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An Empty Manhattan Apartment Is Transformed into a Work of Art
“I’m going home to paint my walls red,” artist Mickalene Thomas exclaimed earlier this week after walking through an apartment on New York’s Upper East Side. In the living room, which she decorated, a series of photographs of her mother and muse, Sandra Bush, fittingly titled “How to Design a Room Around a Striking Piece of Art,” are hung against red lacquered walls, and a leopard-upholstered sofa and gleaming gold-top tables hold the floor.
Galerie magazine founder Lisa Fayne Cohen and No Longer Empty curator and cofounder Manon Slome tapped Thomas and six other artists and designers to create a dazzling space in the empty apartment for an exhibition called “Be My Guest: The Art of Interiors,” which opens by appointment today.
“You really can create a room around a work of art,” said Slome in an exclusive video interview streamed live on AD’s Facebook page. And that’s exactly what the talents were asked to do.
In the living room, Ghost of a Dream—comprising Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was—assembled kaleidoscopic walls from $70,000 worth of discarded lottery tickets for their work Dream Home, in which, naturally, the table is set with Hermès porcelain. In the bedroom, Teresa Diehl designed a hypnotic environment where 30 hand-crocheted translucent panels create a dreamy atmosphere for a video and sound installation. Barbara Bloom devised a music room, and in the passageway, Misha Kahn’s cartoonish resin mirrors straddle the line between art and design.
The apartment—like other domestic spaces before it—also inspires. Just this week, Thomas was photographing her partner perched on the leopard sofa in the living room, in the same pose that her mother struck in the photograph hanging overhead.
As Slome notes, “[The environment] will continue to make art.”
“Be My Guest: The Art of Interiors” is located on East 70th Street and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., by appointment only. For reservations, contact 212-675-4140 or email@example.com