As we head into the holiday season and in the spirit of giving, we wanted to share some of the art for charity events that have caught our eye in and around the interior design industry in New York City this month. Design-related charity events are super important to us for many reasons. We get to showcase our work, usually in a fantastical environment that is similar to something we might create for a client, but on steroids and completely over-the-top! At the same time, it enables us to give back to causes that are important to us. We are avid participants in design industry-related events that include DIFFA’s Dining by Design, Housing Works Design on a Dime, Holiday House (charity to raise breast cancer awareness,) Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut and Kip’s Bay Boys & Girls Club. In the spirt of giving, we are showcasing other talented designers who are creating art for charity every Tuesday thru the end of the holiday season. A big thank you goes to Alison Draper of Halstead Realty for turning us on to so many cool events happening around NYC! Alison’s monthly e-blast, Inbox Concierge, has been a great resource for cool things to do in New York City, click here to subscribe!
November 3, 2016 – November 16, 2016
An extraordinary annual design competition to benefit the most unique food charity, Canstruction, challenges teams of architects, engineers, and contractors to build sculptures made entirely out of unopened cans of food. The idea of Canstruction was inspired by a group of New York Architects and Engineers in 1992 as a way to unite the design, engineering and construction industry. Recognized for their commitment to art, innovation and hunger relief, the art exhibitions and events have grown globally and have helped raise over 40 million pounds of food that is distributed on a local level.
In NYC, this event is sponsored by Arts Brookfield. The large scale structures are placed on display and later donated to City Harvest for distribution to those in need. These amazing sculptures will be on display at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City (230 Vesey Street) from 10a-8p. Images below are some of the winners from past years.
Snailed It! MTFA Architects Arlington, VA
There is a bridge between science and art and it is Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel sketched and painted watercolors of various organisms such as sea anemones, jellyfish, and cnidaria. If you are like me and know your favorite periods of furniture better than your marine life, here is the definition of cnidaria! And here are some of his amazing works.
He selected the subjects for his work based on organization, from the scale patterns of boxfishes to the spirals of ammonites to the perfect symmetries of jellies and microorganisms. I particularly like this one – the tentacles reminded him of his late wife’s long flowing hair!
And a few more. Enjoy.
Madame Figaro (Japan) ran a really fun photo series called “Creators in their Homes” and they asked me to be involved. I love the shots they took of our home – they are real and reflect how we live. They did not send any stylists, just one photographer with a camera and two lights. At first this whole concept made me really nervous, I felt like my apartment should look more like it would if it were going to be in a shelter magazine. But, after speaking with the editor and writer, I understood that that was not the point. The intention of the series was to show how people who create live- and what their spaces they create really look like, in every day life.
I love the pictures because: the mirror over my mantel was bought for $40 at a flea market and I had it silver leafed – then hung it over Miranda Priestly’s desk in Devil Wears Prada, my husband’s mess of analog stereo equipment sits next to my sons Fischer Price record player, one of my favorite pieces of art by Boston artist Isabel Riley pops off the white wall with its candy colors, my son’s toys are (barely) tucked away, like usual, and there is also a small picture of his nursery – a brief moment in time (decorating wise) that will never be the same again.
The Selby runs a very similarly themed photo essay on their fantastic and wildly popular website. Here are a few pictures I loved from a feature they ran on Angelika Taschen.
from The Selby
Read and see more at theselby.com
Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) is often described as the “Deco-influenced early Modernist who’s never really gotten her due.” This upper-class, American born artist considered painting an entirely private pursuit and only had one show in her lifetime at Knoedler & Company in Manhattan in 1916; not one of the six exhibited paintings sold. Her will specified that her paintings be destroyed upon her death and fortunately her sister, the executor ignored this wish.
“Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica”
I discovered Stettheimer by accident on a random visit to the Whitney in 1995. I was taken by her paintings as well as the way in which many were framed. At The Strand Bookstore, I searched for a book on Stettheimer’s work, getting blank stares at many bookstores before finding “Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica”. The title of the book sums up Stettheimer’s frequent theme: Manhattan society in the Jazz Age.
Stettheimer’s portrait of Marcel Duchamp, a friend and oft painted subject. Note the frame composed of Duchamp’s initials!
Beauty Contest to the memory of PT Barnum, 1924
Heat is in the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Museum
Love Flight of a Pink Candy Heart
Portrait of our Nurse
Stettheimer’s Portrait of Myself
I discovered Hugo Guinness while shopping at John Derian years ago and if you saw my post from Monday, he is also the husband of Elliott Puckette. I have a complete and total obsession with silhouettes and Guinness’ work falls in line with this passion of mine. His bio on Derian’s website tells a sweet little back-story on him, in his words!
|A Biographical Sketch
By Hugo Guinness
Hugo’s earliest memories are of walking hand in hand with his twin sister Julia and his nanny Miss Lyons. They walked in the magical parks of Kensington, London, most days, looking at the trees, the dogs, the old ladies feeding the pigeons.
