Welcome to 4×4, a brand new art feature where I ask 4 women, 4 questions about their favourite artwork – both in their homes and their dreams. I’m curious about the personal connections people make with art and what leads to the art becoming part of their home life.
To start this feature I’m delighted to welcome 4 hugely inspiring women, Katherine Ormerod of Work Work Work, Navaz Batliwalla of DisneyRollerGirl, Julia Rebaudo of Stylonylon and Emma Hart of Push PR.
Katherine Ormerod is an editorial director and brand consultant. She launched her blog workworkwork.co earlier this year and has a fascination with all things Californian.
“The piece just reminds me of the joy and happy times I’ve had in LA – there’s nothing more profound than that.” Katherine Ormerod
Q1: What is your favourite artwork and where is it from? I don’t have any originals in my home but I have a serious number of prints and reproductions. I never ever leave a gallery without a poster, print or card and have been collecting since my early teens. At the moment my favourite piece is Calder’s LACMA print and I bought it predictably enough at LACMA (click here for more on Calder).
Q2: Why do you love it? I’m in love with the West Coast and Los Angeles has played a huge part of my life in recent years. I’ve grown up with Calder and loved his mobiles as a girl – my mum went to art college and pretty much raised us in free galleries. The piece just reminds me of the joy and happy times I’ve had in LA – there’s nothing more profound than that.
Q3: Where does it live in your home? In my bedroom. I’m planning a Californian inspired wall – so far I’ve got a gorgeous linear sketch of Palm Springs’ architectural museum and I’m planning on adding a Gray Malin.
Q4: If money was no object what piece of art would you buy? I’d buy Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Not only is it a pivotal piece of art history, its visceral depiction of skin paved the way for some of my favourite 20th century artists like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. The violence of the underworld and sex industry is etched on all the women’s faces and I’ve always found the aggression and confrontational shapes of their bodies really affecting.
Navaz Batliwalla is a freelance fashion stylist, content creator and creative consultant. She is also the founder of fashion blog, Disneyrollergirl and published her book The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman in 2016.
“When I think of the American flag, I don’t think of the actual stars and stripes, I think of the paintings by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.” Navaz Batliwalla
Q1: What is your favourite artwork and where is it from? I have too many favourites to pick just one so I’m going to pick the one above my desk. It’s called American Flag III by Paul von Ringelheim. He is better known for his sculptures but my boyfriend found this print on eBay and thought it was right up my street.
Q2: Why do you love it? I have a thing for Americana. Growing up in the 80s, the New York art scene made a big impression on me that hasn’t gone away. It symbolised excitement and glamour and also a rough and readiness because the work I liked was collage, multi media or imprecise painting like Keith Haring’s. When I think of the American flag, I don’t think of the actual stars and stripes, I think of the paintings by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. It’s almost a deconstructed or defaced version of the flag – a bit punk maybe! The spare graphic-ness of this is really dynamic and feels optimistic. I’ve had this a few years but it feels timeless.
Q3: Where does it live in your home? It lives on the wall high above my desk. My house has an unusual layout, so my office is in a sunken area and the ceiling above my desk is really high and has a skylight. The walls are white but I have a lot of red accents. I have a red coated steel shelf directly above my desk, my red fitness ball that I use as a chair (also good for sit ups!), and a red Uten.Silo wall-mounted organiser next to it. We also have a Shiro Kuramata red revolving cabinet which is meant for storage but is basically a dust magnet. I love all the red accents though, they’re very ‘pop’ and energising. I walk past the von Ringelheim print about a hundred times a day and I’m still not bored of it.
Q4: If money was no object what piece of art would you buy? Without hesitation, the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture at 1359 Avenue of the Americas. It’s just an iconic, optimistic piece that would look fabulous in my garden!
Julia Rebaudo is a freelance journalist and creator of fashion and lifestyle blog Stylonylon.com
“I’ve always been taken with the passion and sheer abandon of ‘kiss’ images” Julia Rebaudo
Q1: What is your favourite artwork and where is it from? A linograph given to us by a Scottish artist friend of ours, Kate McMorrine.
Q2: Why do you love it? Ever since discovering a print of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss at my grandmother’s house as a teenager, I’ve always been taken with the passion and sheer abandon of ‘kiss’ images. I love the shape made by two bodies melting into each other. My obsession has led to creating painstaking collages of famous ‘kiss’ photographs, like the sailor Times Square kiss and the Elvis ‘touching tongues’ kiss backstage at a Virginia gig! This linograph, of a man in a bear suit enveloping a woman feeds in perfectly to my ‘kiss’ fascination.
Q3: Where does it live in your home? It hangs just above our piano in the kitchen, the cream background matches the cream colour of the piano!
Q4: If money was no object what piece of art would you buy? I went through a real impressionist phase in my twenties, roaming art galleries in a happy stupor. It would have to be a Monet or Degas.
Emma Hart is a former journalist who founded Push PR, a communications agency in 2002. An avid art collector, she is a regular at art fairs and galleries.
“Every time I look at it I can imagine it’s an interpretation of something different.” Emma Hart
Q1: What is your favourite artwork and where is it from? My current favourite is a new painting we purchased recently from the French Art Studio. We have bought a couple of pieces from them. They are lovely and offer a great customer service and experience and we have developed a nice relationship with them. The piece is by an artist called Andre Nadal. It’s very graphic. It has lots of texture and depth. From different angles the light hits it and offers a different look. I also like the fact that it could as easily be a monochrome microscopic close up of grass or something far more industrial and graphic.
Q2: Why do you love it? Every time I look at it (I’m looking at it now as I write this) I can imagine it’s an interpretation of something different. Today it’s a tangled cats cradle. I also love it because I am compelled to touch it (I don’t of course). I always know I love a piece of art when I have the urge to touch it.
Q3: Where does it live in your home? In the bedroom next to our bed. We have grey walls so it really suits the colour of the walls.
Q4: If money was no object what piece of art would you buy? The Mona Lisa. I’m just so intrigued by it. Not so much the look but the impact. I’d love to see people’s reactions if I had it hanging in our lounge. It’s not my taste at all but the impact and conversation starter it would create would be well worth it.