How could you not love someone who lives by this motto and whose favorite colors are Rainbow, Sparkle and Shine, Animalia, Flower, Travel and Print? This is precisely why fashionista, stylist, globetrotter, and icon Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert has such an incredilbly loyal and growing following. Her joie de vivre and fearless fashion choices exemplify her refreshing attitude of not taking herself too seriously and savoring every moment. Giovanna took NYC by storm this week revealing her incredible windows at Bergdorf Goodman along with her book debut and pop up shop. These may be the best Bergdorf windows yet! Her book Gio_Graphy chronicles her fun in the wild world of fashion. The pop-up shop includes her collaborations brilliantly curated mix of new and established Italian designers with some of her own creations.
There are certain individuals that you can tell by their fashion choices that you will absolutely adore how they decorate their home. PR maven Christina Juarez is one of those fashionistas that I always look forward to see what she is wearing at design industry events. Her aesthetic is always impossibly chic perfectly adorned with accessorizes that seem like she has acquired on her travels around the world. I could not wait to see her home featured in this month’s Elle Decor. I love her fearless use of color and pattern along with her incredible art choices and total originality.
I was thrilled to see gallerist Marianne Boesky’s Chelsea apartment on the cover of the recent Galerie magazine. The fifth edition of the new magazine focuses on readers who have a passion for art and design curated by founder Lisa Fayne Cohen, editor at large Margaret Russell and creative director Matt Berman. Getting a glimpse into how major collectors live, how the works of art are placed, how they are juxtaposed against other works and enhanced by their surroundings has always fascinated me.
Chandra Johnson is a lady of many talents. Not only was she a past dancer, gymnast, and model, but she has also played a major role in the arts and philanthropic communities of Charlotte. Chandra’s authenticity (along with her husband Nascar legend Jimmie Johnson) shines through in everything they support. They launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in 2006. To date, more than $6.7 million has been contributed to various organizations. The foundation currently focuses on funding K–12 public education, primarily through the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grants program. Champions Grants have been awarded to 63 schools located in California, Oklahoma and North Carolina, where the Johnsons grew up and currently reside.
Chandra’s latest endeavor, the founding of SOCO Gallery, brings a much welcome addition to the local gallery scene and raising the bar for creative talent in the Queen City. Her passion for supporting artists and cultivating their careers is extraordinary as seen in our latest Creative Minds interview…
Collecting contemporary art brings me so much joy and I wanted to share it with my community. I also love helping artists further their careers and connecting collectors to their work. SOCO is a natural extension of this passion to provide a platform for the artists I believe in.
I started with doing pop-up exhibitions and was hooked. Ironically, SOCO Gallery is now a permanent space, but will continue to have a pop-up feel with a revolving exhibition schedule. It will always feel fresh with each new show.
Absolutely. The mission of SOCO is to bring relevant artists and artwork to our program. A lot of time, travel and research goes into the global conversation of art world happenings, and we want to bring all of that back to Charlotte. At the same time, I hope to push out great, southern work into the world as well.
I collect slowly and thoughtfully. I have to really love the artwork and the artist. I have learned, over time, how important it is to support the careers of artists you believe in. I have a connection with every single piece in my home. Once I started surrounding myself with really great work, I became addicted.
‘A Fluid Journey’ is our current group show featuring Mona Kuhn, Will Adler, LeRoy Grannis, Massimo Vitali, Karine Laval, Ken Van Sickle and Xavier Guardans. This is the first time all of these international artists have been exhibited in Charlotte. The work selected for this show builds on our qualitative state around water and all images evoke a feeling of leisure. Perfect for summer!
Liz Nielsen is opening a great show with us in September. She had two solo exhibitions in NYC earlier this year and is slated to exhibit with Danziger Gallery (NYC) next year. We are thrilled to be included in her circuit.( See more below about upcoming exhibitions)
All of my surroundings influence my taste in art. Our daily experiences shape us and Charlotte has been a big part of my life for the last 11 years.
I started my collection with a lot of research and a lot of looking. I would frequent shows in major cities, mostly NY, and travel to art fairs. You definitely start to see a pattern of what you are drawn to and exposure is the best way to train your eye, learn and grow.
Collecting is so much fun and something you can do for a lifetime. It should be a completely different thing than just a decorative piece for your house. My advice is to build slowly and invest in pieces that you love.
Diana Vreeland and Eva Hesse
I have been fantasizing about a Louise Bourgeois sculpture and a Francis Bacon.
Riding bikes with my family. I am always happy when I ride a bike and my kids are the same!
“Happy” by Pharrell
Photography, works on paper, canvas, sculpture, mid-century furniture, Line Vautrin compacts, books, vinyl, cocktail napkins, pickle forks, and antique china…just to name a few!
The Aspen Art Museum and The Sculpture Center in Queens.
The Whitney! They flat out nailed the new space in the west village.
Tough question – I guess I would like to be remembered as a great human, mom, wife, philanthropist and creative force.
SOCO Gallery is my new happy place and I love the Sacred Garden at Avondale Presbyterian on Park Road.
