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  • Design Loves Art: Gallery Openings

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    Design Loves Art - Gallery Openings

    The name says it all: Design Loves Art. Gallery openings and art walks may be the hot thing to do these days, but at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood,California they have an extra special appeal. Started in 2009 under the directorship of NYC-based curator Helen Varola, the PDC's Design Loves Art program operates with a simple yet brilliant plan: offer art dealers and curators space to show at a sizable discount. 

    Created to a leverage a spate of recession-induced vacancies at the mammoth design center into a locus for L.A.'s vibrant contemporary art scene, Design Loves Art has transformed into a fine art resource for the design community by day and a must-see art walk during the monthly evening openings. 

    Art Walks in Los Angeles

    Since its inception, Design Loves Art has hosted established dealers and young upstarts. Unlike the sexy renovated industrial spaces you'd find in art districts like NYC's Chelsea or Culver City in L.A., the galleries at the PDC are muted by comparison--humble, simple showroom spaces with low ceilings, carpeted or linoleum floors and glass window facades...

    West Hollywood Art Walk

    ...but as I found a few nights ago when I stopped by to catch the gallery openings, its not the physical space but the presentation that counts. Many of the PDC galleries had a more staged atmosphere than one often finds at commercial galleries, by using spotlights and up lights to add a dramatic flair to the work.

    Design Loves Art

    Modernist Steel Sculpture

    Sculpture benefited magnificently from this staged presentation. From Bertil Petersson's minimalist steel ribbon sculptures at Here Is Elsewhere (above), to Flora Kao's breathtaking homage to her grandfather's passing at the brilliantly curated Art-merge (pictured below), installation work was very much the highlight of the night. With both of these artists, the shadows their work threw on the galleries walls was as beautiful as the work itself. Also at Art-merge was Zelda Zinn whose work is pictured at the top of this post).

    Contemporary Art Installation

    Leaving the PDC, I caught the perforated stainless steel post lights outside of the PDC and thought back to some of the sconces Euro Style Lighting offers, because that's just what we do everywhere we go (not really).

     Pacific Design Center Blue Building

    Contemporary Wall Sconces

    George Kovacs Perforated Steel 17" High Wall Sconce (left)Sail Perforated Aluminum 7 3/4" High ADA Outdoor Wall Light (right)

    I won't go so far as to say that perforation always equals perfection, but the polk-a-dot patterns that these sconces throw on nearby surfaces are artwork unto themselves.

    Images: Art-merge

  • The Modern Lifestyle: California Hipster Neighborhoods

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    North Park, San Diego

    Hipster neighborhoods are those trendy communities boasting the most lauded food trucks and farmers markets, a multicultural blend of residents with eclectic professions, and a booming arts scene.

    Hey, California residents, don't you want to know if you live in one? Or, maybe you're planning a move? Don't worry if you don't live in California, the whole country is full of them! 

    Uptown, Oakland

    North Park, San Diego (top image) is home to Craftsman cottages,cafes and diners. The North Park Theater and the Ray Street Arts District are hubs of creativity for the community.

    Uptown, Oakland (above) made the cut due to its rapid growth in the "cool" category. New restaurants, bars and coffee shops have been opening weekly, with the best farmers markets in the country.

    Mission District, San Francisco

    The Mission District in San Francisco (above) is populated with amazing diversity and has the largest concentration of street art and building murals in the city.

    Silver Lake, Los Angeles

    The Silver Lake community in Los Angeles (above) is made up of a wide range of creatives including graphic designers, actors, artists, etc. But, Silver Lake is also home to some of the most cutting-edge Modernist architecture in North America.

    If you're wondering about other parts of the country, you can read the full article on Forbes.

    Images: Forbes

  • The Modern Home: Dutch Style

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    Modern Home

    Dutch architects Bas ten Brinke and Carina Nilsson designed this modern home with edge, literally. We approve of this Nordic-style villa's clean lines and beautiful landscape, giving nod to Nordic customs and architecture traditions.

    Modern Hallway

    The entire home takes full advantage of the beautiful views with entire walls made up of windows. Not only is it great for taking in the pretty scenery, but the home feels very open and spacious. In the top photo you can see the ceiling even gets higher toward the main living room.

    Modern Living Room

    The contemporary interiors feature cool concrete floors and warm wood ceilings. Selecting just a few pieces of stylish seating and modern pendant lighting would help you achieve this look.

