Archive for March, 2009
Last night I saw the result of the Parson School of Design’s finished table setting for Diffa’s Dining by Design’s, which I’d mentored and I must say that the execution from concept to final product was excellent. Both Benjamin Moore, who sponsored their setting, and the organizers of the event were very pleased and I love the fact that they managed to come under budget and were able to donate $400 in cash to Diffa.
This Thursday I’m meeting with Monacelli Press to start the process of compiling my third book. This is the first time in a while that I have a bit of free time on my hands and I’ve been thinking about the exact theme of this new book for a while.
Like my previous two books, I’m trying to give it a different slant and offer readers more than what they can see in a magazine. I want the reader to a) be inspired, b) learn something, c) be entertained and I want to feature my own photography.
One of the thoughts on the content is to have at least one job per chapter that goes from beginning to end, showcasing the requirements from client, the inspiration path and the progress up to completion.
If you all have any thoughts on what you’d love to see, please help me!
Last night I went to see Hedda Gabbler on Broadway with Mary-Louise Parker in the lead. (For those who don’t know the Hedda plot, it’s about a really self-absorbed bitch that screws everybody over and then kills herself.) The play takes place in Germany in the 19th Century and I really loved the set – there were some really nice Biedermeier pieces on stage, which I thought was quite unusal. The upholstered sofa featured really nice Clarence House fabric and added a sense of austerity to the play.
I thought Mary-Louise Parker was really good in this roll. In the reviews they commented on the fact that her performance was very contemporary compared to the other actors. Maybe that had to do with the fact that she really showed her emotions, which in 19th Century Germany would have been frowned upon. But she put the bitch thing across beautifully and it was a good theater evening.
It’s always fun when, out of the blue, good publicity comes along. Thanks to my next-door neighbor, Amsale, I was part of a wonderful story in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, talking about how two creative neighbours have effected each other’s apartments and lifestyles. Amsale creates wonderful wedding dresses, which are very similar in emotion to my work.
On Thursday night last week I went to see Billy Elliot, which I’ve been wanting to see for a long time. (I have clients fly back to England twice to be able to see the show a second time.) I don’t know if you know that there are three leads in their early teens who alternate every day. The main character is on-stage 90% of the play – we saw David Alvarez in the lead. It was an incredible performance, with music by Elton John. David is twice as special as his parents are Cuban, you know…the Latin connection! The audience was packed and it was a magical theater evening. You should try to see it if you’re going to be in New York, but let me warn you: get your tickets in advance – these ones are hard to get a hold of! My date for the evening was Linda O’Keefe (the Director of Design and Architecture at Metropolitan Home), who told me that a job that we photographed a few months ago will be featured in the October issue of Met Home. Wait until you see it – it’s a colorful one
(I’m a proud father today. One of my guppies just had babies – a baby, uhm, guppy shower will be announced in the near future.)
I’m very excited about today’s Armory Art show at the Pier. The NY Times said yesterday that all the dealers are very cautious, but it’s always informative to see what people are focusing on in art and that’s what interests me most. It seems that every Saturday is becoming ‘Art Day’ in some way or another. At last year’s Pier show there were great deals to be found on photography and videos. It seems that each year there is a focus for the majority of the dealers – usually probably not planned, but more likely what is in the air at the moment. I’ll be sure to let you know what I thought.
As a collector it’s always wonderful when somebody wants to borrow part of your collection to have in a show. The Howard Greenberg Gallery is having a retrospective on Steichen and Munkasci and they have borrowed three pieces from my collection. It’s fun to share what I get to live with all the time with people on special exhibits like these.
On the topic of design, at the final presentation by the Parsons School of Design students yesterday morning, it was rewarding to know that by giving a little bit of your time and input you can affect the thinking process of students. From the original presentation 3 weeks ago to the final one they showed me yesterday, there was a whole expanse of thinking that showed much more freedom and trust in their own taste. If you’re in New York at the end of March, be sure to visit this year’s Dining by Design to see the table settings. Besides it being a learning experience, and giving you new ideas on getting creative with your table settings, it helps DIFFA’s good cause.
Last Sunday I went to see Milk and for those of you that are older will remember the ‘70’s in the US – New York and LA in particular. Seeing this movie brought back to me the struggle that anybody who was discriminated against had to face. The performance that Sean Penn gives brings all this to life. His transformation and his commitment to portray a character like Harvey Milk speak so highly of him as a person. For you younger ones who weren’t around then, trust me, you didn’t miss anything. But we haven’t traveled that far from discrimination they were feeling in San Francisco in the ‘70s, for all one has to do is look at Proposition 8 in California to see how little has changed in thirty years and how much struggle this one still has to go through.