Posts in Category: CREATIVE MINDS

CREATIVE MINDS: ANNE LEMANSKI “RABBIT RABBIT RABBIT” AT SOCO GALLERY

 

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To enter the world of artist Anne Lemanski is literally like falling down the rabbit hole of creativity.  She is wickedly funny, wickedly smart, and wickedly talented. Her works are not only impeccably constructed with layers of various materials, but they are also layered with meaning.  This brilliant combination has garnered her accolades in a plethora of solo exhibitions and private and public collections around the country. Charlotte art lovers were lucky enough to get a first look at her new work at her exhibition “Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit” at SOCO Gallery open through March 16th. 

CREATIVE MINDS: DIVINE DESIGNS WITH DANIELLE ROLLINS

“Be daring. Be different. Be impractical. Be anything that will assert the integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” – Cecil Beaton 

Please join Jane Schwab and me for a trunk show this Thursday, February 8th revealing the beautiful creations of Danielle Rollins benefiting the Levine Children’s Hospital. Her new capsule collection has been a labor of love for Danielle using glorious fabrics ranging from colorful Liberty of London cottons to exquisite floral warp taffetas and a collaboration with Brunschwig and Fils. Danielle has taken great lengths to make sure the impeccably tailored clothes can be worn in many ways from day to night…perfect for upcoming Spring Galas or Spring Break!

I think of Danielle as the quintessential “steel magnolia.”  She has overcome much adversity by combating it with beauty through interior design, entertaining, and now through her new fashion line. I had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle several years ago and have reposted it again below. I am so proud of how far she has come making her dreams come true!  Enjoy getting to know Danielle and please join us on Thursday to see the beautiful clothes in person…

CREATIVE MINDS: BRAD THOMAS “HOLD THESE TRUTHS” AT SOCO GALLERY

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Brad Thomas is a creative force of many talents…Artist, Curator, Teacher, Mentor, and Art Advisor just to name a few. His highly anticipated exhibition at SOCO Gallery this month welcomes the North Carolina native back to Charlotte revealing a new direction in his work.

I met Brad when he was the curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Mint Museum working together on acquisitions. Through the years, Brad has become a trusted friend and colleague that I look to for art advice for clients and collectors. His layered and complex abstract works are a combination of painting, drawing, words, collage, and sculpture that slowly reveal details the more the viewer engages with the works. 

MISSING MARRAKECH: THE BRILLIANT BILL WILLIS

“Willis’s fresh eye came along to rejoice in its contrast of grand sobriety, rainbow palette and subtle variations on ancient Islamic themes. His disciples are legion, and echoes of his lively vision can still be found everywhere in his adopted country.” -Christopher Gibbs

Villa Oasis, Home of Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé

I became enchanted with the work of interior designer Bill Willis after a magical trip to Marrakech last September. Click here to read about our amazing Moroccan adventure. I was blown away by the interiors we saw and even more shocked to discover these places halfway around the world had been designed by a fellow Southerner. Referred to as the “Magician from Memphis,” the unknown decorator was responsible for saving Moroccan craftsmanship from extinction in the 1960s. His legendary talent attracted clients that included the Gettys, Rothschilds, Agnellis, and Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé. His jet set hedonistic lifestyle was not for the faint of heart.  Marian McEvoy wrote in her foreword to the book Bill Willis, “A man who liked to party until dawn, Bill was happy to settle down in a place where dinner started after nine o’clock and breakfast meetings and pre-dawn gym workouts did not exist.”

TORY BURCH TAKES AD INSIDE HER SOUTHAMPTON HOME

The design world was all aflutter yesterday as AD published the first images of Tory Burch’s stunning 1929 Georgian Southampton home. For the past nine years, the home set on seven acres has been thoughtfully decorated under the brilliant eye of interior designer Daniel Romualdez. Together, Tory and Daniel have a quite a history….designing over 200 stores for her iconic brand while working on this 15,000 square foot project. 

Their philosophy of designing over time with layers added resonated deeply with me as this is how I encourage my own clients to approach the design process. The combination of amazing art and beautifully proportioned spaces brimming with pattern and color perfectly reflects Tory’s aesthetic which is the ultimate goal for any home. Burch offers up the ultimate compliment for Romualdez,  “Daniel takes people’s taste and makes it better.”

