My press comp to 2019’s Salon Art + Design included a much-appreciated perk of access to the Collectors Lounge, which featured a strikingly curated collection of unique art furniture from UK-based Sollands Gallery. Located in Mayfair, an affluent area in the West End of London, Sollands boasts elegant, contemporary pieces bearing the signature style of designer Grazyna (Gra) Solland. Gra, as she is called, is known for her strong sculptural statements, bold use of colors, and highly innovative and individual designs using high-end, luxurious materials. Working with both traditional and contemporary methods, together with a keen attention to detail and exacting quality, are hallmarks of Gra’s exquisite creations.
My favorite piece in the lounge was the vibrant, red lacquered Circ Coffee Table (2017). Having spent many years working on her STACK pieces, Gra decided she would like to further develop the theme, but in a much bolder manner. To create Circ, she regulated the wedge shapes and worked with circular shapes in a singular color.
Photographed in the Sollands Collectors Lounge at the 2019 Salon Art + Design in NYC.
An undeniable showstopper of the 2019 Salon Art + Design show in NYC, the translucent, rainbow-hued Minosse Glass Block Chair remains one of the most breathtaking pieces on the floor. Comprising a range of glass blocks set individually by hand, Minosserecalls ‘the labyrinthine geometries of mythic palaces belonging to ancient civilizations.’
An original design by Milan-based studiopluz, the chair was exhibited by London’s WonderGlass gallery as an integral part of its site-specific Dark Matter installation. Exploring the transformation of matter, sound, cosmic geometry, and light, Dark Matter was created in a collaboration that also included Tokyo-based studio, Curiosity by Gwenael Nicolas.
The throne-like chair pushes the boundaries of glass manipulation, allowing for the piece to represent advancements in color combination with the glass surface used as a white canvas upon which paint is applied by hand. The process is impossible to replicate, thus allowing each piece to celebrate individual authenticity as an integral part of its design resolution.
Photographed in November of 2019 at the Salon Art + Design at the NYC Armory.
The word Nkondi means “hunter,” and it’s also the name of an idol (made by the Kongo people in the Congo region in central Africa) that contains an aggressive spirit meant to hunt down and punish wrongdoers.
The Nkondi Chair, which consists of a No 16 Bentwood Chair by Michael Thonet and hundreds of single-use plastic straws, embodies both the spirit and the act of wrongdoing. In the US, 500 million plastic straws are used and thrown away every single day, and with its artful combinations of colorful plastic straws on the legs, backrest and seat, the Nkondi chair brings attention to the massive plastic pollution on our planet. It also references the artwork created with recycled materials in many countries throughout Africa.
Nkondi is part of the the Metamorphosis Series, where designer Francis Assadi takes the Thonet No. 16 chair and transforms it into a new and vibrant work of art and design.
All of the Metamorphosis series chair are one-of-a-kind/collector’s pieces, handcrafted in New York. Find out more about the unique furniture of Francis Assadi Design Studio at This Link!
I saw many, many breathtakingly beautiful things at The Salon Art and Design show at the Park Avenue Armory, and one of most unusual items, which I am sure I will never forget, was this three-drawer dresser by designer Kam Tin, which is covered on three sides in meticulously curated pieces of genuine Baltic Amber.
Have you ever seen anything like that? For this dresser, which Tin creates to-order so that no two are alike, the natural amber pieces are polished and mounted on the dresser’s wooden frame, fitted with brass legs, and topped with a plate of Italian tinted glass. The piece measures 27.5ʺW × 19.7ʺD × 31.4ʺH.
Amber Drawer Surface Detail
Each piece of amber was hand-selected for its color and inclusions. This chest of drawers has a retail price tag of $57,000.
Designed by Kam Tin for Maison Rapin at Decaso, Paris, France.
It took a little bit of hunting but, after a couple of hours on the floor, we found the Oh, Wow! item at this year’s ICFF show at Javits Center: this breathtaking bespoke Art Deco Arm Chair by designer John Landrum Bryant.
John explained to me that by stripping the signed Paris circa 1925 chair that he and his wife had purchased from the Steinitz Gallery in Paris many years ago, he created this one-of-a-kind piece, which belongs in his Exclamation! collection. The first step in the chair’s dramatic transformation was stripping and cleaning its intricate carved wood frame, which was first covered with a vibrant bluish lambskin to preserve every detail, and then a metallic pink finish.
Upholstery and Finish Details Above and Below
The chair was partially upholstered from one piece of cowhide, both plain and also embossed with good dots, in an indescribable shade of pink.
