A few years ago I decided that I wanted to start an art collection. Which sounds a lot more fancy than it really is. Basically I decided that I was getting to a point in life where the $20 mass-produced poster of Le Chat Noir that I had purchased when I first moved to New York in my twenties was no longer cutting it. So I hit the art galleries in Chelsea and Soho. And then almost had a coronary when I realized that my taste far exceeded my bank account. Until, that is, I stumbled into Lumas in Soho.
Founded in the late 90s by Stefanie Harig and Marc Ullrich, Lumas specializes in photography (limited run prints, and some originals). Their mission is to make the art market more accessible to a new generation of collectors. Their curatorial board is exceptional at spotting talent and their showrooms and online store feature some of the most beautiful and moving pieces I have ever seen. Because Lumas specializes in limited-run prints, their works are very affordable. Which means that you can own something special without having to sell a kidney to pay for it.
The first piece I got from Lumas was White Queen, by Marcel Wanders. The piece reminds me of the fairy tales I grew up on in Russia. The original ones, pre-Disney sanitization, where the endings were rarely happy and the princesses were formidable.
Then, as a birthday gift, J got me La Muse, by David Hamilton. I fell in love with the piece because it looks like a 19th century oil portrait. I had it framed in a simple blue/gray wood, without glass.
I love these. They bring me joy whenever I look at them. So much so that I’ve been thinking about adding another piece to my collection and recently attended Lumas’ Grand Opening party for their new location on the Upper East Side. In honor of the event, Lumas featured a solo exhibition by and evening with Pep Ventosa. Ventosa’s technique is extraordinary — he take hundreds of photographs of a subject and condenses them into one composition — the result of which is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Just a few of the pieces on exhibit:
The gallery, at 1100 Madison Avenue, is small but well curated. I encourage you to swing by. Who knows, you may find something that you absolutely cannot live without.
Like I did.