on the wish to be offbeat
Photo courtesy Elle Decor
“Not everything has to be refined, that’s too easy and too boring. I like amusing things, funny things, offbeat things. In fact, if anything, I wish my taste were even more offbeat.”
- Chessy Rayner
background on last week's record breaking Sotheby's auction
Detail of the ‘Sickle Leaf’ carpet from the WAC Collection Auction
Last Wednesday Sotheby’s held its auction of the William A. Clark collection of 25 important carpets, which netted an astonishing $43,764,750. The crown jewel of the sale was a Safavid Empire ‘Sickle Leaf’ carpet from the first half of the 17th century which features an elaborate floral-on-red design with plum blossoms, vines, cypress trees, dramatic sickle leaves, and a detailed dark border. The remarkable carpet has been written about by scholars and exhibited at the Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian as well as overseas.
It brought a winning bid of $33,765,000 (or approximately $600,000 per square foot) which is an auction record for any carpet by a significant margin. The sale price was more than 4 times the auction estimate, and established a new benchmark for any Islamic work of art at auction.
Almost immediately after seeing the blog post from my friends at Doris Leslie Blau chronicling the sale I decided to investigate the back-story of the collection, and to consider the larger implications for the interior design industry.
revolutionary software that tracts images instead of text
This weekend I came across a story about Curalate, a (reasonably) new visual analytics and marketing platform. The service’s website tagline suggest;
Traditional social media is about text. Visual social media is about images. Yesterday’s social monitoring tools aren’t effective with today’s visual platforms. To make sense of it all, Curalate combines sophisticated image recognition algorithms with scalable big-data technologies, providing analysis of your images at a pixel level, revealing true metrics for your products, not just your pages.
For someone like me who’s fascinated by tech this is cool stuff, but even more interesting is the first round of data that was reported on VentureBeat about just what kinds of visual images are driving ‘likes’ and re-pins on Pinterest and Instagram.
The Latest Feathered Fixtures from Steven Wine
We’ve all heard the axiom ‘there’s nothing new in design, it’s all just elements arranged and viewed differently.’ I would say I’m inclined to agree 98% of the time.
But every now and then you come across an alchemist who squarely fits into the 2% category of designers who truly create something utterly and completely new.
When I met Steven Wine, the creative genius behind ABYU Lighting, 20 odd years ago while he was working at the Heller Gallery I knew he would become one of those characters – his completely irreverent and quintessentially zany world perspective positioned him for uniqueness. From his first recycled detergent bottle lamps to his latest plumed light fixtures his witty personality is omnipresently evident.
I visited his atelier last week with our design editor Carl Lana, and had a first hand look at 3 of his latest creations.