This morning I made a little field trip up to Lynn to check out the studio/loft of floral designer Carrie Chang of Floral Lab. (So that’s where Wonderland is.) In addition to working with traditional fresh flowers, Carrie creates arrangements and floral sculptures using preserved flowers. No, not dried flowers, preserved. The flowers are grown in eco-conscious conditions in South America, then treated so they last for about a year. They feel good, almost like fresh, not at all like dried, and the colors are fantastic.She’s the first one to bring these interesting blossoms to the U.S. Apparently they’re all the rage in Japan and Europe. (Carrie herself hails from Hong Kong. Check out her brother Gary Chang’s Hong Kong apartment in “24 Rooms Tucked Into One” in the NYT.) Here are some shots from her space, as well as images from her portfolio.
Today I interviewed interior designer Frank Roop at his studio. But more on that later. Since it’s ARTmonday, I thought I’d show you images by photographer Didier Massard, whose work I discovered hanging in Frank’s living room. (He hosted a Boston Home party there last spring to celebrate the cover story about his place, “Material Witness.” I adore Frank’s work and was excited to see his sumptuous showpiece. And I had a small piece in the magazine too – my first for them – “Some Like It Hot.” ) Here is Frank Roop’s living room. Didier Massard’s photograph I fell in love with is hanging on the left.
Photo by Eric Roth
Today I finally had the opportunity to ask Frank about the work and the artist. Turns out Didier Massard’s work is shown in Boston right on Newbury Street, at the Robert Klein Gallery. I haven’t been in there in quite a while, (my husband tends to prefer painting over photographs) but Robert Klein Gallery represents a number of photographers I love, including Sally Gall, Sally Mann, and Tom Baril.
Didier Massard’s photographs are surreal, romantic, otherworldly landscapes. Contrived landscapes. He builds models in his Paris studio, which he then photographs.
Autumn Tree, 2001
Spring Tree, 2002
Tree Top, 2002
Photos courtesy of Robert Klein Gallery
Chandelier Notes by George Stanley, $12 at Red Stamp.
Manuscrit Rug, $3,400 at Design Within Reach
Fern Outdoor Pillow, $39.99 at Target
Trellis Wallpaper at Cavern Home
Femme Fatale Wallpaper at Walnut Wallpaper
Tree Hooked Coat Hooks, $90 at Elsewares
Blackbird Wallpaper at Cavern Home
Gothic Side Plate Set, $28 at Elsewares
Thai Silk Fall Trees Pillow, $49.99 at Target
Versace Sandy Table at Versace Home
Versace Greca Table at Versace Home
Chandelier Ceiling Lamp, $395 – $450 at Lekker
G’Rabbit Sale & Pepper Grinders, $24.95 each at ICA Store
Karim Rashid Rug, $2,499 at inmod
City of Light Wallpaper at Walnut Wallpaper
School of Fish Framed Artwork, $38 at West Elm
Cake Octopi Cups, $18 at Design Public
Bombo Swivel Stools, $742 at inmod
Dentelle Ottomans at Roche Bobois
Home Geo Circle Toss Pillow, $19.99 at Target
I love the paintings by Elisa Johns’ in Bout of Excess for their colors, flirtatiousness, and femininity. I am definitely drawn to works that portray two women, or women flaunting their sexuality in a playful, bashful or innocent manner. (I’ll have to scan my postcard collection of such paintings for you.)
Stephanie Walker, who owns Walker Contemporary and curated the show, points out that the two women in Johns’ “Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus” (the third one here) aren’t necessarily in a sexual relationship. I think that’s what I am responding to; they could be lovers, but maybe they are close friends, or sisters. There’s an intimacy with just a hint of sexuality; a promise, perhaps.
When I showed my husband the images, he asked of “English Rose” (the second one here), “Why is there a vagina in the sky?” I see that now. And I had just thought, “What a pretty, rosy sun.”
When I asked Stephanie what attracted her to the artist and these works in particular, she cited the way the artist handles the paint, that she uses oil paint in so many ways. And, although the images are obviously based on historical stories, she points out “they’re so L.A., contemporary and of-the-moment.”
One of my favorites is “Daphne and the Laurel Tree” (the last image), which, at 72 x 48 inches, is relatively large work. I’d love to hang it in the living room at our house on the Cape. I love the colors, and how the tree creates angel wings. She’s so Nadja Auermann at the apex of the ’80s, but warmer and more fun. More like Nadja Auermann meets Stephanie Seymour meets Kate Moss.
She said Cate McQuaid, a critic from the Boston Globe, found them to be sort of “Project Runway” gone awry. But Stephanie sees women that are “playing with fashion, while snubbing what they’re portraying, and pushing boundaries.”
Either way, let them eat cake!
On view at Walker Contemporary, 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston until the end of March.
My friend Tanya hosted a birthday lunch this afternoon. There was a delicious fennel salad and absolutely divine individual spinach and feta soufflés. Her husband Rob made the desserts, including this gorgeous vanilla cream tart studded with berries.
There was also handmade ricotta drizzled with honey on some sort of fancy cracker ($8 a box for the crackers, but it was her birthday after all), and lemon profiteroles. Maybe they will cater my birthday brunch.