Sent to boarding school at the tender age of seven, Hugo spent much of his spare time in the art department making figures from empty toilet rolls and cornflake packets. Later he made a large three-legged horse from plaster of Paris which stood in the garage of his home until it was run over by his mother.
Although he won a painting prize at school, his artistic nature was not encouraged. Eventually he prevailed upon his parents and went to art school in London to study studio pottery. The success of this business brought Hugo to New York in 1995.
In 2002, Hugo showed his early linocuts of underpants and battleships to John Derian. They became friends and John encouraged Hugo to do larger work.
He has had four shows at the legendary store since then and when he is not working for John, Hugo works as an occasional illustrator for the New Yorker.
Hugo lives in Brooklyn with his wife Elliot Puckette, the painter, and they have two daughters, Isabella and Violet, and a canary.
Rashida Jones Studio
This week I am going to devote each blog post to a favorite artist. Lydia and I often act as collection curators for many of our clients and May seems to be shaping up as a big art buying month for many! Choosing art for our clients is one of the most exciting parts of my job and Elliott Puckette, among many others, provides a big source of inspiration for me.
Elliott Puckette creates her abstract paintings using gesso and washes of colored inks. She then scores elaborate flowing lines using a razor blade. These purposeful swathes cut through the calming color washes giving the otherwise serene work a sense of lyrical purpose and movement. I could look at her work for hours
This Brooklyn-based artist is half of an art world power couple, her husband is the British artist and brewery heir Hugo Guinness…more on his work later this week.
Puckette, shot by Veranda Magazine on her Brooklyn brownstone stoop
The New York Times Magazine touts photographer Martin Klimas as a 3-D take on Jackson Pollock. These shots are created by placing splatters of paint on a scrim balanced on top of the diaphragm of a speaker. As Klimas blasts the music, the vibration of the speaker sends the paint aloft in sexy, sinewy patterns as he shoots them with a shutter speed of 1/7,oooth of a second. This abstract expressionism is created with dynamic and percussive music by the likes of Miles Davis or Kraftwerk. Can you tell which artist vibrations created which image?
I found a small treasure yesterday at one of my favorite antique stores in New York City, John Koch Antiques. While shopping Koch’s eclectic assortment of art and furniture, I came across two tinsel prints and was immediately taken with them. Tinsel prints are a 19th Century art – you could describe them as early folk art. They are collages of fabric scraps and glittering tinsel (foil) glued onto printed portraits of actors and actresses. The subject matter is usually 19th-century theater stars in their most important roles. Uncolored prints were sold for one penny and hand colored prints for two pennies. They were referred to as “penny plain” and “tuppence colored” prints. Then these inexpensive prints were decorated with their ornamentation by their owners to create these little gems. The prints were hung on the walls of theater enthusiasts’ homes from about 1800 to 1870. It was a hobby that actually became a big fad. Here are some great examples of them. The first four are from large the collection at the Museum of London.
The next image is a detail of a tinsel print from Ten Chimneys. The Ten Chimneys Foundation was formerly an estate where theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne would go to relax and would bring with them “anyone who was anyone” in the arts. They handpicked all the art in their collection (and now that I have learned about Ten Chimneys, I am thinking it might be an interesting blog post for later…).
The University of Bristol has created an amazing facebook page for tinsel prints too. Here are a few from their page. Check it out here to see more from them.
If you love these as much as I do, or are a collector already, call John Koch Antiques – they have about 12 more available!
Last year, we helped a client curate a starter art collection for their new home. During the process we were able to bring in some favorite artists and discover some exciting new ones. With the help of Valerie McKenzie at McKenzie Fine Art and a few bookmarked editorial spreads by one of my favorite designers, Jamie Drake, I was led to James Lecce.
The technique he uses to create this fluidity gives his work a great feeling of movement and liquidness. The swirling shapes and macro view make you think that each painting is a snapshot of an infinitely larger and ever moving entity. There is no beginning and no end.
James Lecce paintings gave me a much needed mental boost for this Monday morning!
and another Jamie Drake interior
Jamie Drake's study for Californication features a Lecce, I think Drake may be his biggest fan!
An installation of last year's James Lecce show at McKenzie Fine Art
There is nothing I love more than a bookcase dripping with a rich collection of art books, fiction, memoirs, you name it. As a designer, if I curate a bookcase for a client, my number one priority is that the books be interesting and reflect the client’s personality….ok, and maybe I choose some for color but content does come first! And the fun part is to sprinkle in art and sculpture to give the room interest and texture. You don’t have to spend a fortune on these creative little accents. Start with West Elm and work your way up to Ben Seibel and Curtis Jere.
Urchin Objet by Global Views
Vintage glass rock at Mecox $785
Stacking cube sculpture by Arteriors
Pink agate bookends for $100/pair
Brass Salvador Orb by Jonathan Adler $225
Abstract giraffe at West Elm $24
Global Views Tube Sculpture
Owl by Arteriors
Veneer Spheres from West Elm $16-$29
Curtis Jere enamel flower branch
Bronze bookends by Ben Seibel $600, totally worth it! Buy on eBay!