Friday, May 14, 2021. A warm and sunny day, yesterday in New York. 70 degrees, said the weatherman with a Real Feel of 73. Perfect. The city is just moving along out of its isolation and this perfect weather is good for the spirit.
Friday is often our “decorator” — or HOUSE — day on the Diary. And this week we planned to do something on Pierre Bergian, an artist of interiors whose work “Portraits of Rooms” is on exhibit (and sale) at Emily Eerdmans’ gallery through Friday, May 28th.
How do the very rich spend their money? Well, you know, the house, the car, maybe the yacht, the private plane, the interiors, and the art. It does make a difference in your abode, the art.
Pierre Bergian knows far more about it than you or I because it’s his business. The exhibition at Eerdmans is a collection of more than 20 new paintings of iconic interiors by the Belgian artist. The idea for the show was conceived after Emily saw Pierre’s drawing he posted on Instagram on her way to the Mario Buatta Auction at Sotheby’s last January.
In Portraits of Rooms, Bergian depicts a selection of interiors from the pantheon of 20th century design, from Tony Duquette’s Dawnridge in Beverly Hills to Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris apartment. I was never in Lagerfeld’s apartment but I used to go to Duquette’s annual New Year’s Day lunch at the house that he created. It was like no other, before or since. It was a piece of art, a play, a movie, a story. The child in Tony grew up but the imagination he lived out all his life. The house is still there and available for tours. An early “apprenticeship” (of the imagination) with Lady Mendl taught him the “how.” It’s an example of what could only be created in Hollywood, America.
Among the collection are rooms of our friend (many people’s friend) Mario Buatta. Discussing today’s Diary with JH reminded of an interview Sian Ballen and Lesley Hauge did with Mario almost ten years ago. Mario was in his full feathered prime. He was an enormously successful interior decorator for he was a real artist. He was also a real comedian. I always thought he should do a standup in Las Vegas because he was very funny. He didn’t so much tell jokes but instead act out his funny stuff, often visually oriented.
For that reason, along with the Diary we are re-running their interview with Mario. Mario was a collector and also what used to be called a pack rat. Or what today is called a hoarder. Amazing stuff he hoarded, it is true – and on top of that he had massive amount of storage items elsewhere. He couldn’t help it. He was a serious artist about his work, but he was a devotee of his would be career. Also an art. And funny. I laughed all the way through the interview. He was a master. And good for a laugh, too.
Click here to visit Pierre Bergian: Portraits of Rooms.