You might think that running Childs Gallery, one of Boston’s most established purveyors of fine art, would mean that Richard Baiano is stuffy, living like a citizen of the mid-20th century. But you would be wrong. Very wrong. Richard and his business partner, Stephanie Bond, who have co-owned the gallery since 2009, are constantly on the prowl looking for the next great artist all while honoring the 70-year history of the Newbury Street gallery that was founded by Charles D. Childs. Baiano got the art bug while working as an architect at GUND Partnership. We check in with him not just about the current state of Boston’s visual arts scene, but where he thinks it is going and which artists will be blazing that trail
Fashion designer Michael DePaulo is having a good year. Last February, the Boston native made his Palm Beach debut to critical acclaim and is getting ready to launch a new bridal and ready-to-wear line in December. Known primarily for his cocktail, evening and special occasion designs, DePaulo’s use of sophisticated lines with an innovative edge has attracted an A-list clientele that includes media and sports powerhouse Linda Pizzuti Henry and Tony Award-winning theater director Diane Paulus. We recently caught up with the handsome and peripatetic 34-year-old over coffee in the South End, where we talked about the intersection of fashion, design and architecture as well as the joys of the perfect plate of pasta.
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Newly opened BoMa has character out the wazoo, making this little hole-in-the-wall a force to be reckoned with. Beautifully handcrafted cedar and walnut carpentry, an over-sized pergola above the bar, and massive distressed beams along the ceiling make this South End hot spot effortlessly chic.
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I have a dream, a dream that one day, I will be able to travel to an exotic location and spend the rest of my days shopping to my heart’s desire without paying a single dime.
Louis Vuitton offers just that, besides the last part of course (I’m still on the hunt for a working money tree).
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Outside of Seoul, Korea, lies a house that is unique from the typical buildings you would see dotting the Korean landscape. Built by the Finnish architect Sami Rintala, The Element House winks down at visitors from atop a forest park in the city of Anyang, and operates as a secular temple paying homage to each of the four elements: water, fire, earth and air. A cavernous cube that supports its four elemental limbs is the anchor for this man-made sanctuary, and each separate room highlights one of the aforementioned elements.
The park lies in a river valley that has long been a treasured Buddhist retreat. Colored concrete forms a bed for incense, and guests may feel free to rest in the building, enjoy lunch, or just sit and clear the mind while contemplating the scenery.
The Elements House is a rumination on how a building could stand in as the polar opposite of the corybantic dynamism of a city such as Seoul. Its purpose? To remind us that beauty can most easily be found in nature, and that silence of the mind is as powerful as thought.
There is an architect out there who is near and dear to my heart: Robert Whitton.
I have never met the gentleman and probably never will, but I love him in the same way I love my four-year-old UGG slippers [editor’s note: Stephanie, this is unacceptable], the same way I love the pre-dinner aromas in my Mom’s kitchen on a late Sunday afternoon. Comfort love.
Why? In the early 70s, he designed a very special home. The home in which my husband and I now live. It has had a few owners, one major renovation; but it will grow old with us.
Here’s to the person who made me appreciate the makings of a pretty cool-looking box.
It took me about 6 years to track the man down. When I finally did, through a writer in Arizona, it was an honor to speak to the man who 1. Designed something pretty cutting edge, especially for this neck of the woods 2. Made me understand the spacial importance of the Golden Section and 3. Appreciate, yet again, the steadfast dedication of a true artist. I live within someone else’s sculpture.
And the Heavens aligned…
I found out that Mr. Whitton, not only an architect but an accomplished artist & furniture maker, designed a handful of houses similar to mine, randomly scattered across the country, from the East Coast to Arizona, where he now lives.
What at first appear to be a coincidental collection of boxes, arranged together to create solid looking yet unfixed dwellings, is subsequently a haven for the mathematically inclined. Every single wall, floating bookcase and window has been calculated to the n-th degree. For the ‘design-OCD mind’ (and really, I wouldn’t know), it really is heaven.
All of Robert Whitton’s houses have similar details: enormous expanses of stucco wall, Mondrian-like splashes of color, Meier-esque cantilevers and roof lines and a Walter Gropius blend of traditional and modern materials.
Additionally, Mr.Whitton’s jewelry and one of a kind pieces of furniture are black and white versions of the collaborative mingling of Art Deco, Modern, and Memphis Design.
Thank you, Mr. Whitton, for providing shelter in the form of a grand scale sculpture and for reminding me each and every day that some things are better left untouched.
Have you ever worked for a company who can’t seem to get their business strategy down pat? Like they are moving in a million different directions and the pathway to success seems long and harried at best?
Perhaps they should have taken tips from the Stockholm law offices of Hannes Snellman. A place where clarity and, at the same time, aggression, screams at you from every angle. In a lovely contemporary way of course. Hey, if you’re going to defend someone, you might as well be clear about it, right?
Artist Ulf Rollof teamed up with Swedish rug manufacturer, Kashtall, to weave together a hand-tufted wool and linen billboard, stating their main objective: fight with passion, strategy, and audacious commitment. And they did it in three pieces measuring 30.5 feet x 48 feet.
I wonder if these honchos have any specific reading requirements?
The world of Architecture and Interior Design may not have many rockstars, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Peter Marino, for example. A few reasons why Mr. Marino is cooler than the rest of us:
1. His firm is called Peter Marino Architect. Just in case you don’t know what he does. Being this direct requires chutzpah. He’s got it.
2. He looks like a cross between Karl Lagerfeld, a cleaner shaven Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, and my all-time flavor fave George “I Want Your Sex” Michael.
3. He designs like a mofo.
Not only has he created breathtakingly sophisticated spaces for the likes of Ermenegildo Zegna, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, but he’s also the man behind my two all-time favorites: the Zwinger Royal Porcelain Collection at the Oriental & Meissein Animal Galleries in Dresden, Germany, and the whimsical retrospective on the work of Claude & Francois-Xavier Lalanne at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France.
Sophistication is paramount, but it’s also clear he has a well-developed sense of humour. There’s a playfulness to his work that is unparalleled.
Little surprise that he made the famed Architectural Digest Top 100 List in 2010. Needless to say, if there’s anyone to bow down to, it’s Mr. Marino. Just watch out for his spiked boots.
Not as familiar as you ought to be? Get to know his work via the gallery below.
No, you aren’t witnessing the set-up for a lowbrow foam party. These ingenious creations are quite the opposite. Designer Asif Khan has recently fashioned machines that use three very simple components – helium, soap, and water – to create floating cloud-like structures that can be caught with fine netting to form an ethereal overhead canopy. In Khan’s eyes this cloud “experiment,” is an inquiry into the future of architecture, and it is clear this idea has boundless potential.
The canopy creates a visually entrancing diffusion of light that opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for Avant-Garde design. We’ve seen fashion that is flexible and dynamic, what happens when architecture takes this route?
As Khan says, “I believe that in the future architecture will be light, intelligent, and simple – like clouds. The Cloud experiment is about beginning that process to discover the future of architecture. Maybe we can carry a building in our pocket?” I look forward to following this gifted young designer and discovering what’s next…
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
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