaking Russian, Spanish, English, French and Creole, Monplaisir is comfortable on any continent, which is a good thing as she embarks on her newest project, a boutique hotel in Aquiraz, about 20 miles south of Fortaleza on Brazil’s northern coast. She says her inspiration for the 30 room resort that will include two suites and is perfect for full takeovers is the “authenticity of artists” she works with.
She describes the property, named Lara, as in the jungle, but modern surrounded by papaya, mango and lemon trees, home to tucanos. Her goal is for an experience “like St. Tropez.” “Leisurely, luxurious and in touch with the local vibe,” she says, with plans already for a second hotel in the town.
If her drive and success in the hospitality business matches her accomplishments as a gallerina, you may be seeing the Monplaisir name as innkeeper in many more places fairly soon.