A little while back I went to the preview for an auction of William Eggleston prints at Christie’s, a sale that was arranged to benefit the Eggleston Artistic Trust. It was a particu;arly interesting event for me for a few different reasons. First because I absolutely love Eggleston’s photography (and the man is one of my favorite living artists), and also because the auction consisted of large format digital pigment prints, a rare departure from the dye-transfer prints that helped solidify him as one of American’s greatest photographers.
This past Sunday I paid a visit to the Brooklyn studio of artist Bailey Hunter Robinson. You might remember Bailey from one of my Brimfield posts this past summer, when I caught him lying on the grass trying to escape the mid-day flea market heat. Upon arrival in Brooklyn I explained to Bailey that I was the guy who took his photo that hot summer day while he was trying to get some shade. “I’m sorry for taking your picture and putting on my site. I remember at the time you didn’t seem too happy about me taking the picture.” I said as I took off my coat and set my gear on the worn wood floors of Bailey’s new studio. “Oh it was fine. I was really hot that day and I was losing my ass up there, I don’t think I had sold a thing at that point.” he said. Such are the ways at Brimfield on hot summer days I suppose.
Bailey’s interest in furniture, vintage objects and things like Brimfield can be traced back to the influence of his parents while growing up in a small town in Alabama. “My parents were huge collectors of early English stuff, big oil paintings and things like that.” he said. It was this interest and his friendship with Luke Scarola (who co-owns the vintage furniture shop in Brooklyn called Luddite) that has helped shape the aesthetic of Bailey’s studio. “Luke and I used to drive five hours to go to an auction and they drive five hours home in one day. There were times when we were out and so exhausted that we couldn’t keep track of who bought what.”
Seeing Dunhill’s new ad campaign didn’t make me want to buy luxury goods from London; it made me want a Miller. A Harland Miller. He’s the rather shabby fellow among the three fairly obscure Brits chosen as the brand’s new faces this season, the one trying to hide behind an $1,100 briefcase (below). That must be why I failed to recognize one of my favorite contemporary artists at first, but reading the fine print I found he was one and the same. The talented painter and author first caught my eye when his 2007 monograph International Lonely Guy landed on my desk. What he does best are atmospheric re-interpretations of classic Penguin paperback covers – and I know I’m not the only one around here with a fondness for those.
It wasn’t until later in his career that Lancaster, Pennsylvania born artist Charles Demuth began painting in watercolor. The American produced a swath or beautiful industrial works in the style of Precisionism, a technique he helped create. I spent the afternoon at the Whitney Museum yesterday with Hopper, Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz & Mr. Demuth and figured a few of his works would look nice on the walls around here. I’ve never seen a grain elevator look so good.
This past sunday was full of coincidences, three degrees that led to this post. My Sundays generally start and end at the same place, CBS. The day begins with with bow tie afficinado Charles Osgood’s Sunday Morning and ends with the newsmagazine 60 Minutes. I relish both programs for their unique stories and the two shows are some of the few that I regularly make a point to watch. On Sunday Morning yesterday there was a story about Eric Daigh, the third place winner in Grand Rapid’s wonderful program ArtPrize. Daigh’s work is centered on making beautiful large scale pictures (a la Chuck Close) out of thousands and thousands of push pins.
One day after work a week or so ago, I headed down to Thom Browne’s store on Hudson Street for the first time in my life. I never bothered to visit the boutique because I knew too well that I would never look even reasonably good in Mr. Browne’s clothing. What finally drew me to the stark mid-century space was a solo exhibition of artwork by Mr. Michael Hainey. The show, entitled Less Human/More Being, is the culmination of Hainey’s (who serves as deputy editor of GQ) development as a painter. He puts it best in a recent post on GQ.com. “I went through a long wrestling match with myself: You can’t paint. Who do you think you are? But I kept seeing my poem—“How I Learned to Pray”—as a painting. Finally one night I said, ‘Enough! This may be crazy, but I have to make this painting.’ I went out, bought the canvas and the paint, and locked the door. That was the beginning.”
It is obvious that David Neville and Marcus Wainwright — the guys behind Rag & Bone — have great taste. Practically all of the clothing the brand turns out ends up on my wish list and with the opening of the company’s new SoHo store, you can add art to that list. The Mercer Street shop is currently featuring an installation of photos titled “Workspace,” from photographer Joseph Holmes. The beautiful images center around — you guessed it — people’s desks, which often end up being cluttered workbenches and messy industrial nooks around New York City. Holmes (pictured here at the Rag & Bone party this past week with actress Sienna Miller and Messers Wainwright and Neville) grew up in a factory town in Pennsylvania and has a talent for showing the beauty in industrial aesthetics. The full Workspace exhibit can be seen online here, or take a walk over to Rag & Bone at 119 Mercer Street in New York.