At first glance not much! But then when you see an original Warhol – you do start thinking about the interiors you have designed and which client might be interested in acquiring said master piece!
I often visit art galleries around London and outside mostly for me, because I love art – modern, old masters, installations, all mediums, all artists pretty much, although I do have favourites like Rothko, Hopper, Degas, Matisse, Cocteau (none that I can afford but still able to look at!) amongst new artists I have been able to afford. And sometimes I visit for clients.
Because I am a big fan of art and getting to know artists and buying original works of art, I often discuss art with my clients. Many have never had a thought to buy original art often visiting that it would be “expensive don’t you think Françoise?” having no knowledge of art and not knowing where to start and mostly because they are embarrassed about going into art galleries. Kind of the same challenges appear as when I discussed Art for the Garden a while back.
So what has art to do with Interior Design? At first glance not much but to quote Dorothy Vogel the famous collector “ it doesn’t have to mean anything, you just have to like it”.
Well that is what it is, it is about liking something, a painting, a drawing, a sculpture, a collage, anything that you want to add to your environment to create a language between the inanimate objects and yourself.
See the amazing Vogel collection & story below – a librarian and postal worker who started collecting very early on in their married life and crammed their one bedroom Manhattan apartment with all manner of art. For me they are the epitome of a collector – unpretentious, interested in art and the artists, wanting to discover new things and to share them with others.
Interior Design is about form and function, space and easthetics and the manipulation of that space. What better way to set off an amazing art work then in an interior that understands how to show it off?
Whether you have a modern or historical look to your interior – adding art can only enhance it. I love putting striking modern art above an antique commode or hall table or vice-versa – a classical painting over a striking minimalist sofa. Why not? I love the eclectic feel – it’s like adding layers and layers of history – like writing a story tale.
So let me introduce you to Francesca Fiumano – gallery owner and curator of contemporary British and Italian art t in the West End and someone I met recently. She has a very successful gallery called Fiumano Fine Art in Connaught Street, London. I visited to see her joint Summer Exhibition with fellow gallery artist Barbara Stanley who shows Irish art.
Her summer exhibition called Celebration is rather apt as all the works I saw were truly a celebration of colour, composition and diversity in their medium. I also really like her philosophy “ I buy what I like”.
There is the famous Andy Warhol of course, which is fun and made me smile – alot! But there were some very interesting mixed media works that were printed on metallic photographic paper, translucent wired glass and Plexiglas which caught my eye. The blend of materials and typography gave the art a luminous accent . These were by French artist Michel Ajerstjn and they were striking.
Carol McDemott’s paintings were delightful – painterly and colourful but with a light touch, they almost danced in front of my eyes. My photograph does not do it justice, but you can see it better on Francesca’s website.
A painting by Victor Richardson, “Sevres near St. Christine” from Barbara’s show was equally striking. The colours and composition were mesmerising.
Right then and there I could have walked away with both works from these two artists!
So this is why I visit art galleries and talk to the owners and sometimes the artists. It makes me happy, it enlightens me and I always wonder about the infinite artistic endeavours of our species – it’s stunning. But I also source various artists and their work for clients – I may not like them but knowing my client’s tastes they might enjoy the work. So I see my role as a bit of a door opener – a door that opens on a world they might not have known about before – sharing is a wonderful thing it leads to all kinds of discoveries and discussions!