A unique aspect of the art collection behind our most recently published project, "Art Lover's Atelier," is that the artists are predominantly women, spanning a wide age range, from young and emerging, to mid-career and mature artists, representing different stages in their careers and thus diverse perspectives.
Each piece of art was chosen to deepen the design narrative of the interior throughout the entire process of this project; the large-scale oil painting over the bar was the jumping off point and art was also the completion of this project.
Discovering artists was a joint effort between the client and Lotus Bleu and were sourced through many different channels; from social media, local & international galleries, to art fairs like the annual FOG Fair and West Coast Craft, and finally working with an art consultant to expand our repertoire even further, by introducing us to Bay Area Artists.
Informed by studies in art history, Jeannie and Kaoru have worked for various museums and art institutions in both New York City and Japan respectively. Tracking women artists holds a special place in Jeannie's heart, as she pursued her PhD. at Stanford in Gender Studies and Women Designers, namely Florine Stettheimer.
For the key focal spaces that called for statement pieces, Lotus Bleu worked directly with up and coming artists to specify custom commissions within the parameters set by the interior design; color palettes of materials, specific dimensions and context of the space into which the work would ultimately be displayed.
THE COMMISSION PROCESS DIFFERED BY ARTIST, BUT GENERALLY ENTAILED THESE STEPS:
1. Inquiry and requesting an estimate based on an inspiration image
2. Upon establishing contact with the artist and approval of budget by client, send space references to artists (fabric, wallpaper, paint samples, pictures of existing room)
3. Communicating throughout progress of work: artists provided either a sketch for approval and/or progress photos
4. Completion photo for final approval
5. Custom framing and Installation. For the Tracie Cheng painting, "Above The Clouds," a custom 12k white gold leaf gilded frame was selected to reflect the gold lines as well as chrome in rest of the room
Navigating through the complexities of working remotely required diligent correspondence with the artists, relying on color references through Pantone or powdercoat numbers, and frequent exchange of digital images.
Tracie Cheng, "above the clouds," 2017, mixed media on wooden panel
Sally England, "Ripples," 2017, mixed media
To round out the collection, we work with Satellite Of.Love, a local gallery located in the Mission, representing mid-career Bay Area artists. We were able to broaden the scope of medium to include sculpture and verre eglomise.
The breadth of art is also represented in the wide age range of the women artists, from the younger Sally England and Tracie Cheng to the most senior Patricia Lyons Stroud, who experienced WWII as a child and immigrated to the US as an adult. The varying stages of the artists' careers and their perspectives adds to the depth of the collection. Patricia Lyons Stroud, through her life experiences, extends her multi-decade investigation into liberating the forms, life energy and joy from individual pieces of wood to create evocative pattern and form. Sydney Cohen, an adjunct professor of painting/drawing at the California College of Arts, poetically applies thick layers of paint in unique color combinations to create unusual organic forms on her canvases and describes her work as "a preference for the most indirect path."
Each unique perspective of the artist comes together to create a cohesive, but variegated art collection which not only complements the interior, but also creates a stimulating environment, where one can live and engage with art on a daily basis. Putting together a harmonious interior space with phenomenal art gives us great joy and contentment, not only for the final concept, but through the process of discovery and interaction with each artist and their representatives.