Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Living with Art

I have art on the brain this week. Fall in New York is filled to the brim with gallery openings, new exhibitions and huge auctions and since I can't get away from it, I thought I would embrace it with a few more art related posts.

I was checking out The New York Times Magazine online and came across a great article about New York gallery owner Marianne Boesky entitled Living Over the Store. Turns out Ms. Boesky lives above her new gallery on West 22nd Street in a building she commissioned from architect Deborah Berke. While the gallery space is what you would expect, white and modern, the upstairs living quarters are rather ornate and homey. The gallery space is about looking at art, while the apartment is about living with art.

Above the giant honey onyx fireplace, a painting by Yoshitomo Nara hangs on a wall of what looks like striped wallpaper but is really an installation by the artist Daniel Buren.

Adam Helms’s ‘‘4 Untitled Portraits’’ hang above the doorway in the living room while a pink Yves Klein coffee table anchors the seating area.

In her husband's library off the living room, sculptures by Nara and Robert Gober adorn the dark wood bookcases, while Gober’s cast, silk-screened “Rat Bait” stands guard just outside the door. It also reminds me of a great article in the new November Art Issue of W magazine about how sometimes the maids of art collectors mistake art for trash and accidentally throw away priceless objects.

There are traditional chairs in the dining room, but they are two different types that alternate along the custom-made table, which sits under a large butterfly painting by Damien Hirst.

In the powder room, what looks like art, drawings of bare trees, is actually wallpaper from the venerable British firm Cole & Son. I love the way the mirror picks up the tree theme with it's branch frame. While below, a Nara dog guards the roof terrace which also has a garden designed by Paula Hayes.

I have to say that I am impressed and delighted that Marianne Boesky decided to create an apartment that feels like a home and not a gallery. It also just goes to show that living with art can be fun and exciting in a traditional setting not just a big white gallery space.

Photo by Jason Schmidt


Mrs. Blandings said...

I saw this article - I love the powder room.

ximu said...

how lovely! i especially love the room w/ Yoshitomo Nara's painting (one of my favs)...the mix of styles is just right. :)

Habitually Chic said...

Mrs. Blandings, I feel bad admitting that I only read the Times online so I'm often behind the times, so to speak. The powder room is my favorite too.

Habitually Chic said...

Ximu - I'm a big proponent of mixing styles. It always makes a home so much more personal feeling. Glad you like it too!

The Peak of Chic said...

Love the powder room too!

CLfan said...

Hi HC, love the blog, but I couldn't disagree with you more on this one.

Once again, as with the Paltrow house, we’re looking at a cold, impersonal space. There's nothing homey here. The living room looks like it could be a waiting room for an infectious diseases doctor. The fireplace clearly has never been used (or is a fake). The armchairs are miles away from each other. There is no place nearby to set down a teacup, wine glass or a book. There are no lamps near the chairs to provide a warm glow for reading. There is not one single personal object in that shot. (The white dumbbells are no doubt “art.”) There is nothing that conveys comfort or warmth. The wall covering is icy-cold while the fuchsia table is jarring. (It detracts from the painting.) This is not a living room, this is a set.

Turning to the other view of the living room. The “art” on the walls behind the couch. Is this really what you want to look at when you’re home? Silhouettes of ski masks? Let’s think about what those silhouettes imply. Death, maiming, beheading, bank robberies, fear. That’s what you want your guests to look at while they’re chatting with you in the living room?

Checking out the library. The view we see here looks like the set of a 70s porn flick or a slasher film. Creepy, dark shadows and rat poison by the door. Oh yes, I get that it’s ironic. But homey? I think not.

Dining room? Truly creepy with all the black. I doubt anyone has eaten here.

Finally the bathroom. Where's the soap? I don’t know about you, but at the end of a visit in a room of this type (I'm assuming there's a TOILET here), I find it’s nice to lather up my hands, rinse and repeat if necessary.

Habitually Chic said...

CL Fan, First of all, I post homes that I find interesting and appealing for whatever reason. Sometimes, the design is not how I would choose to decorate my own home but I can appreciate someone else's vision. Interior design just like art is subjective. Interior design is also very personal. I would never pick apart someone else's home no matter how much I hated it because they have to live there and I don't. Obviously, it makes them happy so I'm happy for them. To each is own. I make it a point to be positive and encouraging on my blog and I think it's fine to not like something I post because it's not your personal style but I think it's rude to pick it apart. Also, you need to keep in mind that homes are styled much differently for photo shoots than they are for real life. I know for certain that I would hide every piece of clutter and mess if I was having my home photographed as I'm sure most people would as well. I'm also sure there is someone out there who wouldn't like your home if they saw and it and you would be very hurt if they told you and everyone else in blogland. I would like everyone to think about people's feelings when leaving a negative comment. Thanks.

Suzy said...

Well said HC. While the home is not to my taste, you're right, I don't have to live there. But, I must say it certainly is a different combination of contemporary art and traditional looking furniture.

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