May 7, 2010

Wood Artistry at High Point

Filed under: Art and Culture, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — michaeldelicio @ 2:13 PM

I went to High Point for the market show this year. I saw a lot of very nice furniture, and some very mundane furniture.

Here’s something I saw that stood out, for it’s artistry, craftsmanship, and beauty

Austin Productions Studio A is introducing the S Chair as part of the Piagetto Collection.

The designer Alexander Estrada, first and foremost an architect, shows his true love for furniture design in the exquisite, undulating lines of this piece. Like all innovators, Estrada combines age old wood craftsmanship, with the newest available technology to create his designs. Each cut on this chair is made by two CNC Laser routers.

The finishes are gorgeous. A joy to behold!!…and a very comfortable reading chair too!

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On the whole, the S Chair is really a piece of functional sculpture.

One of the fun things about going to High Point, is getting to see  the absolutely newest furniture pieces, some of which are not on the market yet.

As of now, this one isn’t even on the Austin web site, but I recommend visiting the site to see the work of the other established artists featured there.

HAVE FUN!

Leona

March 2, 2010

Your House, My Haus, BAUHAUS

The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently closed it’s astonishing show Bauhaus: Workshops for Modernity. That’s the bad news.  The good news, is that among the 400 pieces featured were a number of styles that are still being manufactured, and still going strong in the home furnishings market. So you can add a little Bauhaus to Your-House, and I recommend that you do! Anything from this school of design will look just as fresh in another twenty, thirty or fifty years, as it does today.

The Bauhaus German school for modern art and design existed for a mere 14 years (1919-1933).  Yet in that brief time it’s students and instructors  revolutionized the world of design, bringing it out of the Victorian period and irrevocably into the modern era.

It’s a testament to the foresight and aesthetic of the designers of the Bauhaus movement that ninety years later, our 21st century eye still reads the pieces as very modern, and not at all dated or old fashioned. In fact, almost everything in design that we think of as modern today, springs directly from this incredibly creative, prolific, influential period.
nesting tables josef albers 1926-27

The Nesting Tables above, by Josef Albers 1926-27 are available through the MoMA shop.

The lighting pieces below are all original Bauhaus designs.  The ceiling fixtures to the right and center are Marianne Brandt designs. The one in the center is available through Technolumen.com. The weighted pendant lamp is available through Bonluxat.com.   The table lamp, designed by Wagenfeld and Junker, is available from the MoMA Store.

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Don’t be afraid to mix modern classics from the Bauhaus period with classics from earlier periods.  This cabriole leg table from Kravet works beautifully with the Eames Molded Plastic Chair, because they both share many of the same elegant timeless qualities: clean lines, beautiful curves.  I would do six of the Eames Chairs  around this table. The table is available through Gaita Interiors.  The Eames Chair is available through the MoMA shop.

kravet cabriole leg tableEames molded plastic rocker

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This white chaise by Eames with it’s floating organic form is very incredibly current looking, and as good as adding a piece of sculpture to your home. It’s hard to believe that it was conceived over sixty years ago! It’s available through the MoMa Store
Eames La Chaise 1948
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Below is a period photo of Marcel Breuer with his ubiquitous design, the Wassily Chair.

The chair is manufactured by Hermann Miller, and is available through Gaita Interiors.
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February 12, 2010

2 Day’s Till Valentine’s: You Better Be Ready!

Gift Idea of the Day:

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Flowers will always make a fabulous, romantic Valentine’s Day gift. Especially the kind that last forever, like the ones in this outstanding, gigantic book of gorgeous  botanical photography by award winning photographer Jonathan M. Singer.

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Botanica Magnifica is available through the New York Botanical Garden.

February 11, 2010

3 Days Till Valentine’s: Gift Idea of the Day

I really hope you’re getting ready for Valentine’s Day.  You’re running out of time!