    Contemporary Decor

    Possini Euro Design Aluminum Lotus Pendant, Zuo Cobble White Swivel Chair, Possini Euro White Marble Base Arc Floor Lamp, Zuo Sabbatical Coffee Table

    Images: Trendir

  • Modern Decor and Italian Architecture Meet at Byblos Art Hotel

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    Modern Decor

    The Byblos Art Hotel in Verona, Italy is both a contemporary art museum as well as a 5-star hotel. Traditional Italian villa on the outside and over-the-top modern madness on the inside. Stepping inside is sure to be a wake-up for your senses. The hotel is filled with modern works from the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Anish Kapoor, Beatriz Millar, Damien Hirst, and Cindy Sherman. This contrast of modern art and 18th century architecture creates a jaw dropping statement that will have you mesmerized!

    18th Century Italian Architecture

    The 18th century building, Villa Amista, is the work of architect Ignazio Pellegrini while the inventive interiors were created by Allessandro Mendini. Let's take a look inside the minds of these magical designers.

    Yellow Modern Decor

    The presidential suite is a cheerful place, combining sculptural mid-century modern chairs in bold yellow that contrast with the white surroundings. Perfect for any modern space, transparent acrylic chairs glow like light sculptures when the sun hits them.  

    Modern Bedroom Decor

    How happy would you be to wake up in this room?! The vibrant colors and fabrics modernize the ornate furniture. Ultra modern floor lamps and table lamps can add even more fun to an already colorful space.  

    Modern Wall Art

    This room (above) is said to be like entering into the designer's imagination. Their mind feels organized and vibrant to me.  

    Modern Lighting

    The Junior Suite (above) is filled with furniture from Mendini, Ron Arad, and Philippe Starck. Colorful modern wall sconces make a statement in any modern space, even in a room as dramatic as this one!  

    Damien Hirst

    The Damien Hirst artwork (above): bold fabrics, and ornate furniture...what combinations!

    Beatriz Miller

    This work by Beatriz Miller (above) should have the art lover in you calling to make a reservation...

    Images: Design Milk, Haute Design

  • Modern Wall Art: Shantell Martin Draws On Everything

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    black and white decor

    The London based artist Shantell Martin, who is known for her stream-of-consciousness drawings, decided to create some modern wall art in her own Brooklyn bedroom and ended up make a big statement. Although she didn't set out to cover the entire room, she ended up covering the walls, ceilings, and furniture with her oh-so-cool freestyle line drawings. When her friends invited Ms. Martin into their home they knew she was going to be drawing on her walls and there would be nothing they could do. So they made just one request, "Don't touch the hallway."

    black and white illustrations

    You will see the words "Who Are You" and "Who Am I" repeat a lot throughout her modern wall art displays. 

    “When invited to talk at conferences and festivals about digital drawing or creativity, I like to start with showing a photograph of my younger self with my brother and sisters. In the photograph I’m about nine years old with a little Afro, brown skin and Michael Jackson shorts standing next to my very blond and blue-eyed brother and four sisters, this is the beginning my story.” -Shantell Martin

    illustrated walls

    The stories even continue onto the door knob. So far, Ms. Martin has used about 25 pens and I think it's safe to assume she's a pretty good customer over at Blick Art Supplies!

    shadow frame artwork

    One of her own drawings is framed and layered over the rest of her wall art. Martin says this is "to give it space to breathe."

    found objects

    Uncommon objects on common grounds, that's where a layer of gesso can take you. Bottles found on the street or out-and-about are covered in gesso to make them uniform and then used as a canvas for Martin to create her art.

    modern workspace

    Compact spaces with small modern desks are not normally what you would find in an artist's studio, but Martin works hard in her small office. She is in the process of planning a one-woman show later this year. With her work at such places as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the megaclubs of Tokyo and Russia, and on the enormous screens at Shibuya and Harajuku crossings in Tokyo, you can only imagine how incredible this upcoming show will be!

    red shelving

    The furniture in her quaint little bedroom doesn't interfere with the black and white line drawings covering the walls of her room. Like in this space, bright red accents make a perfect splash of color! Simple open shelving displays the painted bottles and found objects while bold, black and white striped bedding creates a the grounding element.  

    vintage toys

    These toys sitting on the floor are just waiting to be gessoed.

    custom denim

    You can see Shantell Martin's work in a variety of places. She collaborated with 3 x 1 to create custom jeans on site in their denim atelier.

     illustrated bottle

    I'm excited to see more innovative work from this amazing artist... I would love to see a line of wallpaper or fabrics from her! Crossing my fingers!

    Images: Shantell Martin

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