Old and New

Posted by: on Jun 14, 2010 | No Comments

I spent this past Saturday at the London International Fine Art Fair, which included a wide variety of stalls and exhibitions. There was everything from book sellers to furniture dealers and people selling modern paintings next to Regency cabinetry.

The reason I write about this here isn’t just because the show was fun and I found many beautiful things to furnish my dream-home with, but also because I found it inspiring on a more conceptual level. I have written a lot recently about the way in which we deal with history for inspiration, and this show helped me work through some of my questions and concerns.

One example I remember vividly was the juxtaposition of being able to see a wild David LaChapelle image of Kanye carrying Lady Gaga down an erupting volcano hung only a few feet from a William and Mary longcase clock. The contrast struck between these two ornate and colorful objects really resonated with me and I found them to strike an odd harmony. One, conservative, obviously handcrafted, and all natural materials, the other almost dreamlike, vivid and false in its colors, and with a sense of almost total artifice.

As for dressing, I think that combining aspects of tradition with aspects of innovation can be really refreshing and yet allow one to maintain a sense of classicism. Whether it be a trench in an unusual color or material, or accenting a classically inspired outfit with an outlandish accessory, keeping things exciting and refusing to be monotonous seems key to me. Now if only Mr. LaChapelle would design a longcase….now that would be inspiring.

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