The art of fashion frames seven New Yorkers who have, quite literally, changed the artistic face of the city.
FRAME BY FRAME I educate and navigate my clients through an extremely complicated contemporary-art world. A Warhol can be unimportant or a masterpiece. I find clients the best work from the best artists at the best price. THE BIGGEST MISTAKE PEOPLE MAKE WHEN BUYING ART is not getting the right advice. This might sound self-serving, but not doing your homework can result in costly mistakes. NEW TALENT Brooklyn is a great place to find work by emerging artists. Places like the gallery Pierogi 2000—they are incredibly helpful and generous. I COLLECT contemporary artists like David Salle, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Thomas Struth, Robert Longo, and Jeff Koons. MY APPROACH TO BUYING ART is to get the best work of the artists who altered the shape of art history. MY APPROACH TO BUYING CLOTHES is the same. I am more interested in updated classics than trends. And I am extremely edited. WHEN ART MEETS FASHION The connection has been around forever. Fashion was not lost on the artists of the Renaissance.
Sweater and skirt, Ralph Lauren Collection. Shoes, Anya Hindmarch.
ART HISTORY I have a deep connection to the gray painting here, called Ocoee, which is a river down South that my father, a great canoer, used to run. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW? I've done some very big drawings on handmade paper, and paintings similar to Ocoee. There's a gray one, and a blue one, and I'm thinking about the color orange. INFLUENCES Among the old masters, Tiepolo, Pontormo. Among contemporary artists, Brice Marden for his interest in calligraphy and Ellsworth Kelly for form. I COLLECT old paper. It could be a letter, or just a piece that has been touched, handled, that has had a life. I WOULD COVER MY WALLS WITH Correggio's Zeus and Io, a Vuillard, a Chardin, and maybe an Ellsworth Kelly. WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO PAINT YOUR PORTRAIT? John Singer Sargent. WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INSPIRATION? The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Sometimes I wander the halls at the Metropolitan—some days it's the Islamic galleries, others the Chinese. YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION? My great-grandmother's pearls. Actually that's not true. But that's what it should be, right?
Dress, Carolina Herrera. Shoes, St. John. Earrings, Tiffany & Co. Paintings courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery.
Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn
Director, Salon 94
MISSION I wanted to create an intimate setting where you can sit down with coffee and have a conversation about art. Artists stay alive by influencing other artists—I love that I can reintroduce someone like Carlo Mollino and watch this happen. ROLE MODEL Florine Stettheimer, who had a salon with her sisters in the '20s and '30s in New York. Marcel Duchamp taught them French to make a living when he first came to New York, and they became his great patrons. ON MY WALLS YOU'LL FIND Kara Walker, Chris Ofili, David Hammond. NAMES TO KNOW Benjamin Edwards and Julie Mehretu. They're changing the way painting looks. PAINTING I COULD LIVE INSIDE I could visit Matisse's The Red Room, but then I'd want to come back home. DESIGNERS WHO THINK LIKE ARTISTS Tara Subkoff of Imitation of Christ. I was in one of her fashion shows. And when Alexander McQueen is really on, he is fabulous. I LOVE WEARING this dress. It is flamboyant, bohemian, a little bit glitzy, but still elegant. I'd put it on over jeans, with heels, to a cocktail party.
Dress, Missoni. Shoes, Gina. Earrings, Smithwick Dillon, Inc.
Mirabelle Marden & Melissa Bent
Rivington Arms Gallery
FOCUS Mirabelle Marden: We wanted to show young artists in a place where we could truly collaborate. YOUR LATEST DISCOVERY? Melissa Bent: Keegan McHargue, whose work is pictured here, came to us when another artist showed us drawings Keegan had done on a paper bag. WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO PAINT YOUR PORTRAIT? MM: Velázquez. MB: Manet. I COLLECT MB: Handkerchiefs. I started when my very elegant grandmother died. Hers were so beautiful I was inspired to start a collection. YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION? MM: A small sketch that my dad (artist Brice Marden) did for me. UNDERRATED IN THE ART WORLD? MM: Spencer Sweeney, Gabriel Orozco. MB: Meret Oppenheim, Shirin Neshat. OVERRATED? MM: Matthew Ritchie, Inka Essenhigh. MB: Matthew Barney, Andy Warhol. WHAT WOULD YOU WEAR TO AN OPENING? MM: Jeans, a t-shirt, and Veronique Branquinho high heels. MB: Anne Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten. I WOULD NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT MM: My camera, a Yashica T4. MB: A handkerchief.
Mirabelle (left) in dress by Moschino, shoes by Christian Louboutin. Melissa in Bradley Bayou for Halston, shoes by Bottega Veneta.
ART HISTORY Simon de Pury, who is the chairman of Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg auction house, commissioned me to paint this portrait after he saw my show in Paris. I've always done portraits. Everything can be said in a face. BRUSH WITH FASHION I recently painted designer Domenico Dolce. I WORK BEST with music. When I was painting Simon we listened to Francis Lai, and with Domenico, arias from Tosca and Italian singer Gigliola Cinquetti played in the background. RIGHT NOW I'M WORKING ON sculpture. I saw the "Matisse-Picasso" show in Paris and there was a plaque on the wall with a quote by Matisse—"I sculpted like a painter." Exactly the message I was looking for. WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO PAINT YOUR PORTRAIT? The ultimate? Velázquez. Alive? Lucian Freud. I'M INFLUENCED BY Velázquez, Cy Twombly, Ingres, Rembrandt. I'M INSPIRED BY New York. THE ART OF FASHION For Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's first couture collection I painted a self-portrait on canvas; he made a dress out of it, and then I modeled it in his show. STATE OF THE ARTS We have lost our sense of beauty—we must recapture that.
Dress, Zac Posen. Shoes, Edmundo Castillo.
MISSION I wanted to find a new way to make a painting. I use a technique I started about six years ago combining photography, watercolor, and oil. ART HISTORY Alice and Stinky (pictured here) is part of a series based on a set of old family photos I found at a garage sale in upstate New York. UP NEXT After I exhaust the Alice and Stinky archive, I think I'll work from film stills. My dream would be to work with the director Wes Anderson. I'M INSPIRED BY Mike and Doug Starn, Annette Lemieux, Goya, Turner. But my technique allows me to think of the whole history of painting and to sample ideas. PAINTING I COULD LIVE INSIDE A Winslow Homer watercolor. I like to live where it is comfortable and pretty. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO PAINT YOUR PORTRAIT? Alex Katz painted one of me that I love. THE ARTIST YOU'D LIKE TO DRESS YOU My husband, artist Sebastian Blanck—he always knows what looks best. YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION? The cabin I bought about an hour north of New York on a lake. The view and the water are inspiring. I NEVER work in my studio without the TV on. I love supernatural and cop shows. ART TREND I'D LIKE TO SEE DIE Sloppy for sloppy's sake.
Dress, Geoffrey Beene, New York. Shoes, Christian Louboutin.