PHOTO DETAILS: Both portraits are pieces I found at my favorite vintage store in the West Village -- Madame Matovu
I've always been a firm believer that you can tell a lot about someone by the books, the music and the art they keep in their home.
And thankfully, none of those things, including the art, necessarily require a great deal of money. In fact, some of my favorite art pieces over the years have been found in the most obscure, tucked away spots — estate sales, flea markets and antique shops — usually stacked in a haphazard accordion style lineup, dusty forgotten relics from someone else's home. The price is long forgotten, the sticker worn off ages ago, so the vendor sells it for $20 or $40 a pop.
Of course, I know there's this idea that art, great art, should cost a great deal of money, and don't get me wrong, there are a lot of incredible artists who create beautiful things and I want their talents to be praised and paid accordingly. But art, to me anyway — someone with zero serious art training, mind you — is more so about the story you give it. The feelings you project onto it, the relationship you have with it and the energy it brings to your home. That can cost thousands of dollars or, as I did in my early 20s, it could also be the $6.99 you muster for a copy of Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue, the pages of which you carefully cut out and frame for your studio. A way of surrounding yourself with editorial photography. A way of surrounding yourself with beauty.
I recently watched a video that the Met Museum shared on Instagram about an art teacher and his memories at the Met. He said something quite poignant that I took to heart. He said, "No piece of art was ever made to be put in the Met. It was a birthday present or it was an expression of someone's inner emotion. But it was never meant to be question 13 on an exam or to be locked up in a showcase. It was a part of someone's life."
So tell me, what art is a part of your life? And where did you find it? Or perhaps the better question is, how did it find you?
Photos by me
I have a beautiful piece of art that we picked up in Quito’s central park. The artists bring out all the pieces and display them on easels in the park. We picked up a piece that Sunday while we visited Quito for the weekend. (We were living in Venezuela at the time, so the trip was an easy four day weekend get away.) Now fast forward 17 years later… that piece hangs proudly on our Hong Kong apartment walls. Not much fits, but that one does. Now, this coming year I get to move to Quito, Ecuador. It’s soooo perfectly full circle I can hardly believe it. Now that piece is truly a treasure!
PS See this instagram post to see the painting: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKQ2mNpDEBB/
I love this reflection on the meaning and purpose of art. I have paintings in my apartment, and they were purchased online, as I like more modern art at home. But during lockdown some of my friends started to create canvas art at home and I realised I don’t have to be a “artist“ to really appreciate or create art for myself. I think art is so often presented as a rarefied thing for only “cultured” or priceless people it can be intimidating.
Such a lovely top <3