Friday, June 17, 2011

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The Masterful Mix (of High and Low)


Fantastic photography at unbelievable prices at http://www.purephoto.com/  This one is from Tom Fowler and it's called "Ray's 66, Beaver Utah".  The color composition make this one a winner, however, it's my mind the one that's engaged the most...  Can you "read" the message?

Many people come to me and ask, how do I put together my collection without necessarily having to break the bank and how do I integrate it with my design in unexpected ways? Well, the truth is that there isn’t a set answer for that and that is when the creativity and resources of an interior designer, with direct access to the art world, comes in handy. However, there are a few alternatives and ideas that can jumpstart the process of curating a contemporary art collection without having to get a second mortgage. Here are some of my tips:


The first thing that I tell my clients, the ones who are getting their feet wet in the art world for the first time, is buy something good even if for the time being you just can afford one piece. And by something good, I mean a relatively large-sized edition of either print or photography (for some of the best photography online both from established and emerging artists try http://www.purephoto.com/), or if the budget allows, an original oil or acrylic on canvas or mixed media on wood (if you are in NYC, take a walk in the Bowery and Lower East Side; you won’t regret it and it will open up a whole new world of galleries). The best alternative, for a few thousand dollars, is to get something from an extraordinary emerging artist who has gallery representation (the term “emerging artist”, by the way, doesn’t mean that the artist has to be young but actually somebody who is in the early stages of his or her career and he or she is literally between the realms of being unknown and gaining exposure) but it is also possible to get an edition that can knock anybody’s socks off by some of the best artists in the world in the recently founded, but already much respected, website Artspace http://www.artspace.com/


Thomas Birke is another artist that I met through PurePhoto. I could add any of his photographs to my designs, particularly because I love Paris so much... and who doesn't?


The second thing that I tell my clients is to try to use dead space in their places (for example a not-so-useful corner next to a door or even the smallest of entryways) to get a little bit more adventurous and experiment with sculpture, art books, toys, mobiles, vintage furniture, wallpaper, etc. Also, try browsing through any of the stores of major modern and contemporary museums. In NYC, we are lucky to have not only some of the best museums in the world but also some of the best museum stores: the MoMA, the Guggenheim, the New Museum and the Whitney all have great stores that carry a variety of limited edition objects that very well complement collections that have just started and collections that have gotten to the next level.


Artspace released this Tom Otternes sculpture in an edition of 50. The price was a fraction of what an Otterness costs. When I saw it, I said to myself: "Dear Lord, please control my impulses to keep buying art that is SO good at these prices that are UNREAL" It sold out in minutes... 


The truth is, even if the first, second or third art purchases aren’t necessarily the most important acquisitions of a collection, or don’t become the piece-de-resistance of a home, if they are made with enough research and follow the advice of people with real information and knowledge of the art world, the pieces acquired early on can perfectly coexist when the importance of the works acquired when the collection starts to grow (which usually also increases the price point of the acquired pieces).


This was another Artspace release: an Assume Vivid Astro Focus
limited edition print created exclusively for Artspace. 

I believe that the whole idea of bringing contemporary art to one’s homes has all to do with wanting to have something that connects us with our time and place and current events-- of getting another perspective, of being aesthetically pleased (hopefully, and if the purchase was right, for many, many years), to have a dialogue with an artist or to have a conversation with the people who are close to us and can appreciate art, and to add culture, depth and another level to one’s life. And that, of course, has no price.