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North Park Slope

The oft’ snickered about move from the isle of Manhattan, to the largest borough of NYC, is usually “caused” by the ticking of one’s biological clock. Babies mean Brooklyn, and in one particular area, it means stroller wars, marsupial moms and single-drip coffee cafes. “The Slope” is the antidote to many Manhattanites’ who are sick of squeezing into too-small rental apartments. The North Slope, which takes its name from its location on the western slope of the park, is filled with charming brownstones and historic architecture.   Let’s explore a hidden gem on Sterling Place in The Vermeil, a mortar and brick building attached to a pre-existing brownstone, steps away from Maggie Gyllenhaal’s townhouse:

North Park Slope

North Park Slope

The area is nestled adjacent to Prospect Park and the neighborhood is relatively affordable: case in point a swanky cocktail which runs me $16 in the city, is $10 on Flatbush Avenue. Known for its preponderance of families, serious couples, aging hippies, LGBTQ  hotspots, writers and other humanities driven types, the streets have a communal vibe. The location was even named one of the “Greatest Neighborhoods in America” by the American Planning Association in 2007, “for its architectural and historical features and its diverse mix of residents and businesses, all of which are supported and preserved by its active and involved citizenry.”

North Park Slope North Park Slope

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The natural light coming in from the large windows lends itself to shadow play. A sun drenched living room is perfect for lazy afternoon reading.

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North Park Slope

The details of an angled globe, chinoiserie chair, moroccan tuft, midcentury credenza, B & W Photo and paper lantern give the space a simple, east-meets-west vibe.

133 Sterling Place

Via.

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Richard Diebenkorn – An Artist’s Dwelling (10)

Richard Clifford Diebenkorn Jr. was born on April 22, 1922 in Portland, Oregon. His birth helped to “Keep Portland Weird” as they say. His family moved to San Francisco, California, when he was two years old. He was a wunderkind and was continually drawing from the age of four onward. He worked in hippie-dippie, liberal and idealistic locales ranging from New York City, Woodstock, New York to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Urbana, Illinois and Berkeley, California. Diebenkorn served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 until 1945 but was stationed in Virginia and Hawaii during those years. His “wartime” work was comprised of vaguely humorous, dark charcoal sketches. He used the time he had while stationed to tour important museum collections and to internalize favorite traits and styles of artists such as Hopper, Matisse, and Gorky.

Richard Diebenkorn in Studio

Via.

 Richard Diebenkorn in his studio by Manitoba Museum of Finds Art

Richard Diebenkorn in his studio by Manitoba Museum of Finds Art
Richard Diebenkorn Negatives or Polaroids
The many emotions, phases and figurative positioning of Richard Diebenkorn via Eye-Likey.

Once the war was over, he moved back West and came to define the California school of Abstract Expressionism of the early 1950s. The field of art was only just “invented” in the 1940’s, in New York City and was still a burgeoning field. Interestingly, for a modern artist, Diebenkorn embraced art’s academic institution, both as a student and teacher, holding numerous professorships all over the Midwest and West Coast. He even studied under the G.I. Bill.

In 2008, when the Obamas first were looking to update the storied White House art collection to include modern art and work by minorities and women, they approached The National Gallery of Art.  A large-scale painting by Diebenkorn titled “Berkeley No. 52” was in the mix.

A painting from Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series.

A painting from Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series is in this neutral master suite. The interior designer, Douglas Durkin reinvented this San Francisco apartment and allowed it to be dictated by the art: “The interior design is about serving the collection.” Image via Architectural Digest.

Sheila Bridges in Elle DecorA Victorian townhouse  in New York City gets a museum worth update by Sheila Bridges. Artwork in the living room includes, from left, a photo by Mark Heithoff and prints by Richard Diebenkorn and Sonia Delaunay; the zebrawood cocktail table has a stainless-steel base.Image via Elle Decor.

Untitled work by Richard Diebenkorn. Photography by Scott Frances

Playing with architectural right angles, this many-rectangled room features an untitled work by Richard Diebenkorn. Photography by Scott Frances. Image via Architectural Digest.

Room & Board - Diebenkorn

Abstract artist Richard Diebenkorn’s work was an exploration of form, color and poetic metaphor. He combined landscape influence, aerial perspective, and a private, calligraphic language into a dynamic style that engages and excites the viewer. Framed Diebenkorn work “Ocean Park 116”, 1979 via Room & Board.

