Ah, once again, another year draws to a close and seems to have passed quicker than a blink!
The year 2014 has been a great year dezign-wise and travel-wise. I have completed several design projects, of which I am quite proud and have traveled near and far, including a month’s stay in India…something you will hear more about in my future posts.
It’s time to reflect on the past year and tell you what I found to be the most interesting and inspiring design posts I wrote. You might notice that I have reduced this annual post from 6 selections to 5 in an attempt to be more discerning and discriminatory. It is always hard to select my favorites, being such a glutton for all that is and could be in the world of design!
With that being said, here is my personal A-List from 2014:
As a big supporter of The Museum of Arts & Design in the city I don’t think I could end this year without touting the fabulous first biennal held at MAD this year. It was a mixture of beauty, creativity, wild & wonderful , technical and iconic. It was so representative of the the museum’s broad spectrum attitude of what constitutes art in today’s world that there was something for everyone. The creativity barometer was bursting with the variety of artisans selected for this significant. event. They had all been vetted from hundreds of applicants by a select panel of experts in the arts and design world. New York is teaming with talented people, and to be included in this particular exhibition was a coup for many of the crème d’ la crème associated with the arts in the city.
Nothing is better than to meet the designer himself/herself. Such it was with my encounter, quite accidentally, with Jim Zivic at a visit with a favorite client to Ralph Pucci Showroom here in the city. I was amazed by Zivic’s unusual black coal tables that shine like diamonds as a result of the intense polishing they have been given. AND then there is his swinging bed/hammock/sofa that you just wish you had put in your house someplace, if only you had known about it! Zivic designs on an esoteric level. He brings unique materials to his design table…like the anthracite coal…and makes you stop and stare and admire. His talent, it should be noted, is exceptional, which is the reason he is at Pucci , where you will only find the cutting edge and the famous in furniture design. Oh, and BTW, he is a really nice guy and loves sharing his work and design process with you!
Looking for a great photograph of an unique subject matter? Look no further, as Phyllis Galembo fills both those criteria. As I wrote in my post, “Galembo specializes in photographing what is known as “ritual masquerade.” She has traveled throughout Africa, South America and the Caribbean in order to discover local ritual masquerade ceremonies and capture the participants on film.” The human interest story behind this photography is fascinating. These ornate costumes represent some significant cultural or religious event in the communities of the participants. The costumes are awesome, if I may wax into today’s vernacular for a moment. I have always found ethnic art to be a great addition to a home, and these photographs perhaps represent to me a wonderful example of how intriguing and successful that concept could be. Head straight to the gallery here in NYC that represents her, the Steven Kasher Gallery , and purchase something by this talented photographer.
One can’t close out the year in design without discussing architecture. I am always mesmerized by the way architecture can quietly send a message about society, whether the structure be big or small. In this case, the structure wasn’t only small but it was amazingly skinny! This story involves a very talented architect from Poland and a talented writer in Israel. The architect, Jakub Szczesny, is a member of a collective called Centrala, which is known for it’s experimental architecture. The writer is Etgar Keret, from Israel, who’s family lived and died in the Warsaw Ghetto during WW II. The building, while being totally functional, really was symbolic of a greater message about humanity. If you missed this post, do read it today, as the message, as well as the method, are both beautiful and extraordinary.
If you have been following me from the beginning…almost 4 years ago…you would know that I am a Tony Duquette addict. I have had the good fortune to visit his home in Los Angeles and to be given a private tour by his former design partner, Hutton Wilkinson. Duquette is noted as an outstanding designer of his time and for how he approached his design projects with a wonderful whimsy, abandonment and luxuriousness. His lighting was always considered to be signature touches in his design projects and now you can purchase the very same designs right here in little ole NYC. Well, I couldn’t be a happier deszign-camper! I suggest you check out the Remains Lighting web site to see his stunning designs, all of which work beautifully in contemporary homes of today. I just love when great design doesn’t stop but continues to live on from generation to generation. That is definitely proof in that infamous design-pudding!
Well, as that famous rabbit used to say, “That’s all there is, Folks!” Here’s to a 2015 chock-a-filled with excellent design and, of course, happiness and fulfillment of your desires.
Ciao, ciao ’til 2015!