Southern Comfort (SOCO) Gallery is delighted to present its upcoming exhibition, Night Garden. An exhibition of unique photograms by the New York based artist, Liz Nielsen. The exhibition will run from September 9th through October 31st, 2015. The opening reception will be held on September 9th from 5 to 8 PM. Additionally, there will be an artist talk on September 12th from 10:30 AM to 12 PM. This will be the artist’s first exhibition with SOCO Gallery, and her first time exhibiting in North Carolina.
Liz Nielsen’s unique, jewel-toned photograms take photography in a new and unexpected direction. She uses handmade, transparent color gels and filters to create complex and layered compositions. The photograms are made using handmade negatives, experimental light and darkroom techniques that she developed over the past decade. Her studio darkroom becomes a stage for an unseen performance; she skillfully shines lights through blocks of color and whizzes flash bulbs and candles past the light-sensitive photo paper. The resulting works teeter playfully between representation and abstraction; blurring the lines between photography, painting and collage.
In this new body of work, Night Garden, layered shapes of bright colors create fantastical, organic forms that pop from dark, glossy backgrounds. The layers of intersecting lines, shapes and color reveal her analog process, and push the limits of what a photograph can be.
Liz Nielsen studied Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received her B.F.A., and attended University of Illinois at Chicago for her M.F.A. Nielsen’s work has been exhibited extensively in Chicago, New York, and Berlin; her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Schalter Gallery (Berlin), Benrimon Contemporary (New York), Interlochen Center for the Arts (Interlochen, MI) and in 2015 at Laurence Miller Gallery (New York) and Denny Gallery (New York) as well many group exhibitions including David Zwirner Gallery (New York), and Rawson Projects (New York). Nielsen’s work has been reviewed in the New Yorker, New York Times, Artslant, Hyperallergic, and the Wall Street Journal. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
The luxury bedding line Crane & Canopy asked me to describe my perfect “staycation.” I LOVE to travel so this proposition made me really question what would make me want to stay home?!?
We just returned from a fabulous trip to New York and stayed at the iconic Pierre Hotel. There is nothing like staying in a five star hotel to make you appreciate the attention to every detail…impeccable service, luxurious surroundings, stunning views and impeccable bed linens. Our room overlooked the Plaza Hotel and Central Park and the staff anticipated our every whim. I was determined to bring some of this luxury home and make our own home feel like we were always on vacation!
The beginning and end of every day should be all about comfort surrounded by your favorite things. High thread count, exquisite piping, beautiful embroidery, and gorgeous patterns make Crane & Canopy linens extraordinary. For my virtual bedroom, I chose a palette of coral and navy to create a fun bedroom that would be a joy to wake up in every morning. A large abstract work by Selena Beaudry from Hidell Brooks Gallery would anchor one wall providing the perfect focal point to gaze at lounging in my beautiful bed.
The next best thing to daily maid service is make sure you have cleaned up before your staycation.
It is easy to fall into the everyday routine at home. Planning is necessary to ensure you seize the day! After a 10 hour slumber, my perfect staycation would involve taking advantage of all the things I rarely have time to do in Charlotte that I love.
I never make time for brunch unless I am on vacation. An alfresco brunch overlooking the city at Halcyon would definitely make the cut.
For an inspiring end to my staycation, I would end the night with a world class performance by the Charlotte Ballet. It performs classic, contemporary and cutting-edge dance with virtuosity, energy, and artistic excellence. Always pushing their creative limits, Charlotte Ballet always takes my breath away with their imaginative choreography and impeccable techinical skill.
Ber sure to check out Crane & Canopy for more of their luxurious bedding for your own five star staycation!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Bergdorf’s Holiday windows were revealed last night to delight and inspire all of Manhattan. This year’s theme, “Holidays on Ice,” features not only Christmas windows, but several holidays envisioned in snow and ice with a focus on fashion. From Valentine’s Day to the 4th of July, the creative team has been furiously working to create a wonderland for every holiday displayed which will be uniquely displayed in a separate window.
To achieve these miraculous feats, David Hoey, Senior Director of Presentation, and Shane Ruth, Visual Manager, hired artisans to work in poly-resin to create the winter wonderland for each window. Their goal is to create a visual masterpiece that is interesting from every vantage point…viewing from across 5th Avenue, passing by in a cab, or walking by as a pedestrian. Here are a few more fun facts from the BG blog…
|via Marie Claire|
Before the windows were unveiled, a dance troupe scaled down the facade of the building sprinkling snow on the spectators.
|Valentine’s Day Window
via The Examiner
|Valentine’s Day Detail
via Citizens of Fashion
|April Fool’s Day Window
via Design Life Network
|Fourth of July Window
via Marie Claire
|Fourth of July Detail
via Citizens of Fashion
|Arbor Day Window
via Design Life Network
|Arbor Day Detail
via Citizens of Fashion
via The Examiner
via Citizens of Fashion
Be sure to watch Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs for a highly entertaining account of what goes into making the windows year after year.