September 19, 2017

Three Cheers for Art

Gimme an AA! No, it’s not what you’re thinking. I’m talking about Art in August. And, yes, sometimes wrapping up this beast-of-an-issue almost drives me to drink, so maybe the acronym is not entirely off-mark. Just between you and me, when art is in the picture, so to speak, I can get a touch antsy. Actually, strike that. It’s anxiety-ville. Of course I’m aware that, for some, art is naught else than a commodity. Check it out yourself on the Christie’s or Sotheby’s sites. Those guys are veritable 24/7 factories, with hunky model/curators pimping it and all. As for moi? No matter what, I am a hostage to the mystique of art, its inherent transcendence.

I can’t help being overwhelmed—my wits, my knowledge, and, most of all, my senses. Which happens to be very fortunate just about now, when putting together this annual portfolio. Equally fortunately, the challenges of the task trigger the pro in me, seeking out projects where the interior-design part of the equation balances the art. Phew! Anxiety at bay. It’s truly a task for Atlas, holding up art and design, at their best, at the same time. Two of my good friends, Hall of Fame members Debra Lehman Smith and Lauren Rottet, manage it all the time for their clients. I have little clue how.

How we do it as editors, however, is like this. Choosing to feature the 21C Museum Hotel Nashville by another Hall of Famer, Deborah Berke, we celebrate not only the industrial architecture, superbly repurposed, but also the edgy painting, drawing, and photography and even a video-art gallery with Thomas Heatherwick’s spinning chairs. Or consider a Frank Gehry house in L.A., renovated by rising star Dan Brunn for a friend who creates murals for museums and fabric patterns for Prada. Then see artists’ own studios where the works in progress find a stunning backdrop in the architecture, whether that’s contemporary in Berlin or baroque in Sicily.

One more thingy. I just joined Pope Francis and Michelle Obama on Instagram. (Or did I friend them on Facebook?) Thank goodness for the corporate IT department and my millennial minions.

Catch you all on thecindygram! And keep it artsy.

Follow Cindy Allen on Instagram @thecindygram.

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