COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Archaic design for necklace (with dark red garnets in cabochon) and brooch (with malachite). Courtesy of Lalaounis.

For saturated tastes such as ours today, few are the luxury pieces that stand apart. As consumers we have become blasé precisely because the market is crowded with too many brands fighting for our attention. Print ads, promotional videos, short films, Facebook endorsements, and chatty tweets raise the volume of noise and confusion. To counter […]

An illustration to the Ramayana Mewar, circa 1710. Courtesy of Bonhams.

As Asia Week New York just kicked off, fervor for the numerous works exhibited at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams is rising. Auctions are scheduled for the upcoming week. A collaboration among auction houses, independent dealers and major cultural institutions, such as Asia Society, Japan Society, Rubin Museum of Art etc., Asia Week aims at celebrating and […]

Jean Fouquet. Bracelet, 1927. Courtesy of Hancocks.

Art Fairs are the millennials of art patronage. They proliferate rapidly, embrace life, art and technology in their 2.0 versions, and have no time to spare. Nurtured in times of privilege, they are overly specialized and exclusive, trendsetters in a post-modern culture that fosters breadth of knowledge rather than depth. In a calendar year, art […]

Fornasetti enamelled brown glass, 1937. Courtesy of Alexandre Biaggi.

Call it name-dropping, call it trend-setting, brand-cladding is an art for urbane New Yorkers. These global nomads, whether local or international, are well versed in the language of brands. They show a flare for branded apparel, define their lifestyle according to branded neighborhoods, and consume branded art by means of branded funds and trust accounts.  […]

Lapis Lazuli Desk Box. Courtesy of A La Vielle Russie, New York.

The infinite, the mysterious, and the inaccessible have always fascinated us. When combined with the clarity and beauty of a deep blue sky they provoke feelings of awe and desire. At least, that’s what we learn about the color blue specifically and the origins of our enthrallment with it in an article by Natalie Angier in […]

Depiction of a cabinet of curiosities on a print.

Is the epicenter of contemporary artistic creation shifting? New York City, a place of eternal social, creative, and urban renewal, seems to be losing its edge. Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum boasts a vast collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, one that evolved from a cabinet of curiosities annexed to the National Treasury to a modern museum […]

Courtesy of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires

From museum-quality paintings to precious objets d’art, the Biennale des Antiquaires continues to offer masterpieces to an international pool of collectors. Open from September 14 through 23, the Biennale is housed at the Grand Palais. The legendary iron-and-glass Parisian structure is getting a special treatment this year under the direction of designer Karl Lagerfeld who […]

Parviz Tanavoli. Heech in a Cage. ca. 1970. Courtesy of the Grey Art Gallery.

A heavy bronze sculpture rested on my windowsill, perched over Washington Square Park for about ten years. “Heech in a Cage” by Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli (b. 1937) was on loan to NYU’ s Department of Art History from the Grey Art Gallery, two academic departments that benefited from Abby Weed Grey’s generosity and artistic […]

Antico. Meleager. ca. 1496. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

If Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi were living today he would be the CEO and Creative Director of his own luxury brand, most aptly named “Antico.”  But Antico himself (ca. 1455-1528) was an Italian sculptor who worked during the peak of the Renaissance and produced immaculate neo-Classical bronze statuettes of ancient heroes and gods for his […]