For the romantically committed, the Met Store has this reproduction of a 17th Century Marriage Box.  Laden with meaning, the engraved figures depict Trust, Hope, Prudence, Love and Tenderness. We girls love that stuff!!

marriage box

February 9, 2010

5 Days Till Valentine’s.. Get Ready!

Filed under: Art and Culture, Gifts, Holidays — Tags: , , , — michaeldelicio @ 9:59 AM

Gift Idea of the Day:

One of the most  romantic paintings of all time, Gustave Klimt’s The Kiss (1907-1908) explores passion, love,  and sensuality…Not a bad way to spend a Valentine’s Day evening!


klimt the kiss framed plaque met store

Metropolitan Museum of Art Store has this nicely done, gilt framed reproduction.  Sorry, the original’s not for sale!

February 2, 2010

12 Days Till Valentine’s!

Filed under: Art and Culture, Gifts, Holidays, Uncategorized — Tags: , — michaeldelicio @ 4:07 PM

Gift Idea of the Day:

I find art to be a very romantic gift. These charming upbeat prints by Romero  Britto, (allposters.com) are sweet, but not sticky!  I would LOVE to receive all four of these, framed,to hang in a grouping.

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November 19, 2009

Italy: I Came, I Saw, I Snapped Photos

Filed under: Art and Culture, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — michaeldelicio @ 3:30 PM

 On my recent trip to Italy I took over 300 pictures. Out of those, most of them could be substituted for my neighbor’s pictures, from THEIR trip to Italy, or my own from the trip I took six years ago! I saw all of the usual breathtaking sights that have been drawing people to Italy from all over the planet, for hundreds of years.
I had a “Room With a View” overlooking the Arno in Florence. I saw the Pantheon in Rome, I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, I toured The Doge’s Palace in Venice. I saw hundreds of unforgettable works of art, and all of it thrilled me. Some of it brought tears to my eyes!

WELL, I’M NOT GOING TO SHOW YOU ANY OF THOSE PICTURES!!

Here’s why. My pictures, while a precious memento for ME, are not the best photos of these gorgeous works and places.  Also, they’re full of goofey pictures of myself and my family IN FRONT OF and often BLOCKING these magnificent sights.

Instead, here are some quirkey shots of things that caught my strange eye.  As a shop keeper, I seem to be facinated with little shops.  Of  course they all have that something special that makes them so Italian!

 Isn’t this antique shop elegant? And so very Italian!

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A working boat making it’s way down The Grand Canal in Venice.  The island city struggles to remain a living city, and not just a Disney Land for grown ups.  The cost of living there is extremely high, pushing residents out, who come from generations of Venetians.   Ahh, but it sure is gorgeous!!

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A tiny display window, for a little fabric store.  I’m guessing the fabric is from Zoffany. These tiny jewel box display windows are very common in Florence.

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Even a meat store has class!  Don’t you love the marble floors and walls?  And especially the detailed marble corbells.

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A traditional Gondola glides past a working boat, on a minor canal.  The boat is bearing cobblestones for the constant repair work and upkeep that takes place in Venice.

 

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Isn’t the food pretty? It tastes EVEN BETTER! This is at the big food market in Florence. We bought , we cooked, we ate!!   Lucky us!

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Another charming antique shop.  No Shabby Chic here!

I think everyone should have curtains on the OUTSIDE, as well as the inside.  That would be good for the economy…MY economy!  I guess this makes sense in the Roman climate.  Beautiful!

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Italy Venice_Rome Friday 216
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In Rome ,the Museum of the Ara Pacis is very controversial.  The Ara Pacis is an ancient altar, built by Augustus (for self glorification, like most of the great art that survives from the ancient world)  It spent the last 2000 years exposed to the elements.  About 10 years ago, it was decided that it should be housed.  The design was selected, building began.  The design is contemporary.  Some have called it a travertine shoe box.  In my usual way, I love dramatic contrast, and so I give it a “thumbs up” (Hey, the Romans started that thumbs up and down stuff, didn’t they?)  The modern building allows for lots of light, and never competes with its treasure’s classic beauty.  The current mayor of Rome has threatened to tear it down, and put it back up in the suburbs.  I guess he’s trying to punish suburbanites!!