Enjoy the gorgeous images, charming article by David Netto, and the hilarious video documenting a day in the life of Tory.  It captures the creative mind at work….stream of consciousness thinking and finding inspiration at every turn from Tupac and Tomatoes to LadyBugs and LaffyTaffy!

THE MAJESTY OF ITALIAN MANUFACTURING WITH RUBELLI AND DONGHIA

“I’ll tell you a Venetian story spanning two centuries. Five generations, six brands, five continents: our history, yesterday, today and tomorrow.” – Alessandro Favaretto Rubelli

View from The Gritti Palace, Venice

There is nothing better than experiencing a culture through the eyes of locals. I just returned from an incredible journey with the Rubelli family discovering the majesty of Italian manufacturing seeing their showrooms, mills, projects and archives from Milan to Venice. In between our tours looking at Italian textiles, leather, glass, art, and architecture, they graciously treated us to the most incredible meals, fellowship, and education that makes their Venetian heritage so unique. The Rubelli passion, generosity and hospitality were beyond extraordinary.

THE WORLDS OF HUNT SLONEM AT THE NEW GALLERY OF MODERN ART

“What appeals to me most is their mystical quality. In my childhood, I was enchanted by the White Rabbit who leads Alice down a rabbit hole into Wonderland in an altered state. That’s always been important to me, the idea of altered states. When I am painting, I sometimes feel as though I am somewhere else, observing reality from an outside perspective.” -Hunt Slonem on “Bunnies”

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The New Gallery of Modern Art, Reception Tonight from 5-8PM

The New Gallery of Modern Art is celebrating their fifth anniversary this evening with a champagne reception, exhibition, and book signing by the one and only Hunt Slonem. I literally fell down the rabbit hole with his latest book on his beloved bunnies. Hopping from page to page in the book, the bunnies each have their own persona with delightful names such as Serge, Tatiana, Goldie, Harvey and Ted. His fascination with these creatures began at a Chinese restaurant when he discovered he was born in the Year of the Rabbit. He identified with the compassionate nature of the creatures, and uses them as subjects for his morning “warm-ups,” an exercise that was inspired by abstract expressionist Hans Hoffman.  Hoffman would begin each day by doing a series of small paintings.  Hoffman painted abstractions, Slonem paint rabbits. He often repeats imagery in this series, as he finds the act to be similar to spiritual meditation. Slonem believes that “repetition is very important” and begins each day painting, treating each moment as one of profound meditation and channeling of God or a higher consciousness. To date, his bunny paintings remain a part of his morning ritual, as well as a pivotal theme in his artwork.

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Slonem’s work has been compared to the likes of Willem DeKooning, Franz Kline and Brice Marden. In his essay Quantum Lepus, curator Bruce Helander writes,” The humble pleasure offered by these minimal but accurate portrayals of a hare to a harem is that they are lovely to look at. The initial development and completion of a characteristic Slonem bunny is really quite basic, and is the secret to their spontaneity and ultimate success; his instinctive painting can be connected to the lyrical brushstrokes of de Kooning and the black and white compositions of Franz Kline, or the soft, connective, geometric lines of Brice Marden.”

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The artists’ love of creatures is not limited just to bunnies. He often works with a bird or two perched on his shoulder. Exotic birds also greatly inspire the artist’s work; he has a personal aviary, in which he keeps anywhere from 30 to 100 birds of various species at his Brooklyn-based studio.

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Hunt Slonem was born in Kittery, Maine in 1951; the eldest of four children. His father was a navy officer, while his mother was a homemaker who spent much of her time doing volunteer work. As a result of his father’s military career, Slonem spent much of his childhood on different military bases; living in Hawaii, Virginia, Louisiana, Connecticut, California and Washington. After completing school, which included living in Nicaragua as an exchange student at the age of 16, Slonem began his undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University. He then spent six months of his sophomore year at the University of the Americas in San Andres Colula, Puebla, Mexico, eventually graduating with a Bachelors of Art in Painting and Art History from Tulane University in New Orleans.

