Archive for 2014

The Artwork I Bought From The Devil

The first time I went to Prague was during the summer of ’98. It was the moment “Mezzanine” was released by Massive Attack.

Traveling solo and lightly, I had no plans, no phone and certainly no camera. I discovered a hostel run out of a school building and found myself swept down into underground passageways, drinking Velvet, dancing at parties, accompanied by a former Russian sniper, and walking the sinuous cobblestone streets that taught me the freedom of not knowing what was around the corner or even where exactly I was. The city, then, had a magnetism for risk and magic that was nothing but seductive.

The second and third time I visited Prague, while crossing the Charles Bridge, there was an older man wearing knobby red horns on his head, working on his paintings, selling his art. His work consisted mostly of self-portraits: images of himself with his horns on his head posed on the Charles Bridge, looking away, his tongue flailing out to one side. Sometimes he had a sun visor on and painted himself with the visor, but he always had his little red horns, and he was always stationed on a particular edge of the bridge.  He did, however, also paint pastoral scenes of the Czech countryside and some of the Charles Bridge itself. He seemed to be there every day regardless of weather: He baked under the summer sun and on my winter trip, there he was again, selling and making his art. I made it a point to talk to him before I left to go home, conversing with him a bit in German, and ended up buying a few of his paintings. It was irresistible.

All I’ve had were these paintings and my memories of this artist, until I decided to look him up again to see if he was still around, only to find out that he had passed away, sometime over the past couple of years. I kept reading that he was also referred to as “Devil Man” or “Devil of the Charles Bridge.” He was known, as I remember then, by locals as “The Professor of the Charles Bridge.” Apparently, he had been a professor prior to his Charles Bridge post.

His real name is Antonin Votava and I imagine that he continues to contribute to the fog, fading in and out, over the bridge that crosses the Vltava River.

Here are my paintings by Antonin Votava and some images I found of him online. I’m glad someone took photos.

Jeff Koons Reflects The Self–Perfectly



After going to see ‘Jeff Koons: A Retrospective’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art, it’s no wonder why he is considered one of the great American artists of our time. I didn’t always think that way about him.

There are so many topics that are interesting to explore throughout the retrospective ranging from the significance of the salesman, mass production, social mobility, the readymade object, kitsch, fetish art, advertising and celebrity. And it doesn’t stop there.

I watched people at the museum interact with some of his oversized relatable, and sometimes seemingly inflatable, objects that draw you in, like the primal instincts humans have towards shiny reflective things. To see these masterfully created objects, scaled larger than life, literally reflecting the viewers, was marvelous. And what were most people doing? Taking “selfies” and sharing them (inflate lips here).

If Janis Joplin Had A Love Child….

…they could see their mother’s old apartment building through this window in Greenwich Village. The same building, inside the bar on the first floor, where she used to sing; where Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat hung out and Diana Ross possibly had her first performance.

If Janis Joplin had a love child, maybe they would live here. In a neighborhood where they could “feel it” walking their way in the streets, among the leftover songs and unfinished conversations of all the ghostly souls.

The lure of this pied-à-terre for my clients could have also been the two fireplaces and outdoor space. Indeed a rarity.

For this project, I worked with the client’s existing art collection and their wish for eclectic pieces juxtaposed with a few traditional elements. Some of the great finds in the living room include an antique, French, cast-iron, plate warmer cabinet, which was re-purposed as a bar curio, and an African-inspired, Art Deco floor lamp. The coffee table is composed of recycled plexi and salvaged redwood from an old water tower, custom-made by Mark Jupiter locally in Brooklyn. An antique chair was reupholstered in bold floral and zig zag fabric that reminds me a bit of the game Tetris. Yellow-gold, Pegasus-inspired damask and floral bouquet pillows were fabricated for the sofa and chair and trimmed in red velvet.

Above the fireplace is a two-way mirror TV. As much as I dislike televisions hung over the fireplace, I was pleased with the way we were able to disguise it.  Just like some do, at first, with a love child.

The full gallery of photos:


Cast-Iron Plate Warmer Turned Bar Curio:


Art Deco Floor Lamp:

Zig Zag and Floral Printed Fabric:                                                                                                                                            

Pegasus-Inspired Damask with Red Velvet Trim:

Mirror TV:

Chandelier and Machine Leg Farm Table:

Interview with Lorena Gaxiola

Lorena Gaxiola’s bedding and tableware are so fun to work with. Here is one project where I was able to use her bedding.

Small Batch Interior Project for SLM