With this as the starting point, things really became interesting: lambskin in silver, in green and in pewter, an antique Japanese silk obi, and turquoise python all dance about this incomparable creation.
Dimensions are as follows:
This chair, which is unique and will not be copied, retails for $18,950 ($13,265 to the Trade). For purchase inquires, please visit This Link!
To travel in classical style across India requires an elegant vehicle and suitable luggage. That thought was clear to the celebrated film director Wes Anderson, when planning the props for his new film The Darjeeling Limited.
Together with Marc Jacobs, the Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, Anderson studied firm archives and historical luggage to come up with the design for an authentic calf-leather suitcases which play a role in the action.
The Darjeeling Limited tells the story of three brothers who have drifted apart since the death of their father. They set out on a train journey, on the Darjeeling Limited, to tour the Indian sub-continent. They take with them the suitcases which belonged to their father. Decorated with his initials, J.L.W., and a series of tropical motifs – giraffe, rhinoceros, antelope and palm tree – and constructed from Nomade natural leather, the luggage is perhaps a metaphor for the brothers’ emotional baggage.
The individual items of luggage became uniquely valuable collectibles after the conclusion of the film, and were indeed auctioned – with the proceeds going to the Rawal Mallinathji Foundation (RMF). As well as the luggage set, Marc Jacobs of Louis Vuitton was also responsible for the suits of the three brothers and the memorable blue leather shoes.
Photographed as part of the Exhibit Louis Vuitton: Volez, Voguez, Voyagez, in NYC, Which Runs Through January 7th, 2018. Curated by Olivier Saillard, the exhibition retraces the adventure of the House of Louis Vuitton from 1854 to the present. A story told through the portraits of its founders, as well as those who today are inventing the Louis Vuitton of tomorrow.
Love the One You’re With Poster By Robin Hercia (All Images Courtesy of the Artist)
To build a livelihood at the juncture where fine art and design merge, Robin Hercia drew on her experience as a multidisciplinary artist, tapped into her intuitive sense of how to individually serve each client, and sought to infuse appropriate projects with an essence of earth-based and eastern spiritual practices to establish a truly unique, bespoke approach to brand identity, graphic design and art direction. Based in Los Angeles, AWMYL is Hercia’s design studio, where she creates exciting graphic, surface, and printed product design specializing in, but not limited to, brand identities and products for clients working in the arenas of wellness, healing, yoga and mysticism.
Coming from a fine art background in lake art, the talented designer has an extensive resume of diverse works that include painting, screen-printing and installation. Her artwork (created under the name Robin Redd) has been exhibited in Canada, Europe and the US, including events such as 2009’s Aqua Art Fair in Miami, and Scope Miami Beach in 2013.
El Campeon Grande (Collaboration with Jon Todd, Aqua Art Fair Miami 2009)
Installation series for Message in a Bottle Exhibition Curated by Lori Zimmer (Scope Miami Beach 2013)
AIR14 Installation (Wynwood at Art Basel 2014)
Her project AIR14, a multi-use Geodesic Dome, was also featured in The Art of Cardboard: Big Ideas for Creativity, Collaboration, Storytelling, and Reuse by Lori Zimmer.
Above and Below, Havemeyer, Spray Paint, Screen Print, and Hand Embellished, SMASH Toronto
In 2012, Hercia relocated from Toronto to Southern California, opening AWMYL in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles in the spring of 2015. She initially works with imagery and materials that are analog and tangible in origin, and later transitions artwork for further manipulation digitally. The same personal interest in spirituality that inspires her fine artwork also informs her design practice at AWMYL. “I’ve spent years studying alternative or earth-based spiritual practices, such as Wicca, paganism, voodou, Golden Dawn, Theosophy, Buddhism, and Native American traditions, among others,” Hercia explains.
Poster for Redondo Beach Tarot Card Reader Joseph Lennon McCord (a.k.a. Joe Daddy)
“These studies are referenced in my work in obvious ways via graphics and imagery,” she continues, “but also subtly, in regards to what materials are used to create the image. I make a lot of my own dyes, pigments and inks from natural sources, which correspond, via assorted spiritual practices, to what the piece is about. For example, the indigo plant produces a blue color that is associated with Saturn, and it’s used to conjure protection, discipline, organization, and focus. In practice, if I’m creating a piece of art that reflects these qualities, or working on a design for a client who is, say, a healer or energy worker, then I’ll use an ink made from indigo to create that work. In the end, it means that the ink I’m dipping my pen into was designed to energetically attract the objective of that business.
