Artists Living with Art

Image of Artists Living with Art
Release Date: 
September 21, 2015
Reviewed by: 

Making art a part of your daily life is invigorating because it becomes a touchstone for one’s sensibilities. Living with great art is a daily inspiration, especially if the art ushers one to a reverential or reflective place. Artists Living with Art is a breathtaking book with photos more aptly suited to Better Homes & Gardens or Architectural Digest than an art book. It give us an intimate look into the lives of artists who can afford to regale themselves with costly museum quality art to decorate their homes while also giving readers a front-row seat.

Artists Living with Art is a virtual Who’s Who of people in the art world, from Chuck Close to John Currin, to Mickalene Thomas, to Andres Serrano and Cindy Sherman. And likewise the art collected by them is comprehensive: from primitive masks, carvings, and photographs, to the baroque art of Anthony Van Dyck; and from the medieval age and renaissance to early 20th century’s Arp, Soutine, and Rodin; to modern-day Esther Pearl Watson; among many, many others.

There are astonishing displays of artistic riches in two-page spreads from the homes of Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Pat Steir, and Cindy Sherman. Often, no matter how impressive the art, it is superseded by the stunning layout of rooms, architecture, furnishings, and homes that dazzle with opulence, as in the NoHo penthouse of Chuck Close, or John Currin and Rachel Feinstein’s SoHo loft, or the simplicity of Eric Fischl and April Gornik’s Asian-inspired home. It is the interior design and the layout of their bounty that commands our attention.

The interviews with each of the 30 painters, sculptors, and photographers whose homes are on display are insightful, revealing why they are drawn to certain kinds of art, why they collect it, and how the art they collect relates to their own creative sensibilities. Living with great art is a process that inspires creativity to create great art.

While most of those who view this book are not in the position to gift a Vermeer painting or a Diane Arbus photograph to someone we love or a spouse, as do some couples in this volume, Artists Living with Art goes beyond mere boastfulness of the wealthy to a fascinating and measured sharing of their riches for a public viewing.

The expertly photographed interiors by Oberto Gili are a delight due to the large, highly detailed reproduction on the 9.5 x 11” pages, and the exquisite quality of the full-color printing that is so typical of a book published by Abrams. The color, craftsmanship of the binding, and bookmaking on this hefty 270-page volume will delight readers for many years to come.