Artful Options // at the NY Gift Show

The NYIGF, the “gift show” is in NYC twice a year, filling two piers and the Jacob Javits center with merchandise. 35,0000 buyers from the US and 85 countries shop for new products in home decor, tabletop, personal accessories, kids, books & more. I’ve been attending for a number of years and look forward to catching up on what's new for the  home, particularly decorative accessories, art and artisanal products. I want to share some notable decorative art that I saw last week. For the past 15 years, Christopher Marley has been creating modern artworks from natural objects at Pheromones. His love of nature and the beauty of living and found things led him to create precise geometric artworks with these elements.

He incorporates insects, butterflies, fossils, crystals, shells & feathers into beautiful decorative pieces. His work has a geometric precision and creates visual impact on two levels, on one you have the overall shape crafted by his attention to spatial relationships, line and form.

And then you have the element itself, the insect or crystal or butterfly and its inherent beauty. Marley considers himself a storyteller because he takes the single object and crafts something bigger with his overall composition.

A favorite resource of mine for artisanal furnishings is Moderna, which features contemporary Brazilian furnishings. Roberta Schilling puts together a collection of modern furniture that represents the countries’ strong history of craftsmanship. Always supplemented with beautiful glass and ceramic pieces, this show also featured a number of terrific and different art pieces as well.

These colorful portrait paintings have great color and raw energy

A graphic collection of 20" x 20" glass squares with linear patterns creates an optical illusion, which varies depending upon the placement of the graphic works.

I especially liked this grouping of two-dimensional sculptural pieces crafted from paper in natural tones of white, grey and taupe.

Posters have been used in advertising since the early 1800‘s when printing made mass production possible. The Ross Art Group exhibits their collection of collectible vintage posters which includes many memorable and iconic images.  In the 1850's French artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec spent a great deal of time portraying the dancers at the Moulin Rouge. For income, Lautrec and other artists were hired to paint posters as advertisements for the shows.

La Goulue, Louise Weber, was the model for many of his artworks, both paintings and posters.

In the 1960's, the Artist David Klein created a group of iconic illustrated  TWA posters . Here are two favorites,


Andy Warhol used his famous “15 minutes” in many ways.  One of which was creating a series of four posters for Chanel in 1997, in different colors.  Warhol's pop paintings of many of the era's consumer products have become iconic images.

Another reference to fashion and design history is in a collection of prints from Dean Rhys Morgan. The London-based company has created limited edition giclee prints of drawings by various famous illustrators of the 20th century. This is a great way to acknowledge and enjoy beautifully rendered artwork that would otherwise not be seen, work that documents people, fashions, trends and places of the last century.

Tony Viramontes created graphic and vivid illustrations for many designers and magazines through the 70's and 80's. Much of his work captures the mood and energy of those years in fashion and music.

Jeremiah Goodman was an illustrator for Lord & Taylor for many years and was also known for the rooms he illustrated for the monthly covers of Interior Design magazine.

The Diana Vreeland, “Garden of Hell”  living room is wonderful,

and Sir John Gielgud's sitting room,

I highlighted several resources that I saw at the recent New York International Gift Fair (which is being rebranded this year to NY NOW, The Market for Home+Lifestyle, a more suitable name) that reflect an interest in nature and artisanal work as well as historical references in art, fashion & decor. There is a lot of overlap in these creative fields and these artists and companies are presenting products that respect and exemplify this.