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AWMYL’s brand identity products include custom fabric and wallpaper design, signage, print materials (business cards, letterhead, posters) and anything else that the client requests. She’s even designed a set of divination cards for an international yoga instructor. “I work with graphic design, and that’s mostly what people see me doing right now, but behind the scenes I’m working with textiles, metal, and interior design. I have an upcoming contract with a new school, Dev Mason, which is a totally cool web development school. For more website design and other services Click Through the Following Webpage – WebDesign499. I’ll be creating not only their brand identity, but also working on custom elements for the interiors of their five campuses, and designing the entire space. It’s my first time acting as Art Director at this scale and I’m really thrilled about it!”
Hercia also follows her own muse to create original projects just for the joy of it – her Love The One You’re With posters and postcards being an example. Hercia’s attraction to creating letterforms and fonts began in early childhood, while playing with Letraset transfer-sheet lettering, and 1970s-era design books. “I creatively re-drew the letters I saw in different variations,” she remembers. “When all you have to work with are letters and images, type is a very important component of graphic design. Creating custom letters, or altering letters to suit the application, is an integral technique in creating a feel and look. It’s a primary part of what I have to work with as a designer.”
“Love The One You’re With is an original typeface that I designed using ancient calligraphic tools and techniques, modeled after a traditional, hand-tooled font,” Hercia explains. While adhering to a general set of rules, each letter of the series contains a characteristic that is unique. Love The One Your With is an exploration in mark making – with a calligraphic foundation, it combines decorative elements in both practical and non-practical application, based on a set of rules, depending on the geometry and construction of individual letters. The letterforms also explore the juxtaposition between extreme thick and thin strokes within the construct of each particular letter, as well as in relation to neighboring units.
The result is a typeface whose ornamentation isn’t necessarily obvious, but which alludes to mythological symbolism and alchemy, and maintains unexpected organic elements with some intrigue and surprise – encouraging the viewer to take time to observe each letter on its own as it is expressly unique from each of the others, in addition to seeing the written text as a whole. Curator and author Lori Zimmer recently commented that her impression of Hercia’s typeface work is that “it evokes a vintage tarot feel” – so the intention definitely translates to the end product.
Created with calligraphy pens and India ink on a Didot typeface foundation, the Love The One You’re With posters are printed digitally, while the postcards are printed using a Risograph printer, yielding very similar results to that of screen-printing. “I’m hoping to get those letters into a format that can be purchased and used by anyone,” says Hercia. “I’ve used it on a few client projects, and while it’s a highly decorative typeface, it certainly works well on particular applications.”
Design is a multifaceted discipline, and Hercia is extremely hands-on. “The SEO Brisbane services had extensive experience with all types of design, including textiles, screen printing, weaving, embroidery, ceramics, wood working, knitting/crochet, calligraphy, marbling, macrame, woven beadwork, photography, etc. I grasp new skills easily, so if I can visualize something for a particular client, I can physically make it. For example, in the outdoor portion of my studio, I create my own gritty textures that get scanned and used digitally in graphic projects using plants and dirt placed on photosensitive papers and films.”
Her creative input doesn’t stop once the design is completed. Hercia goes as far as making custom calligraphy pens from various found materials, used along with her homemade inks and pigments, to channel the spirit of the project. She’ll create a texture that makes a surface look antique, rather than downloading a pattern online that could be accessed and used anybody. “These might be elements that people will miss visually,” she says, “but I know it’s there.” Ultimately, AMWYL’s approach creates work that stands out in a sea of computer-designed graphics.
With interests in so many aspects of design, Hercia is building a design empire. AWMYL has an expanding clientele in the wellness industry including yoga teachers and tarot readers, and she is currently creating the identity for Mindful Mamas (mindfulmamas.com), an online source for everything from yoga and meditation to education and community support; all content relating to healthy, happy mothers.
Robin Hercia’s intuitive and informed, personalized art direction makes AWYML a go-to resource for a company’s brand identity and graphic design requirements. “Often, graphic design is created with the Helvetica font and lots of white space,” she concludes. “I wanted to make decorative objects, but with a completely different feel. I’ve been drawing letters since I was 5 or 6 and I’ve accumulated eight years of design education. My professional experience includes commercial textile design, operating my own screen printing studio, designing a line of knitwear, and working in fashion for Betsey Johnson. After 36 years of creative observation and involvement, I know that I look at things in a very different way than most people.”