Sophisticated Living - July/Aug 2011

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Home is where the Art is

"When I first met [the homeowners] 11 years ago, they were in a whole other design world; very traditional with prints of soldiers in tortoise shell frames," said interior designer John Harrison of DIGS. Quick to point out that he is not adverse to such inclinations, "a designer in Cincinnati can't have 'a look' or you'll be a pauper," he laughed. Nonetheless, as their friendship progressed, Harrison gradually introduced them to new ways of thinking about design.

The baby steps became a full out sprint after Harrison introduced them to gallerist Carl Solway, who specializes in contemporary painting, sculpture, graphics and video art.  "Carl's knowledge of contemporary art is unbelievable, but he makes the process of selecting art fun and educational," Harrison pointed out.  The first painting they were drawn to? They knew for certain what it would not be.  "John said, 'No more damn landscapes' and that changed us forever," said one of the homeowners.  Incidentally, it was Stuck, The Flies Buzzed an etching, drypoint, screenprint and aquantint with embossed collage on Magnani Aquaforti paper by Nancy Graves (1990)  that made them collectors of contemporary art from then on.

One of the homeowners is an engineer and approaches collecting with scientific precision.  His partner, a professional in the financial industry, approaches the collecting process from a visceral level.  This yin and yang approach has created an extremely well curated art collection in their current residence - aptly a contemporary condominium in a landmark building designed by architect Jose Garcia. Continue Reading »