Actor (and more recently along with wife Angelie Jolie, increasingly social activist) Brad Pitt recently purchased Dutch designer Jeroen Verhoeven's Cinderella Table ($293,000). On this same shopping spree at Design Miami/Basel, the actor also picked up two Max Lamb Bronze Poly Chairs ($25,000) and two Family Lamps by Atelier van Lieshout - all of which are outstanding design art pieces.
This design art style is unique and highly appealing (and unfortunately, exorbitantly expensive.)
The Cinderella Table is beautifully made - it consists of a solid block of white marble. This one piece provides a good example of the significance of contemporary process art. The birch version of this captivating table sits in The Collection of New York's MOMA.
div>Design art is a continuation of elements of mid-century modern art, which was whimsical but highly controversial. It polarised art critics, but Harold Rosenberg acknowledged it and supported it. During the transformation of artist Jackson Pollock's painting style into existential drama, Rosenberg stated, "what was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event".
When Brad Pitt purchased his furniture art pieces, he was at Design Miami/Basel - considered by many to be the grandest of the contemporary art exhibitions, the "Olympics" of modern art". The furniture art style is part of a new but rapidly-developing market. Fetching it may be, it can be understandably intimidating to consider starting a collection from highly influential artists such as these mid-century modern artists (i.e., George Nelson, Paul László, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchisamu).W.Magazine reports that even such talented, immersed in the design field people such as Marc Jacobs have been known to get intimidated by the art world. He is reported to have said, "I had in my mind that only incredibly grand, extremely wealthy people lived with art of any sort." This is Marc Jacobs, one of the world's most influential style setters - he's been artistic director at Louis Vuitton for the past decade. Marc Jacobs has had his own label since 1994.His foray started with a Christie's auction catalog, not too unusual. He fell in love with an 18" x 13" canvas oil painting, "Mary Calling Up A Storm," by Karen Kilimnik. He paid $31,000 for the portrait of a dark-haired young woman and within weeks, he acquired three Mike Kelly prints from Skarstedt gallery. His collection includes a Lalanne sheep sculpture, the "Peach" by Ed Ruscha and many other creative journey, mid century art pieces. (Click here to see designer Marc Jacobs Paris apartment.)Not all of us have the design genius of Marc Jacobs or the budget of Brat Pitt for the $230,000 Cinderella Table. For those of us who are still wanting to incorporate this serendipitous style in our home interiors, there are less costly alternatives. It isn't the quantity of the art but rather how striking the piece is, that makes it distinguished. Even one piece in a room can be effective. If you are lucky to have found a piece of mid century modern art that you cannot live without, the cost may very well be worth the investment.
Do: mix it with your other styles. Do: embrace it (don't be afraid of it). Do: use imagination in the placement and presentation of this piece. And, finally, do: consider that the fascination includes mid century modern art pieces as well as reproduction modern art (they are available at a much lower cost).
When done well, incorporating this new style is really another link in what should be the creative journey toward a beautiful living environment. These artists did not believe that the beauty was the end product. Rather, the fun, the inspiration and the stimulating, positive interaction between the product and the user, the artists felt, extended the beauty. In our individual lives, how we create, evolve and interact with our home interiors as well can define and extend real beauty.