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Living with Art: Part Deux

by habituallychic

10 . 16 . 07

Marc Jacobs is a testament to what kind of art collection you can amass in a short amount of time. You would never know it from his front row that he was intimidated by the art world and didn’t even start collecting until five years ago. I have a friend who works for the designer and I can atest that not only has the collecting bug bit him hard but he really has become a true patron of the arts.

It began innocently enough, with a little oil painting by Karen Kilimnik which he saw in a Christie’s catalog and bought for $31,000. “Within weeks he also acquired three Mike Kelly prints from Skarstedt gallery in New York, rationalizing the purchase because it was his birthday. Soon he was traveling to international art fairs, befriending dealers and artists, and in some instances asking his LVMH bosses for salary advances to cover paintings he couldn’t really afford, such as Ed Ruscha’s Birds, Pencils (1965), which he spotted at Art Basel.”

The November 2007 Art Issue of W magazine takes a moody look inside his apartment in Paris that was designed by Paul Fortune. In the top photo, Jacobs sits in his library with Ed Ruscha’s Heaven, 1986, and a Sixties Dominique table. While in the living room, Ed Ruscha’s Peach, 1964, John Currin’s The Go-See, 1999, hang near a Lalanne sheep sculpture.

Of course it’s W magazine so there are the ubiquitous shirtless designer photos, a la Tom Ford and Dolce and Gabanna. Or perhaps, the newly svelte designer just wanted to show off his rock hard abs. Either way, he’s sitting in the den on a leather Arne Jacobsen Egg chair next to a credenza on which sits Sean Landers’s Mr. Rabbit, 2003.

Damien Hirst’s Paracetamol, 2004-05, and Richard Prince’s Island Nurse, 2002, dominate the upstairs landing.

One of my favorite contemporary artists is Elizabeth Peyton and Marc Jacobs has been a huge supporter of her work. Among his paintings by her in the sitting room is a portrait of Jacobs. He also commissioned her to paint Sophia Coppola for his fragrance advertising. John Currin’s Bra Shop, 1997, is one of several portraits in the master bedroom. John and his wife, Rachel Feinstein, also an artist, have become very good friends with the designer and often sit in the front row of his fashion shows. She also happens to look a lot like the women in his paintings which was why there were introduced.

Above the bed in the downstairs guest room, hangs Richard Prince’s Richard and Linda, 2005. Richard Prince also designed the multiple covers for W’s Art Issue. You also have to wonder who that is under the covers. His new boyfriend perhaps? Below, Jacobs plays in the courtyard off the garden-level office with his two dogs, Alfred and Daisy, and two Lalanne frog chairs.

“Jacobs doesn’t fancy himself a major art collector and is not gunning for some future wing at MoMA. He says he buys what he likes—work that tends toward the figurative, the graphic—and hangs it where he can see it.”

In Paris, Jacobs enjoys spending time at home with his art, which is partly what inspired the W photo portfolio. The designer liked the idea of a series that captured his home as a sort of surreal dollhouse, offering a look into “the little compartments of people’s lives.” When he talks about his existence in Paris, which he used to fantasize about as a teenager, he compares it to a bizarre dream. And whether you like his art or not, I hope you can appreciate his passion for collecting.

Photos by Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Comments Closed

  1. Suzy October 17, 2007 | 5:43 am

    Wow, good for him. I don’t know how I feel about amassing a collection so quickly, but you buy what you like and I guess it was just lucky for him that he saw so much he liked so quickly!

  2. Breck October 17, 2007 | 3:01 pm

    I can’t wait to read it!

  3. Richie Designs October 17, 2007 | 4:57 pm

    love Marc…he can do no wrong in my book. Call me a armchair psych but I would say he’s transferring his addiction[s] to collecting.

    I’m not sayin’ I’m just sayin’

    I think there was a quote from him in the Vogue spread that “he’s guilty of wanting more of what makes him feel good”

    me too glad I don’t have the money to do everything I want…on second thought that sounds like fun!

  4. Habitually Chic October 17, 2007 | 4:59 pm

    Suzy, when you find your passion I guess it takes over quickly. I also know he’s gotten to be friends with so many artist so I think their works have certainly added to his collection.

  5. Habitually Chic October 17, 2007 | 5:11 pm

    Breck, thanks for stopping by. I checked out your website and I love what I saw so far. Can’t wait until you upload more of your interiors!

  6. Habitually Chic October 17, 2007 | 5:12 pm

    Ritchie Designs – Perhaps a career change is in order. Marc admits in the article that he is addicted to collecting. Definitely worth reading the whole thing. He’s so interesting!

  7. Jane Flanagan October 17, 2007 | 11:44 pm

    Fabulous post! I love that he is becoming friends with the artists – He may not fancy himself a major collector, but at this rate it’s a matter of time!

  8. franki durbin October 18, 2007 | 12:32 pm

    it is funny how intimidated we are with the purchase of art. what will others think? what is the value? will it appreciate.

    Truth be told, none of that matters. What matters is that you enjoy it. If it appreciates but you never sell it, the increased value is meaningless (albeit nice to know). If you friends like it but you do not, again, no value. And a good deal is all in your mind. It’s never the deal you get. It’s the value you think you’ve received.

    Buy what you love. The same holds true for fashion and home interior pieces. Buy what you love and love what you buy.

    Excellent series, by the way!

  9. Painter P October 24, 2007 | 11:39 pm

    To get started collecting art check out: this link.

  10. Anonymous October 30, 2007 | 1:03 am

    I am the women in the sitting room photo. I’m Marc’s personal chef. The photographer, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia decided he wanted me in one of the photos. Marc asked me if I wouldn’t mind being in one of the photos with him while I was serving them all lunch on the terrasse.. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse!! We just improvised.. the make-up artist didn’t even have ‘women’s make-up’ because he thought he was only doing Marc..That’s him, by the way(the make-up artist), under the covers, speaking of improvisation!!