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James Andrew

James Andrew

The notion of working on the weekend may seem like drudgery to some, but I love what I do, weekend or not. In fact, as a creative person, one is actually “working” all the time…and it’s no accident, this happy state of affairs for me. It’s a reality I’ve always imagined for myself! The idea here is to bring vocation that much closer to vacation until the two are virtually indistinguishable. All this being said, a big part of what I do involves knowing what is out there—doing the footwork, and bring the best of what I’ve found to my clients.

With my weekdays busy decorating for clients, creating content for WIJW, and attending the many social obligations one inevitably has as a New Yorker, it’s almost impossible to do and see all that one would like. Thankfully I look to the weekends for time to catch up, and this weekend I treated myself to an exquisite exhibition, The Art of Tôle, Flowers, Fruit, and Buzzing Insects by Carmen Almon at The Chinese Porcelain Co. in NYC.

Pink Peony - Carmen Almon

Pink Peony – Carmen Almon

I was introduced to Almon’s stunning sheet metal, brass, and oil-painted sculptures through my friend (and magnificent aesthete) Howard Slatkin who has been a major advocate of Almon’s work.

Almon’s early botanical watercolors caught the eye of style icon socialite/swan, Deeda Blair, who subsequently had Almon restore some of her antique tôle pieces—a serendipitous meeting of artist with medium (and patron!) that has had lasting effects.

It’s a bit hard to describe these pieces (and I’m afraid these pictures fall far short of doing them justice) – there’s certainly a recollection of the attention to detail that one might find in the work of 17/18th c. botanists and entomologists, but along with the added (and surprising) dimensionality, Almon brings to her pieces a sense of intimacy and a palpable sense of the temporal/ephemeral quality of the natural world. It’s the most elegant fusing of multi-disciplines that make Almon’s pieces at once painterly, and yet sculptural…and all is realized with the most delicate sense of coloration. Our friend, Slatkin, puts it quite well when he references Joel A. Rosenthal’s celebrated jewelry in an effort to describe Almon’s beautiful work.

Pineapples - Carmen Armon

Pineapples – Carmen Armon

The exhibition ends November 1st so do make a point to visit the Chinese Porcelain Co at 475 Park Avenue New York —and while you are there be sure and take a look at Scott McBee’s stunning ocean liner and yacht paintings.

Dressed for a working weekend I am sporting a vintage Loden Frey cape, Eddie Bauer bright chartreuse slim fitting down jacket,Tom Ford era Gucci purple feather weight cashmere turtleneck sweater, Uniqlo jeans, YSL augergine suede “Eton” boot, Hildestahl “Valfrid” leather tote, Tom Ford “Nicolo” sunglasses, Rolex watch and my fragrance is Creed Bois du Portugal.

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James Andrew at the Scott McBee studio

James Andrew at the Scott McBee studio

“His Ship Has Come In. How Scott McBee became the pre-eminent portrait painter of yachts,” Aaron Kuriloff entitles his piece for Bloomberg Pursuits. A fitting tribute to our formidable artist friend — well done Scott McBee! Since Mcbee is near and dear to our hearts, we are of course beyond thrilled to share his success with our WIJW readership.

Artist Scott McBee in his studio.

Artist Scott McBee in his studio. (click to view article)

View McBee’s work (yacht and ocean liner paintings) online at www.scottmcbee.com, or find a selection for purchase here in New York City at the Chinese Porcelain Company on Park Avenue. Also, McBee’s fabulous animal paintings can be found at Creel and Gow on 131 East 70th Street as well as at John Fondas’ fabulous, The Island Store in Lyford. Should you want to commission a fine yacht portrait, do schedule your piece early on as there is now quite a waiting list!

Stopping by McBee’s studio to celebrate this brilliant press release, I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci red leather biker jacket and black and white striped cotton shirt with French cuffs, pearl cuff links, my black and grey silk paisley ascot by Le Noued Pappillion, Rolex watch, Paul Smith light weight grey wool pants, black alligator belt with sterling buckle by Ralph Lauren, YSL black leather “Windsor” loafers and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

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Pagoda Red

James Andrew at the Pagoda Red satellite store, NYC. photo by Matthew Dean

James Andrew at the Pagoda Red satellite store, 1stDIbs, New York City. photo by Matthew Dean

Getting ideas for our WIJW Shangai HQ, I’m pictured (above) at the stunning Chicago based Pagoda Red satellite gallery located at 1stDIbs, 200 Lexington Avenue here in New York City.

As you may know we here at WIJW are huge fans of Asian art and antiques—supremely versatile, Asian work can bring that perfectly exotic touch to a wide range of interiors—from modern to transitional to more traditional interiors; in fact, I incorporate Asian pieces in nearly all of the interiors I create for my clients.

For a rather remarkable selection of Chinese art and antique, Chicago based Pagoda Red is a fantastic go-to resource. They have a rich selection of 18th and 19th century Chinese furniture and art as well as contemporary Chinese and Asian work. Regarding the latter, there is a noteworthy emerging base of designers and artists that are now producing some spectacular contemporary Asian pieces like the lovely lucite chair with Ming porcelain-style joints I’m picture sitting in, or the marvelous meditation stone writing table with a modernist metal base (also pictured below)—a super chic conflation of old and new.

Lucite and porcelain chairs. Each blue and white porcelain joint is hand-painted with a Ming lotus pattern and fired in the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. Beijing, China, 2010

Lucite and porcelain chairs. Each blue and white porcelain joint is hand-painted with a Ming lotus pattern and fired in the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. Beijing, China, 2010

Meditation Stone Top Writing Table, Liaoning Province, China, Contemporary.

Meditation Stone Top Writing Table, Liaoning Province, China, Contemporary.

I’m making room for this phenomanal 18th Century Japanese “Arctic Falcon” painting (below) either for myself or one of my lucky clients.

Kano school painting of an Arctic Hawk on its stand rendered in ink and colors on silk. Japan 18th century Ink and Colors on Silk

Kano school painting of an Arctic Hawk on its stand. Ink and color on silk, Japan 18th century

Photographed at Pagoda Red here in New York City by the uber talented Matthew Dean, I’m sporting a Tom Ford “Country Jacket” in amethyst wool silk tri-color windowpane and a mauve cotton micro check shirt with French cuffs, Charvet chartreuse silk tie and pocket square, antique moon stone cuff links, vintage Rolex watch, Gucci chartreuse python belt with silver double horse head buckle, Yves Saint Laurant aubergine suede “Eton” boot and my fragrance, for a touch of the exotic, is Creed Original Santal.