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LIZ MARKUS – TOWN AND COUNTRY

James Andrew in Liz Markus' Studio

James Andrew in Liz Markus’ Studio

Artist Liz Markus happened upon WIJW while searching for Billy Baldwin interiors online — as you know, we do love Baldwin, and have featured him on WIJW quite a lot over the years. In any case, we were sadly unable to see Markus’ recent show, “Town and Country” at the Nathalie Karg Gallery – it was featured on Vogue.com as one of the top four exhibitions to see (that were NOT Jeff Koons). Thankfully though, Markus graciously allowed us a lovely studio visit.

Lee Radziwill in Nina Ricci 2014 acrylic and pencil on unprimed canvas 72 x 54 inches

Lee Radziwill in Nina Ricci
2014
acrylic and pencil on unprimed canvas
72 x 54 inches

Markus’ portraits have a certain fresh, elegant chic, in synergy with the iconic women they capture. There’s a gratifying reciprocity between technique and subject matter in her works – a meeting of art and icon that, to me, elicits the mood of some of the classic Slim Aaron photographs I love so much. A ravishing bouquet of thinned and often bleeding colors applied with a quick, assured, and lively stroke, makes these works by Markus perfect for the interiors I’m creating for my clients.

Aerin Lauder 2014 acrylic and pencil on unprimed canvas 60 x 48 inches

Aerin Lauder
2014
acrylic and pencil on unprimed canvas
60 x 48 inches

As always I love to get artists’ take on their work and journey. Markus shares:

My bodies of work reflect different periods of my life. A series of psychedelic hippie paintings reflects the impressions I had of life as a child in the 1970’s. Attending prep school I became enamored of WASP culture. Compared to my sometimes difficult home life, suppressing all emotion while stressing proper etiquette sounded safe and appealing. My paintings began to reflect that culture, most prominently in my series of Nancy Reagan portraits, where the bleeding paint distorts the “perfect” façade she projects to the world allowing for a more psychological read of her. After exploring 1980’s punk and new wave culture, as well as love and landscapes, I turned my eye back to WASP culture, specifically the homes they lived in.

A chance purchase of a Sister Parish biography while in London began a continuing obsession with the great American interior designers of the 20th century. After Sister, I read everything I could find on Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley, and others. In 2013 I began to paint images of their rooms. Unable to find an image of Hadley’s famous red hallway without him in it, I included his figure in the painting. Having a human presence in the work made it more compelling, it seemed to offer the viewer a way into the painting. I began to look for images of the people who naturally populate the rooms I love. I found a great image of Lee Radziwill, dressed in Lanvin and standing in a red room. Gradually the rooms became less important as the paintings turned into portraits of the great socialites from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. These very glamorous and powerful women often had great tragedy in their lives. With my technique of using paint to stain unprimed canvas the images become distorted and it appears that the inner lives of the women are revealed.

Marella Agnelli 2014 acrylic and pencil on unprimed canvas 60 x 48 inches

Marella Agnelli
2014
acrylic and pencil on unprimed canvas
60 x 48 inches

 Babe Paley 1 2014 acrylic and pencil on unprimed canvas 60 x 48 inches SOLD


Babe Paley 1
2014
acrylic and pencil on unprimed canvas
60 x 48 inches
SOLD

Markus is an artist after my own heart – all of the incredible connections we share and admire have made me an instant fan. I am so looking forward to following Markus and her rise to stardom. Do make a point to peruse her website and procure one of her amazing works!

Dressed for a studio visit with Markus, I’m sporting a Tom Ford “Spencer” jacket in ink and ivory silk glen plaid and pale blue mini herringbone cotton shirt, Cassette citron yellow jeans, Gucci navy suede loafers, a fabulous blue woven leather belt by Adriano Meneghetti (more on this in an upcoming post) pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, Rolex, yellow silk retro print pocket square by Charvet and my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino.

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A WEEKEND ON CAPE MAY

James Andrew on Cape May

James Andrew on Cape May

It seems I’m becoming something of a professional house guest, and with quite a few recent invitations, I’ve been very pleased to spend some wonderful weekends out of town.

Speaking of which, I had the most delightful stay in Cape May, New Jersey, this weekend. My super chic friends Mark Alden Lukas and his partner Edward Celata were our most gracious hosts.

Lukas has been summering on Cape May for all of his life and has become, as you might imagine, an authority on all things having to do with the place, including its rich architectural heritage! In fact, he himself acquired a glorious Gothic Revival house that was transformed into a Colonial Revival in 1904. Lukas has been lovingly and painstakingly restoring the house to its original splendor and beyond.

During my stay, Lukas treated me to the most terrific architectural tour. The story goes that in the late 1880s, Cape May went out of fashion, and people took to Newport and Atlantic City instead. As a result, Cape May basically fell asleep for almost 100 years. A massive 1940s hurricane and another in the 60s destroyed much of what once stood on the beach front, but for the most part the town is a snapshot frozen in time. During its hay day, the people of Cape May indulged themselves with all the fashionable and important architects, and subsequently there is a really fantastic diversity of architectural styles to see.

Gallagher House in the Second Empire style

Gallagher House in the Second Empire style

Cherry House in the late Federal Style c. 1840s

Cherry House in the late Federal Style c. 1840s

Physick Estate, Stick style, 1879. Attributed to Frank Furness

Physick Estate, Stick style, 1879. Attributed to Frank Furness

A lovely little folly.

A lovely little folly.

I’m pictured in front of the Mainstay Inn. It’s a bracketed American Villa style building originally built in the 1870s (and known then as Jackson’s Clubhouse, a gambling hall and gentlemen’s club). For a morning of touring, I’m sporting a straw hat from India Hicks’ chic Harbour Island shop- The Sugar Mill, a YSL black cotton poplin safari style shirt, Tom Ford black linen sateen pant, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle and Louboutin black leather sandal/espadrilles, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Creed Orange Spice.

Needless to say, after our tour, it was off to lounge on the beach and sip a few bottles of very chilled rosé.

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BRINGING IT TO THE CAPE

James Andrew, Cape Cod

James Andrew, Cape Cod

If you’ve been following us here on WIJW, you’ll know that I generally don’t buy into set ideas of dress code for a particular environment — instead I prefer to thoroughly indulge my own fantasies.

The Cape can have a super casual vibe, with shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops, however I think this is a rather unimaginative option—not particularly “sartorially” striking to say the least—I of course tend to put a little more thought and effort into things. After a glorious day of lounging beach side, I’m pictured here with a look that I think is both chic and yet casually at ease. I’m wearing a pink silk Tom Ford “Spencer” jacket, custom pale blue cotton linen shirt with contrast white collar and cuffs, pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, vintage Rolex, JKP woven white cotton belt, Ralph Lauren pink and blue paisley cotton voile pocket square, Our Legacy hemp and silk shorts, madras plaid espadrilles, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino

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