On the wall is a piece in concrete, glass and light by my partner, Laddie John Dill. It was a gift from him for my 50th birthday. The sculpture of the dog under that is a piece by Gwynn Murrill. Laddie and I used to have a dog named Jack who LOVED to lay on cement floors. Any time he would be on a cement floor he would just lay down, instantly. When Jack passed, Gwynn had just completed a series of bronze dog sculptures, and Laddie saw this piece and had to have it! It’s our homage to Jack.
The doors on the right are antique English doors, which I bought from Ray Azoulay of Obsolete when he moved out of this space. As they say, when one door closes, another opens… It feels like a way to say goodbye to my old store, and hello to the new!
I love this part of my store. The coffee table is an original Noguchi that was a gift to Laddie many years ago from Stanley Grinstein, one of the founders of Gemini GEL. It lived in his studio for many, many years until it found it’s way here. The small bowl on the table is from a local ceramicist named Moye Thompson, and it is filled with small letterblocks that spell out my name (though many clients have played with them to make them spell many other things, of course).
One thing anyone will notice when they visit my store is that there are books everywhere. I am an avid book collector, and the books in the store are a revolving selection of my personal collection. At any given time, there are books that represent my inspirations for the season, there are art catalogs that include some of the works in the store, and books that represent current, past and passing interests.
The store always has white orchids. I love their sculptural quality, and the simplicity of the color. These particular orchids were a gift from a client as a gesture of congratulations for the new store.
This is part of the main rack in the store, full of my Spring/Summer 2015 collection. I really fell for pink this season - I guess all the Schiaparelli books in the store hint to that, too.
The books under the rack, as I mentioned, represent a small portion of my personal collection. This small library also comes in handy for the men that come into the store with their wives / girlfriends. It gives them something to do while we try on dresses!
These are (perhaps obviously) two William Wegman prints, and have a great story. Bill was having a show in Palm Springs, and I visited and told them that I was thinking about buying a specific Eames chair. Bill and his wife, Christine, said ‘We’ll give you an Eames chair’, and then a couple weeks later, these arrived. A very thoughtful and well presented ‘housewarming’ gift from them!
Sitting on top of the 60’s leather and black enamel credenza are the fragrances from my friend Alexandra’s collection ‘Strange Invisible Perfumes’. When Liseanne (LFrank), Lisa (Mona Moore) and I all moved to this building, we really wanted Alexandra to join us. She is still in her store on Abbot Kinney, so this is her represented in the space. Her fragrances are the best, and the best thing is that you can never be wearing too much! Her botanical scents have also inspired a botanical curiosity, which I have indulged by adding some new books to the collection, including Ellsworth Kelly’s ‘Plant Drawings’.
I bought the piano at auction over 30 years ago, and it never got used for the reason I bought it, so I put it in storage. When I moved to this store, I thought it would be a perfect accessory for the space. My son Jake and his friends have come in and played it, and it’s so nice to have live music happen here from time to time.
Above the piano is a Larry Bell lithograph from 1988. It was the product of a trip that Larry took to Barcelona to make work in conjunction with Toligraphia, a Spanish printer who had printed work for Picasso and Dali, among others. Laddie, Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, Erick Orr, and Craig Kaufman also took this trip to make work to compile portfolio documentation for the printer.
This is one of my favorite views of the store. The desk I found at an antique store - it was painted all white a la shabby chic - so I stripped it and found it was a beautiful English oak. I also learned a bit of history from it’s markings - it was used as a desk on a ship in the early 1900’s. It’s safe to say that it metaphorically ‘anchors’ the store!
I paired the desk with some Chippendale chairs, which are quite classic for me, but I liked how they matched the shape of the piano. Above it all is a antique chandelier from a creepy old mansion in Utah. I have property in Santa Fe, so I drive through Utah a lot, and have come to know a dealer there who stores all of her antiques in the mansion. Creepy provenance aside, I love my chandelier!
This is a trio of 3 paintings from good friends. Starting from the bottom is a small black and white piece from Chuck Arnoldi. It is pretty rare to see a black and white painting from him, and I am very happy to have it - it is a beautiful gift from him.
In the middle is a piece from Joe Goode, who incidentally used to be my neighbor when I first opened my studio in Venice. This piece is the 10th of a series he made in 1989.
On the top right is a crackle painting from longtime friend Ed Moses. The work is from 2011, and I love the texture against my clean white walls.
The little piece above the door is a Billy Al Bengston watercolor that he gave to me. I like to think that it watches over the store, as it is located in the very back.
Billy was among the very first artists in Venice, and when Laddie and Chuck (Arnoldi) moved back to Los Angeles from New York, Billy took them under his wing and introduced them to everyone making work here.
I think this is one of my favorite pieces in the store. It is a sculpture by Robert Graham. When he passed, Anjelica (Huston, his wife) gave this piece to Laddie and I, and said that Robert had meant it for us. I am so happy that I get to look at it every day, and think of Bob.
Under the sculpture is a stool from Kenya from the collection of African antique aficionado and dealer Ernie Wolfe. I love stools of this style - I have quite a few in my home - and thought it offset the store’s minimalism perfectly, while subtly framing the Robert Graham above.
This is also one of my favorite views of the store. The hanging sculpture is one of Peter Alexander’s “Drip” pieces that he made in the mid 80’s out of polyurethane. Peter and his wife, Claudia Parducci, are good friends of Laddie and mine for many years, and I am so happy that this piece has a home in the store.
Above the door is an early photo piece from Ron Cooper, from when he was a photographer. It is the view of a torso through binoculars, and I love having such an evocative piece of his! Ron, Laddie and Chuck Arnoldi all went to Chouinard together and are good friends, so Ron feels part of the family.
On the shelves is part of my collection of glass paperweights. They are actually the only colorful thing that I collect and have in the store, aside from the clothes! I love the kaleidoscopic, mosaic-like color spectrum they give. I also love them grouped together - a lot of visual impact in a small space!
-Pamela Barish, on decorating her new retail space, June 2015.