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A Showcase for Mexican Design
The first edition of the Mexican-design exhibition Salón Cosa, which opened in late April in Mexico City, was a busy, irreverent romp, where handloomed textiles hung alongside fiberglass planters and a witty riff on the classic Castiglioni Arco lamp, its bulbous metal shade replaced by a plastic bucket. For the show’s second edition, which will run from Oct. 27 to 31, Salón Cosa descends on Guadalajara, Mexico’s third-largest metro area and home to one of the country’s most vibrant design scenes. Setting up shop in the Bellwort Hotel — which occupies a 1967 modernist gem by Julio de la Peña Lomelín — it will feature work from 13 local designers, ranging from furniture by Peca Studio to clothing from Julia and Renata Franco (pioneers of Guadalajara’s design scene) to earthenware pots from Chamula Hecho a Mano, produced in collaboration with local artisan Pablo Pajarito. saloncosa.com.
Having launched her Los Angeles catering and events company La Cura (“the cure” in Italian) in 2019, the self-taught chef Olivia Muniak would often, in the course of cooking elaborate dinner-party meals in clients’ homes, notice a crucial lack when it came time to unveil her culinary creations. “A lot of people had beautiful dishes and salad bowls, but the one thing they didn’t have was a platter,” she says. “Unless you host all the time, you don’t think to buy one.” During the height of the pandemic, when La Cura focused instead on custom content and brand partnerships, Muniak would frequently photograph meals plated on LA Clay ceramics — a company she’d fallen in love with while waiting tables at Venice’s Gjelina years ago. Eventually, Ernie Lee, LA Clay’s founder, reached out and suggested they collaborate. The result is a substantial, subtly speckled hand-thrown and kiln-fired oval platter that manages to be both elegant and rustic. $92, thisislacura.com.
A Far-Flung Photographic Flâneur
“Nice,” which will be published on Nov. 17, is Toronto-born photographer Mark Peckmezian’s debut photography book, comprising 115 snapshots taken in over 35 cities and showcasing an almost unnervingly naturalistic approach to portraiture that has led to commissions from the likes of Gucci, Dior and Hermès. Though he describes himself as painfully shy, Peckmezian’s typical modus operandi involves wandering the cities in which he works on assignment and approaching potential subjects — often with the help of a guide — who catch his artistic eye. The gap between how young people see themselves and how they present to the world is his abiding subject: “What their outward appearance is telling you about their identity is not what they think it is,” he says. “The identity is raw, confused, still being formed. The challenge is to articulate that visually.” $55, dashwoodbooks.com.
From Their Homes to Yours
Confined to their respective homes during last year’s lockdown, the design duo Campbell Rey set about conceptualizing a new furniture line commissioned by the high-end design platform the Invisible Collection. Unsurprisingly, they found themselves scrutinizing their own décors in the process. “We were working on the collection at the same time as building out our own interiors and reconsidering how we use them,” says Charlotte Rey. This public-private dialectic ultimately bore fruit in the form of an offbeat yet luxurious 12-piece furniture and glassware ensemble. A living mood board of eclectic inspirations spanning trompe-l’oeil and Georgian England to early 20th-century Swedish Grace, the designs betray an eccentric elegance and aristocratic whimsy, fulfilling Duncan Campbell’s intention that “every piece should bring a smile.” An iteration of the blue lacquered Apollo sofa table now sits in Campbell’s Cotswolds cottage, while the skirted Fabrizia cocktail chair in lavender moiré has pride of place in Rey’s West London bedroom. From $640; theinvisiblecollection.com.
Last fall, Richard Power, Simon Watson and John Power (a veteran magazine publisher, photographer and graphic designer, respectively) decided to form a fine-art book-publishing company. “It was terribly foolish,” Watson says, referring to publishing’s many risks. But the trio’s desire to share the work of certain artists, and to make timelessly beautiful objects, was irresistible. Dürer Editions (aptly named after the German Renaissance artist and self-publishing pioneer) launched its first three titles this month: Joni Sternbach’s ravishing black-and-white photographs of New York in the 1970s and ’80s; David Fernández Pérez’s photographic portrait of contemporary Tunisia; and Watson’s poetic study of a Georgian-style house in Dublin whose interiors have remained unchanged since the 18th century. The books’ designs are tastefully restrained, and Dürer has issued each one in a small print run and in a collector’s edition, which includes a slipcase and large signed archival print. From $48, durereditions.com. Photographs from Simon Watson’s “Portrait of a House” are on view at Kevin Kavanagh gallery in Dublin through Oct. 30.
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