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Above is a detail from the altar of the Ara Pacis.  The main point of the propganda promoted by the altar, was to draw a family relationship between Augustus and the gods themselves. Augustus was the first Roman emperor, and the first to claim divinity.

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Girlfriends, if you’re gong to Italy, don’t even THINK about leaving the hotel room without tall shiny boots, and a long mane of well groomed hair!  OK, I gave in and wore comfy flats during the day.  But then for dinner, I put on my cool black boots and tried to “make like an Italian”  I had to manage without the long mane.

I took this picture, because I liked the modern design.  This contemporary cafeteria is about a block from the Piazza Navona, the original site of chariot races, re-built in the Baroque period, filled with magnificent Baroque fountains by Bernini,  topped with an ancient Egytian obelisk (those ancient Romans had such sticky fingers!) This is what makes Rome a great city!

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This contemporary home furnishings shop is also in the neighborhood.

This grocery store is about as close to a Stop and Shop as you’regoing to get.  But everything, even pre packaged stuff, is SO FRESH and TASTY!

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Italy Venice_Rome Friday 210
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Surrounded by traditional red tile roofs, we found the modern roof lounge at our hotel, The Visconte Palace in Rome, to be the ideal spot to take a little siesta before dinner. Nicely designed, very comfortable.  Great napping sofas!

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A  SUPER FUNKY interiors shop.

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 Shopping for a princess?  Here’s the spot. 

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Old headboards with tile detail on a cobblestone street, in Florence.

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OK, just one goofey photo for good luck! There goes my coin into the Trevi Fountain. Hey,that means I’ll be going back…Soon, I hope!

ARRIVEDERCI, ITALIA!

November 10, 2009

Italy Now: The Classic and the Contemporary Juxtaposed

Filed under: Art and Culture, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — michaeldelicio @ 3:59 PM

Italians love and cherish the countless art and architecture treasures of their classical and ancient heritage. Every where one looks, the eyes are dazzled by the beauty of the Ancient, the Renaissance and the Baroque. The good news is, the traditional reverence for art and architecture on the cutting edge, did not end with the Baroque. In fact the line remains unbroken right up to the present with a demonstrated love of all things MODERN, and a playful, provoking tendency to put the modern and the classical right up against one another for contrast and comparison.

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JIMENEZ DEREDIA in ROME

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I was KNOCKED OUT when I showed up for my tour of the ROMAN FORUM and COLOSSEUM, to see these stunning modern sculptures by the brilliant Costa Rican sculptor Jimenez Deredia, installed throughout the grounds. Deredia brings a haunting Central American Pre-Columbian mysticism to this place already inhabited with so many shadows of the past. Aesthetically the contrast is stunning. Deredia’s ovular females, giving birth to themselves and the world stare far off into the horizon, seemingly quite undisturbed by the mere rising and falling of empires.

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In Florence, the Galleria dell’ Accademia houses what is perhaps the most famous and admired (and parodied) sculptures in all the world, Michaelangelo’s David. This year, they have done something unprecedented on several counts. For one, the introduction of a major body of work that is contemporary in this traditional and storied venue. And shockingly, delightfully, thrillingly!!…they have paired that said work, the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe with The David, this most beloved and revered acheivement in Renaissance art.

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I hardly need to name the comparisons evoked by looking at these two artists together. The eternal beauty of the human form comes immediately before you. The David itself is so stunning, and so beautifully presented, that it really takes your breath away. The Mapplethorpe photographs are viewed in a small dark narrow hallway, which then stunningly opens up into the wide brightly lit rotunda that holds the David. There are several Mapplethorpes on view in that area, directly surrounding the David. The message is clear.

