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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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  1. James!
    I was immediately attracted to the photo of you, but as usual your writing uplifts -I should not be surprised -but it is always a pleasant surprise -and I agree and am reminded -it is not work when it is your passion and joy -a vocation -and you have it -to make beautiful environments, to dress with such an elevated and joyous sensibility.
    Carmen Armon is certainly doing just that -obviously doing what she loves, because how could one not be when fabricating such exquisite creations!
    Your posts celebrate joy and creation, always. I love that.

  2. La Contessa says:

    This is scary……..you and I both did a post with the statues today!I was inside the LOUVRE in the FRENCH STATUARY section………what do you think?Please leave a comment!To do so click on the Title of the post and scroll down!
    You look dashing as per the norm…….even if its the weekend!BRAVO!

  3. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Philip,

    Life is indeed a celebration, I try and live my life from that perspective.

    It brings me great joy to share the brilliance and creativity of artists like Carmen Almon.

    Cheers and Thanks as always for your exquisite thoughts and feedback!


  4. James Andrew says:

    My Darling La Contessa,

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your ravishing photos!!!

    What a fantastic story and how very lucky your sons are to have such a magnificent mother as yourself.

    When will you be in NYC btw?

    Love and Light


  5. La Contessa is the eighth wonder of the world!

    That is the best story I have known in my entire life……and as you well know…..I am OLD!!!

    what a brilliant photographer to “cook this up”; and a brilliant mother to think of doing…..it…..and do it brilliantly!

    Sheesh!! How about that dress and coat……and jacket??

    she visited me about 3 months earlier….and we went to Lotusland.

    I feel like some first-grader telling the tale of that trip after that new trip!!

    Maybe I just stay small in the corner??


    My Granny (the best in the world) would have said……”Lord have mercy upon my soul!!!”

    so I sa the same thing! “LORD HAVE MERCY UPON MY SOUL!!!”


  6. say….last line….typo!

    I think we all need to go to Paris and be photographed with our loved ones! by this Carla genius! Soon!!

    that is what I say!!

    So there!!


  7. I have a funny story about Rolex; we have so many other things to talk about…….I have forgotten to tell you……and you will LOVE this story! Rolex! Steve McQueen! That Rolex…..stainless steel……car racing…..”Daytona”!!

    You will like it!!

  8. I thought “La Contessa” was inside the Louvre with these live chickens)

    (you saw mine!!) she is the niece of my favorite person who lived in my favorite house in Montecito! this is all true!!) and we met on our blogs!

    My favorite people I have met on the internet! David Patrick Columbia (is how I met you, James!!); what a world-opening it has been!!!

    My first foray many years ago onto the internet was because I read an article about David Patrick Columbia in the New York Observer!!

    so I hired a tutor!!

    What a wonderful world!!

    thank you for being a part of it!!

  9. that was 14 years ago or something! I forgot to say when I saw the article about David……he is now a totally treasured friend!

    14 years ago?? I don’t know!

    But Jeff Hirsch and David and right up there in my “treasured friend” status file!

    What a wonderful world opened for me! And you and Scott were additions……all because of that…..and your perspicacity!!!

    (such a good word….and perfect!) in context!!



  10. James Andrew says:

    My Darling Penny,

    I was just blown away by the gorgeousness of La Contessa’s last post!!!


    Yes a rendezvous in Paris – we all share are most favorite places to visit – what an exquisite time will be had by all.



  11. Heavens! I must get over to the Chinese Porcelain Company this week to take in those flowers. Thanks for the tip! Reggie
    PS I haven’t seen a Loden Frey cape in decades, what a pleasant reminder that was of days gone by. Is a Parisian Policeman’s cape not too far behind?

  12. James Andrew says:

    Darling Reggie,

    Yes you must and pick up a few of these beauties!!!

    I was very inspired by Hubert de Givenchy – who would quite often sport a lovely loden cape.



  13. James! I was in a taxi on Park Ave a few Sunday mornings ago and spotted a dashing man in a cape and sure enough, it was you wearing this chic outfit! Hope to see you very soon! xo

  14. James Andrew says:

    Darling Allison,

    That is so very funny!

    I suppose I am not to be missed in that loden cape.



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