The Art, Travel and Fashion Obsessions of Catherine Levene

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 Catherine Levine is a woman that I deeply admire. She and I have a lot of things in common, get along really well and yet we are very different.  We are both Harvard Grads (Catherine got her MBA from the Business School in 1996) and she’s built a very successful career around technology, including holding top positions at the New York Times online and being the COO of Daily Candy before it was sold to Comcast.  In the past three years, Catherine has assembled an extraordinary team around the company that she founded along with partner Chris Vroom and where she also serves as CEO: Artspace.com.  Artspace came to fill a void in the online world and in the art world: offering the best of contemporary art partnering with the best artists, galleries, museums and other art-centric institutions and bring it to the world with the click of a mouse.  Breaking through in any industry and being a pioneer is not an easy task, but Cath does it gracefully and with enormous intelligence.  Of course, she is a passionate art collector, a very well-traveled woman a stylish entrepreneur and these are her obsessions:

ARTISTS I'M OBSESSED ABOUT: 

People often ask me about my favorites and I always say there are just too many to list. However, here are six artists whose work I am particularly fascinated with and have been for some time.

Tracey Emin: She’s provocative, strong and innovative, and what girl doesn’t want one of her neon works hanging over her bed?

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Mickelene Thomas: Her colorful and elaborate paintings and photographs of African American women are not only beautiful, but they are provocative, and powerful in depicting female strength and sexuality. Plus, having grown up in the seventies, I can really relate to the decorative settings and patterns she uses to bring us back to that time.

    Portrait of Lili in Color by  Mickalene Thomas (Available at Artspace)

 Portrait of Lili in Color by  Mickalene Thomas (Available at Artspace)

El Anatsoui: I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams that twist ties and bottle caps could be weaved together in such a way as to create such sublime beauty. If I could wear his tapestries over my own body, I would.

 El Anatasoui installation at the Milwaukee Art Museum

El Anatasoui installation at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Laura Owens: Her piece at Gavin Brown at Art Basel this year was my favorite piece in the entire show. 

 Laura Owens, untitled, shown at Art Basel 2013

Laura Owens, untitled, shown at Art Basel 2013

Mark Bradford: His abstract paintings and installations are not only beautiful but explore race, diversity, gender, and class in American society today.

 Mark Bradford's "Disappear Like a Dope fiend 

Mark Bradford's "Disappear Like a Dope fiend 

Adam McEwan: He makes everyday objects into works of art, allowing us to really think about the symbols and items that are common in our daily lives. I was recently in the home of a collector friend of mine who had a McEwan piece – three jerrycans in Red, Yellow and Blue  - and they were so vibrant yet thought provoking at the same time.

Adam McEwan, Chocolate Bar, 2012 (Available at Artspace)

TRAVEL OBSESSIONS 

Majorca, Spain: I want to retire there some day. It’s a beautiful island that combines the serenity of the Mediterranean with access to the mountains, the sea and that wonderful Spanish culture that appreciates family, friends, great food and wine and a true passion and zest for the good life.

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FASHION OBSESSIONS

I'm obsessed with Reed Krakoff's soft atlantique large leather tote