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CARAVAGGIO and BACON  at the gorgeous Villa Borghese Museum in Rome, is a revelation. The pairing of these two geniuses is brilliant. The effect is highly provocative on a visceral level. The beauty of shadows. The sacred and the profane. Space and reality. Darkness, life and death.  For me, this exhibit threw real light onto the work of two artists that I already greatly admired, but now will never think of in quite the same way.

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I came to Italy to see the Classics. I did throw my coin into the Trevi Fountain, so that means I’ll return! When I do, I look forward witnessing the continuing innovations in art and design, alongside the timeless classics that continue to inspire the world!

September 10, 2009

Furniture Carved By Nature

The organic movement is developing some very deep roots, some of which are being polished up, and turned into furniture!!

Godzilla_Table_Chista

Godzilla Table from Chista

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1cabinfurniture.com dble tier root ped table

Double Tier Root Table from 1cabinfurniture.com

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Burl Bowls, from vivaterra.com

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Grove Root Desk from 1cabinfurniture.com

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Nantucket Driftwood Side Table, available through Gaita Interiors

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Fallen Branch Table from vivaterra.com

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In other cases, fallen branches, barely modified are being bundled together and turned into tables.  Pieces of driftwood are being put to practical use, for the first time in their long…drifting… existence.

Driftwood Mirror from www.bobointriguingobjects.com

Driftwood Mirror from bobointriguingobjects.com

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Tree trunks are sliced, legs added and used as is, with all of the natural ridges and bumps left just as they were when the tree stood in the forest.

hudson furniture

Hudson Furniture

landscape dyptych chista

Landscape Dyptych from Chista


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I think these tables by Chista are wonderful sculptural works; The brilliance of Nature joined with human ingenuity combined to create something completely new and beautiful.

At the heart of this movement is the understanding that Nature is an artist…and you don’t mess with Mother Nature!! You just polish her up, step back, and marvel at her magnificence!

September 4, 2009

Beautiful Art I’ve Seen in Larchmont, NY

The Mamaroneck Artist’s Guild, known as MAG does a great job representing artist’s from the Lower Westchester area.  Everything they show is of the highest quality.  Here are some pieces from their collection I put together to “art up” a prospective sophisticated living room in a cool modern palette with splashes of hot color.  I dipped into photography, painting, sculpture and woodcuts.  What Fun!!

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"Roman Vine" by Aida Krgin

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"Tom" by Suzanne Bohrer Ashley

"Tree of Life III" by Gerda Rose

"Tree of Life III" by Gerda Rose

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"Conversation" Stoneware sculpture by Sybil Maimin

"Conversation" Stoneware sculpture by Sybil Maimin

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"Calligraphy" by Carol Watnick

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"Hopewell Farmhouse" by Tanya Schlick

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"Urban Landscape" by Lynne Lederman

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"Doorway" by Aida Krgin

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This just a tiny smattering of the gorgeous art represented by MAG.  I’m so proud to have an art gallery with such a broad and eclectic collection, right here in my little town of Larchmont New York!  Click here to get a peek at what they’re showing right now.  If you’re thinking of coming from Manhattan, it’s just a ten minute walk from Larchmont Train Station.

Which comes first, the art or the fabrics? In this case the art came first, and I was inspired by it to create a collection of coordinating fabrics.  Here’s what I came up with  for our proposed living room:
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adelle graphiteamazing maze tulipaerial leaves iced celadonorator nightfall
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beach life sangrianeivre noirebetwixt grey opalansonia fleur caviar

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Fabrics: All from Robert Allen- Adelle Graphite, Amazing Maze Tulip, Aerial Leaves Iced Celadon, Orator Nightfall, Beach Life Sangria, Neivre Noire, Betwixt Grey Opal, Ansonia Fleur Caviar.

For pricing and availability of fabrics, call Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282

SO ART UP!  and HAVE FUN!!





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