Helen Varola, art advisor to billionaire real estate moguls and global asset management firms shares her picks at the new Frieze contemporary art fair that has taken over New York this week.
Money comes and goes, and the hip contemporary art fair Frieze has arrived on steroids in New York during “Billion-dollar Art Week,” casting shimmering SO-IL designed light on a market for everything.
Frieze also offers great aesthetic adventure and happenings where it’s not just business as usual. At Paris’s Galerie Chantal Crousel, the New York collective Reena Spaulings has produced a series of monochrome paintings on pizza boxes, that came from last fall’s Occupation Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park anti-capitalist protests. Going contrary to the commercial art fair model seeking to engage viewers interactively, look out for Latifah Eckakhch’s outdoor tumbleweed installation and Uri Uran’s medical examination inspired by the psychiatric hospital on Randall’s Island. A good place to start or end one’s excursion into the art world.
A commanding wall-filling “Too Big to Fail” by Barbara Kruger, Mark Wallinger’s resolutely tiny, unheroic “The White Horse” due to be blown up to gigantic proportions into a 164-foot high public artwork in Kent, England and an unassuming but politically potent Walid Raad piece sums up the ridiculous to the sublime.
Stephanie Hirsch is someone to admire – she is an entrepreneur, author, designer, and now contemporary artist. Spiritual and a dedicated mother of two, she shares with us her inspiration behind her work and lifestyle favorites.
Melissa Meyers: You were a designer, author, and now an artist. Tell us how your past has influenced you.
Stephanie Hirsch: Whichever medium I have used to express myself my goal has always been to inspire people. Being a fashion designer (especially a swimwear designer), I designed with the intention for a woman to put on one of my creations and feel confident and strong, while wearing barely anything. I wrote my book “Mother Nurture” to inspire moms around the world to go on their own journey with their child, to help guide them to be the best person they could be. Now through my artwork, I inspire people with my interpretations of different sayings or mantras through beading and embroidery.
MM: Describe yourself as an artist.
SH: I try to stay connected to the light through different sayings and mantras. I interpret the emotions of these mantras through beading and embroidery. I always try to find the humor and enlightenment and to shed a positive light on our inner struggles.
MM: What inspired you to create this type of art?
SH: I was in a dark place in my life and had lost my creativity and zest for life. I always used mantras and sayings to keep me connected to a positive state, but at that time nothing would bring me back. I needed to literally and figuratively bring these mantras and sayings to life to help me get my sense of joy and passion back.
MM: Each piece has a special message. How many of each do you create?
SH: I have created 25 pieces so far.
MM: Describe the creative process and how each piece is made.
SH: First I sketch my idea in pencil, then I transfer my sketch onto a 5 x 7 canvas. I either sew or glue the beads/rhinestones onto the canvas to create a design and use colored pencil to mimic embroidery. Once the mini canvas is created I send the finished piece to India where each canvas is hand-done and takes approx. two-three months to complete.
MM: I know you have an impressive following. Who is the Stephanie Hirsch client or collector?
SH: A person who has an emotional, passionate response to the message I am conveying. It could be because they are going through or have gone through an experience and the message speaks to them. It is purely an emotional experience. Jennifer Miller is a client and very supportive fan, so much that she will rotate pieces of my work in her Southampton location all summer.
MM: Can we commission you to do a custom beaded canvas?
MM: What are the prices?
MM: Where can we check out your work?
SH: Clic Bookstore & Gallery, 23 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY, and the Alexandra Von Furstenberg store, 9001 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA.
MM: What is your favorite item in your wardrobe?
SH: My Elise Overland black pencil skirt. It is tough but sexy. I can dress it up or down and I always look pulled together.
MM: Favorite store?
SH: Barney’s New York.
MM: You have traveled extensively to India and to many exotic islands. What were some of your favorite trips?
SH: Bali, India, Morocco, and the Negev Desert (Israel).
MM: Do you have tips on decorating your home with art?
SH: Whichever artwork you choose for your home should inspire and make you smile.
MM: Can you tell me one of your new must-have home décor item, style accessory, or hostess gift?
SH: A big box of candy from Sylvester & Co… no one is ever disappointed!
| “Religion is for people that don’t want to go to hell.
Spirituality is for those of us that have been there.”
There is no better saying that captures the emotion of Stephanie Hirsch’s artwork. Her work delves into the deeper or double meaning of words and sayings with both humor and enlightenment. “Initially, sayings can be static,” Stephanie says, “but once we apply our life experiences they can have infinite meanings.”
To convey her messages, she bridges the gap between fashion and art by utilizing beads and embroidery, which give her artwork a three-dimensional depth. The metallic sheen of the medium also serves to remind us that the mantras can shine a positive light on our inner struggles, both literally and figuratively.
Stephanie Hirsch is an entrepreneur, designer, author and artist.
She created the inca resort lifestyle brand in 1996. The boutique design house featured collections of luxury swim and resort wear. With Stephanie’s trendsetting designs, inca became a globally recognized brand. Entirely self-taught, Stephanie’s designs have been praised for her unparalleled attention to detail along with its flattering and superior fit, and it has also brought her wide acclaim and international recognition as a fashion designer.
Following the birth of her son Hunter, her journey as a mother led her to write the book Mother Nurture: Life Lessons from America’s Best and Brightest.
The book is a conclusion of her interviews with the mothers of 52 highly successful people around the world and was published in 2008 by Harper Collins.
Stephanie has also collaborated with the premier indoor cycling studios SoulCycle. In bringing her design expertise and shared vision to reinvigorate the soul, she created their fitness line of comfortable yet stylish cycling apparel.
She now turns her attention to art, using her unique vision and flair for style in creating beautifully embroidered and beaded canvases.
Check out more of Stephanie’s work at www.stephanie-hirsch.com