Ocean Park Series 23, Diebenkorn

Patsy Tarr in front of ‘Ocean Park Series 23’ by Richard Diebenkorn in the living room. The bronze coffee table is by Alberto Giacometti. I’ll take one of each please! Image via New York Social Diary.

Diebenkorn’s compositional strengths gather around distinct, sensually drawn lines. Many of his series feature overlapping, translucent and scraped colors and paint. A process that is discernible to both artist and viewer. Leaving one to wonder what exactly is underneath each layer. It’s hard to describe the artist’s breadth of work the artist created – they are both muted and bright, mechanical and organic, representational and abstract. Some are small, claustrophobic and intimate, others grid-like and huge, echoing with emotion. Regardless of style, his works are powerful investigations between the interaction of space, landscapes, color and light. All somehow yearning and lonely, hearkening on the confusion of a single atom in a large universe.

Richard Diebenkorn in his studio at Main Street and Ashland Avenue in Santa Monica, ca. 1970–71. Photo by Richard Grant. Courtesy of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation and Richard Grant

Richard Diebenkorn in his studio at Main Street and Ashland Avenue in Santa Monica, ca. 1970–71. Photo by Richard Grant. Image from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation and Richard Grant.

Diebenkorn c. 1980's

Diebenkorn c. 1980’s via Eye-Likey.

Diebenkorn by Lyon

Richard Diebenkorn  by Fred Lyon, 1958. Image via 1stdibs, here.

Richard Diebenkorn

The “Ocean Park” Series Via Lisa Call.

Over the years his palette changes: flesh tones and grays are replaced by kitten-tongue pinks and blues, and then by deeper and darker contrasts of yellow, poppy orange and grass green. “The idea is to get everything right—it’s not just color or form or space or line—it’s everything all at once.” —Richard Diebenkorn

How can you live inside the whitewashed, soft pastel, multifaceted, and transient world of Richard Diebenkorn? Take heed:

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Narciso Rodriguez X Kohl’s

Drawing inspiration from the vibrant city of Istanbul, the Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation collection is available at Kohl’s for a limited time. Known for his perfection of color blocking and “the line”, Narciso’s entire collection was inspired by a trip to Turkey and features misses’ outerwear, dresses, skirts, pants and shirts with prices ranging from $30 to $150. That price range means that yours truly can afford to “splurge” on a few pieces at a time!

Features distinguishing the line include color blocking, the interplay of black and white, tuxedo separates, and ultra-feminine dresses. One of the foremost American designers during the last two decades, Narciso Rodriguez plays a singular role in global fashion. As the famed, sunglass bespeckled Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue has said, “No one but Narciso has ever made a simple line look more stunning.” Narciso’s minimalist, clean design aesthetic runs throughout the collection which is also highly affordable. As the son of cuban immigrants, I appreciate Rodriguez’s offer of simple yet affordable mastery.

Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Colorblock Ponte Sheath Dress.  Structured, measured and balanced with beautifully slimming proportions. Mustard deep yellows mingle with royal purples and tethered by a basic black.

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Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Colorblock Ponte Dress. A gorgeous and unexpected color palette. Sky blue mingles with maraschino cherry reds, burgundies and fuchsia. Professional yet cheerful!

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Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Wool-Blend Coat. A billowing coat’s silhouette, cinched at the waist and juxtaposed with ultra slim tights.  The pink is uber feminine, but tamed by then manly style of the smoking jacket lapels, and robe cut.

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Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Lurex Tweed Jacket. Sophisticated and professional fabric blends meet dark and whimsical accoutrements. Intellectual, wasp meets punk rock mall rat.

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Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Colorblock Sweater and Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Crepe Tuxedo Pants. Rodriguez is continuing the trend of high-profile designers doing collections for retailers to give public access to world-class fashion at affordable prices. He has been honored with three CFDA Awards, named one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America” by Time Magazine, and won the Fashion Icon Award from the Pratt Institute. In the look above, sea-foam greens and blues mingle with the seriousness of a black rectangle. The color play is quirky yet enlightened.

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While my inspiration was drawn from the ancient and historic city of Istanbul, the collection is designed for today’s modern woman,” said Narciso Rodriguez. “Kohl’s DesigNation has given me the opportunity to deliver beautiful, quality clothing to women at a true value. It is exhilarating to see the collection come to life.” Thank goodness for these inexpensive yet chic and rich collections. My closet and wallet are thankful!