During his collegiate years, Slonem attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where he was exposed to influential artists from the New York area including Alex Katz, Alice Neel, Richard Estes, Jack Levine, Louise Nevelson and Al Held. This exposure played a pivotal role in Slonem’s artistic career, as it aided in his decision to move to New York in 1973. Three years after his arrival, Slonem received a painting grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in Montreal, Canada and began painting extensively. However, it was his time spent in Nicaragua that Slonem credits with most influencing and inspiring his work. The country’s tropical landscape has informed not only Slonem’s process, but also his need to be surrounded by the nature he paints. As Slonem’s career progressed, he became an active participant in Manhattan’s burgeoning art scene, lauded not only for his artistic talent, but for his vibrant fashion sense. He was introduced to and befriended prominent figures within the artistic community including Sylvia Miles, Truman Capote, Liza Minelli, Monique van Vooren and Andy Warhol.

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Slonem’s work is deeply rooted in the act of painting. His jarring color choices, spontaneous mark making and scratched hatch marks are the result of his ongoing fascination with the manipulation and implementation of paint. His paintings are layered with thick brushstrokes of vivid color, often cut into a cross-hatched pattern that adds texture to the overall surface of the painting. This surface patterning combines with the rich colors and recognizable subject matter to create paintings that are physically and aesthetically rich.

Slonem’s work can be found in the permanent collections of 250 museums, galleries, institutions and corporations worldwide. In 2015, Slonem moved to a new 35,000 square foot studio in Sunset Park, Brooklyn where he continues to work. He lives in Manhattan, but travels frequently to his other homes in Louisiana, upstate New York and Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he is undertaking the transformation of the historic 150,000 square foot Watres Armory into a multidisciplinary showcase for his own work, as well as for his extensive collections of art and antique furniture.

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And if you cannot create your own wall of original bunnies seen above, you can always consider using his “Bunny Wallpaper” through Groundworks for Lee Jofa.

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The creative force also has an innate talent and passion for refurbishing homes. Considering this part of his art form, Slonem has rescued, refurbished and meticulously restored a number of estates including the historic Cordts Mansion in Upstate New York and his two Southern mansions in Louisiana; Albania and Lakeside. Enhancing them with his transcendent, light infused décor, Slonem paired vintage furniture with contemporary art, including many of his own works in addition to pieces by Alex Katz and Andy Warhol. Beyond its majestic beauty, The Lakeside Plantation captured Slonem’s fascination for history. Listed in the National Register of History Places in Louisiana, it was once owned by Marquis de La Fayette whose close relationship with lifelong friends such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Monroe, John Adams, and Robert Livingston played a pivotal role in the Louisiana Purchase. In a show of gratitude, the United States gave La Fayette the land, which is now known as Lakeside Plantation. When Slonem was young, he learned that Picasso collected chateaus, and since then always dreamed of doing something similar. Having reached that goal with these historic homes, Slonem would like for them to become part of his legacy, one day serving as study centers that can educate and inspire new generations of artists.

Slonem’s homes were the subject of an extraordinary 300 page, photography-based volume, When Art Meets Design (Assouline, 2014) A truly magical showcase of Slonem’s ability to create spectacular spaces, the book features vivid and expansive interior photography that reveals how he combines antiques, fabrics and artworks.

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Myself, Hunt Slonem and Design Pal Kathryn Dixon

For more design inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to Bespoke Banter. Thanks for reading!

IMPRESS THE GUEST! JOIN US AT FALL DESIGN WEEK AT AMERICASMART

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Please join me one week from today to kick off the inaugural Fall Design Week  featuring Atlanta Gourmet and Gift at AmericasMart in Atlanta! I am thrilled to be moderating a panel with today’s top taste makers, designers, and stylists who will be sharing their secrets on entertaining with style.

Foodie culture and entertaining have risen to an art form. Weekend warriors are effortlessly whipping up gourmet spreads, swoon-worthy scenes and decorative tablescapes to fill our Instagram feeds. So, what’s the secret sauce? Take a cue from Bunny Williams’ playbook, who believes there’s nothing more rewarding than having friends and family gather in your home, and makes entertaining seem effortless. Top interior designers, lifestyle experts and photo stylists dish out advice you need to know to be a masterful host—from setting the right environment, designing the menu and table, and even offer styling tips to capture the moment for social media. Learn some of their favorite go-to resources and advice on everything entertaining, dining and tabletop.

