One editor who joined me for champagne on the Ochre Salon said she felt quite humble in the face of Masterpiece, and doubly so having just hotfooted it from Chelsea Harbour’s Superyacht Design week. Walking the plushly carpeted halls of Masterpiece, I could see how even the pious may renounce their vows and wish they’d a few million to spend.
I was at Masterpiece with Ochre, a contemporary design company that I cherish and whose beautifully crafted products I covet. These pieces are modern collectables – something to fall in love with, never tire of and stamped with Ochre’s hallmark – discreet glamour. Ochre’s new creations were in the company of the old masters.
Collectors, curators, and designers flock to savour a staggering array of art, design, fine antique furniture, precious jewels and vintage cars showcasing £1 billion worth of works from antiquity to contemporary.
Standouts range from Impressionist paintings to unique diamonds. Within the first hour of the fair Apter Fredericks had sold an important mirror, a sale that was eclipsed by selling their pair of chinoiserie cabinets by Vile and Cobb to an American collector for a seven-figure sum. Another valuable sale belongs to Symbolic and Chase who have sold a 1912 Cartier Corsage for in excess of $20 million. These are accessible prices for the visiting troupe of shoppers at Masterpiece, which is now part of the glitterati’s social calendar.
The prize for Object of the Year went to Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s ‘The Masterpiece 2014’ exhibited by Blain Southern and Painting of the Year to an ‘en grissaile’ maritime work by William van der Velde The Elder (1611-1693), offered for sale by John Mitchell Paintings.
My highlights Richard Philip and Elizabeth Turk also highlight how Masterpiece is reinvigorating the market in the traditional fields and incorporating that with a new look at contemporary design.
Masterpiece is well worth a visit - even though some of the art and antiquities really do belong in museums…
Now in its fifth year, Masterpiece London returns as the highlight of London’s summer art season – taking place once again on the South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea from 26 June – 2 July (with a Preview on 25 June).
Masterpiece lines up over 3000 years’ worth of art history from antiquity to contemporary. It brings together international patrons, collectors, curators and exhibitors in a display of art, antiques, jewellery and design. No wonder Ochre is proud to be part of this Fair.
The Ochre Salon is dedicated to a discerning edit of lighting and furniture. Pieces are handcrafted using luxurious complementary materials and stamped with Ochre’s hallmark – discreet glamour.
These designs are modern collectables - something to fall in love with and never tire of. Exhibits have to be original in conception and faultless in execution or in other words of the highest order. And of-course Ochre rose to the occasion.
Each design begins with understanding the possibilities of a material and the designers spend time working alongside specialist craftsmen, in their workshops, exploring traditional techniques such as glass blowing, bronze casting and hand weaving. This is done in order to create highly crafted and highly valued pieces and in doing so bring traditional techniques into the present to serve a contemporary sensibility.
Take a look at the video that explores craftsmanship with a behind-the-scenes look at the Bronze workshop and the story of Seed Cloud with images by Kristin Perers. http://on.fb.me/1jwTWq7
I drew Iran in a World Cup sweepstake last week. I love watching the beautiful game but while my football draw may be short-lived, Iranian cinema has been described as one of the most exciting in the world today.
At the weekend I took my youngest to watch The White Balloon, a charming and gripping film that stays with you. Unlike the World Cup, I could watch this film over and over again.
It offers a subtle and artfully crafted political perspective on contemporary Iran, and it’s salutary to find a film with universal human themes that link us all together. The director Panahi stated, ‘in all my films, you never see an evil character, male or female. I believe everyone is a good person.’
Taking the socio-political stance to one side, The White Balloon shows the world through a child’s eye and captures the wide-eyed wonder of a young girl called Razieh, who is intent on buying a new goldfish in time for Tehran's annual New Year's Day festivities. She carries the film, which is mostly shot in the streets and alleys of a small patch of Tehran.
This is a masterpiece for many reason, but I was moved by the simplicity of story telling, its refreshingly slow pace and its lack of sentimentality. I loved the minimal narrative running alongside stunning imagery. The film has no music, as the background noises become the best soundtrack. And the film doesn’t finish but pauses with a frieze frame of the balloon seller, waiting for one New Year to end and another to begin.
Lovely moments can be created through simple matters. Here you are made to slow down and discover less is more. These are all threads that I for one need to weave into my daily and perhaps decorative life. And like Razieh, we should never take no for an answer.