Since ancient times, great societies have recognized the power of publicly displayed artworks to move people, enhance life, and create a sense of shared identity. Although art can invoke an intensely personal experience, works displayed in a public square or municipal park “generate basic human interaction,” says Michele H. Bogart, Ph.D., a professor at New York’s Stony Brook University and an expert in the social history of public art. “Public art is about human life in the sense that it is about people having conversations.”
This idea has taken firm hold in luxury residential buildings. While traditional amenities still matter, today’s buyers “have a sophisticated palate when it comes to the arts,” says Cory Weiss, president, Western Division, Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Instead of the standard seascape or oil portrait over the front desk, buildings now feature works by celebrated modern artists, often displayed in unexpected places. “We’re seeing art in the porte cochere, in the hallways, and on the pool deck,” says Jay Parker, CEO, Florida Brokerage, for Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Which is another way of saying that home, increasingly, is where the art is.
Hands-On in Florida
At Park Grove, the latest addition to Coconut Grove’s luxury skyline, residents can take in expansive bay views along with The Poets in Bordeaux, a trio of ethereal pieces by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, and the haunting memorial Collapse V by Ledelle Moe, among other works.
Similar attention to serious art is envisioned for Eighty Seven Park, a bright, sun-filled waterfront tower in Miami Beach designed by architect Renzo Piano, set to open in late 2019.
It’s all part of a major artistic awakening for South Florida dating to the early 2000s, when the famed Art Basel show made Miami Beach its U.S. home, Parker says. And now, art lovers have an opportunity to create as well as appreciate art, thanks to a hands-on art studio in the Piero Lissoni–designed Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach. The studio, inspired by Miami sculptor and artist Tatiana Blanco, offers a world’s first in luxury residential development—tools and space for painting, sculpture, jewelry making, and other disciplines. Considering the hectic pace of modern life, the studio “allows people to spend more time doing something that they love to do,” Parker notes.
On California’s Cutting Edge
Few place names have the iconic resonance of Sunset Boulevard, encompassing all the grit, artistry, ambition, and determination that have fueled the Land of Dreams for generations. Here you’ll find the West Hollywood Edition, with 20 luxury residences located atop a striking new 190-room hotel set to open in 2019.
Seeking art to complement the sleek elegance of architect John Pawson’s design, developers turned to noted multidisciplinary artist and LA transplant Sterling Ruby. While details of Ruby’s large-scale installation are under wraps pending the property’s opening, Douglas Elliman’s Weiss says the work will capture the unique personality of LA and its burgeoning art scene. “Sterling fell in love with this city because it was so diverse and dynamic,” he says. The artist “fits the profile of a buyer who comes to LA, understands that the landscape of LA is so diverse and so creative, and wants to be a part of that.”
In NYC, Life’s A Museum
Art lovers in NewYork often gravitate to the city’s edgy, vibrant Lower East Side, home to noted galleries, museums, and exhibitions. As of mid-2019, residents of 242 Broome won’t even have to leave the building to experience world-class art. The luxury development, distinguished by its twisting exterior design, will be the new home for the famed International Center of Photography. In addition to a host of other amenities, buyers will receive a complimentary membership, good for a year, including free admission as well as discounts and incentives for a variety of courses, workshops, lectures, and other events. —By Charles Slack