Enjoy lunch and a panel discussion with New York-based interior designer Young Huh, who’s work has been featured in Vogue, Wall Street Journal, In Style and countless national interior magazines, Audrey Margarite, vice president of design and product development for Bunny Williams Home, who helps create fabrics, decorative accessories, and furniture for the company’s private and licensed collections, Annette Joseph, author of Picture Perfect Parties and entertaining expert, editor, producer, and magazine photo stylist for Architectural Digest, The Today Show, Goop and others, and designer and lifestyle expert Danielle Rollins, author of Soiree Entertaining with Style.

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The inaugural Fall Design Week Featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift will offer hundreds of showrooms and lines, designer-focused programming, CEU courses, networking, parties and more:

  •  Over 500 showrooms and 2,800 lines
  • Complimentary valet parking open 8am to 8pm
  • Over a dozen tastemaker CEU-accredited seminars
  • Cooking demonstrations from Atlanta’s top restaurants
  • Shop for your stores and clients in a relaxed setting
  • Showroom specials and events all week
For more design inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter!

MILLION DOLLAR DECORATING FEATURE

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I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by James Swan for his Million Dollar Decorating podcast. Any design aficionado needs to subscribe to his podcast where James entertains,educates and inspires his listeners to live a more beautiful life. He eloquently dishes on design details with the likes of interior designers from Robert Couturier and Mary Douglas Drysdale to Barry Dixon and Miles Redd.

As the first podcast devoted to the worlds of design, decorating and beautiful living James features interviews with the world’s leading designers, decorators, architects and artisans. Life-style leaders engage in unguarded conversation, reveal behind-the-scenes sources of inspiration and share stories that inspire and motivate homemakers around the world to make their home more beautiful.

James Swan is an award-winning interior designer and author. He has spent the past 18 years, crafting classically influenced interiors for homes, restaurants, hotels and retail stores. His work has been featured in House & Garden, House Beautiful, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune and his book “101 Things I Hate About Your House” won the 2011 American Bookseller’s Award.

During the first 8 weeks the podcast consistently landed in the spot 10 Spots on ITunes New & Noteworthy list in the Arts category and in the Top 100 across all categories (and 300,000 titles) on ITunes and the numbers continue to grow every day.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast by clicking HERE.

For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter. Thanks for reading!

THE MAGIC OF MILES: SCHUMACHER’S LATEST COLLABORATION IS ALMOST HERE!

Few things get me as giddy as the anticipation of new collections released by my favorite interior and fashion designers. Schumacher‘s A-List of designer collaborations contains all of my most loved design talents including Mary McDonald, Celerie Kemble, Alessandra Branca, Trina Turk and now Miles Redd. The teasers being released in the fall magazines and today on the Schumacher blog give a glimpse of what’s to come from this dashing design star. Known for his theatrical imagaination and charming personality, the new fabrics are sure to become classics.

Since Schumacher was founded in 1889, the family-owned company has been synonymous with style, taste and innovation. Their collections are comprehensive, with an extraordinary range united by a respect for classicism, an eye for the cutting edge, and an unparalleled level of quality. A passion for luxury and an unwavering commitment to beauty are woven into everything they do.

Read below for Dara Caponigro’s “behind the shoot” story…

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ABOUT MILES

The Atlanta-born Miles Redd began his design career after graduating from New York University and honing his skills with luminary antiques dealer John Rosselli and decorator Bunny Williams. In 1998, he opened his own design firm in New York City. Best known for an eye-catching color sensibility, his trademark brand is characterized by playful mélanges of high and low, invigorated with whimsy, scale and modernity rooted in classic decorating.

Miles was the creative director of Oscar de la Renta Home from 2003 to 2013. Published in 2012, Redd’s The Big Book of Chic gives a glimpse into the inspiration that fuels his design, and focuses on the pleasures of living life in a beautiful way. Miles was most recently honored as one of Architechtural Digest’s “AD 100” in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 as well as being recognized as House Work’s Groundbreaker Award in 2014.

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THE COLLECTION

Known as a master colorist, Miles’ brilliance shines through in this collection with how he completely transforms each textile with his choice of coloration. The varying range of bold hues to a monochromatic tones makes this an incredibly versatile  collection to use in any interior from traditional to contemporary.A few of the fabrics in the new line include a shimmering Mylar wallpaper based on Mile’s famous mirrored bathroom, a whimsical print with birds, flowers and branches, and a saturated graphics and silk solid that will be avilable in all of Miles’ favored bold hues.

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For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to Bespoke Banter.  Thanks for reading and please come back again!