I was very happy to be invited by Artsy to conduct a small group of collector's visit to The Salon: Art + Design, which opens next Thursday 14th at The Park Avenue Armory. I also got to preview all of the spectacular pieces that will be shown at the fair and this is what I chose to highlight:
MY TOP FIVE
All the works I selected are contemporary. I love antiques, vintage and mid-century modern—which I use quite often—and I think pieces with history are necessary to bring soul to a room. However, I always feel that if the rooms I design could have existed in the 1980s, I have failed as a designer. But that really never happens because I’m known for mixing pieces of different periods and for curating contemporary art collections that bring rooms to the present.
Each selection is very different from the next but each is a statement and a conversation piece in its own right. The Campana Brothers, for example, created a whole new perspective on design when they put together all these dolls and designed chairs with them. Nobody was doing that before them. Now so many of their pieces are in museums around the world and they have influenced a whole generation of new designers.
Although Sottsass is more widely known as a modernist, he worked until the end of his life, and this work is from a 2007 series that was released as homage to Mondrian and it is a mix of modern and contemporary; I love the use of color and the architectural quality of the piece.
And of course, I chose one piece of contemporary art to put on an empty wall and I love Candida Höfer for being such an elegant photographer yet bringing all these historical rooms to the contemporary art world.
MY NUMBER ONE TIP FOR NEW DESIGN COLLECTOR
I would say pay attention to young contemporary designers—at least the price won’t feel outrageous—and see if the piece really fits your overall design and taste (as opposed to buying something that is hype). Also, there are older designers that are so ahead of their time that even pieces created many years ago look completely contemporary and even a bit controversial. I can think of Gaetano Pesce as one of the very few who has accomplished that level. If so, even one his resin vases would be a great place to start a new design collection.
DESIGNERS TO WATCH IN 2014