How To Spiff Up Your Outdoor Area With Art
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How To Spiff Up Your Outdoor Area With Art

The next step in decorating your outdoor space with personality to entertain? Filling it with paintings, sculptures and more.

By Christina Poletto
Wed, Apr 7, 2021 10:35amGrey Clock 3 min

You might be eyeing your outdoor area, wishing it were a bit more remarkable, a bit less overfamiliar. Festive, even.

One answer, say interior designers, is art, a therapeutic fix for spaces we’ve spent too much time in. Emily B. Collins, director of the New York Design Center’s Gallery at 200 Lex, has noticed intense interest in “items that contribute to a beautiful, functional setting outdoors.”

Homeowners and design pros are discovering that outdoor spaces are loaded with blank walls waiting to be decked out with paintings, mirrors, sculpture, decorative tiles—the same arsenal of art you’d use inside.

To liven up her outdoor’s seating area, Liz Lidgett, a gallery owner in Des Moines, Iowa, hung a painting on a nearby exterior white-brick wall with screws and wire. The glassless, wood-framed painting of pink and blue florals (above) was a $10 secondhand-store score, preserved with a coat of Rust-Oleum’s water-repelling NeverWet to withstand the weather. Guests, she said, seem to enjoy the unexpected element.

In Palm Springs, Tamara Hill, who rents her midcentury home on Airbnb, saw a blank canvas in the cement bottom of her kidney-shaped pool. She commissioned Brooklyn artist and designer Alexandra Proba to paint her trademark madcap—and suitably biomorphic—designs under the waterline. “It’s magical,” said Ms. Hill. “It brings the whole style of my home together far more than I imagined.”

Don’t have the coin to fly in an artist to paint a mural on a wall, fence or pool bottom? You can search for experienced artists near you on sites such as thumbtack.com. Plug in your postcode, view past projects, read client reviews and get in touch.

PHOTO: RACHEL MUMMEY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Wall sculptures of metal, wood or fired clay can dress up naked swaths of siding and fences. For a home in Los Angeles, New York designer Miles Redd invited ceramic sculpture artist Carlos Otero to reimagine a blank courtyard wall. “It called for something spectacular,” said Mr. Redd. The artist delivered a cream-coloured conglomeration of textures that evokes the surface of the moon, inspired by bas-relief panels of the 1960s architecture in Buenos Aires, Mr. Otero’s childhood home.

“Ceramics can live safely outdoors in most climates given some degree of protection,” said Juliet Burrows of New York’s Hostler Burrows Gallery, which represents Mr. Otero. History is full of examples of ceramics-ornamented architecture, she noted.

Dallas designer Jean Liu likes the midcentury modern metalwork of American duo Curtis Jere, which she installed in the lounge space of a client’s covered outdoor area. These cost thousands, but more than passably chic vintage wall sculptures can be found on sites like Etsy and eBay for less than $300.

Bryan McKenzie, a landscape designer in Jacksonville, Fla., is a fan of tiles and “exquisitely patterned walls.” He dolls up vertical surfaces with disks, squares and other polygons from G. Vega Cerámica, in Marbella, Spain. Against whitewashed surfaces, he hangs the Moroccan-style tiles glazed in shades of blue and green.

Another pro move is to hang a tapestry or fibre art in an alfresco space. Occasionally, on a side patch of her Fairfield, Conn., yard that’s visible from the street, Pam Poling exhibits one of her handmade quilts, which dangle from a stand she Macgyvered using photo equipment. The fair-weather exhibition started as a way to inspect her sewing in a natural light and snap a clean photo to share. Now, she says, neighbours look forward to the rotating show of coverlets, whose geometry and bold colours vibrate against her verdant landscaping.

In the front yard of her Phoenix, home, artist Kyllan Maney draped a tree with a necklace of solar lanterns she hand painted with whimsical stripes and dots. “Some of my neighbours have had visitors ask if we are having a party.”

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: April 7, 2021.

 



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New York Watch Auctions Record Uptick in Sales in the Face of Market Slowdown
By LAURIE KAHLE
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Luxury watch collectors showed ongoing strong demand for Patek Philippe, growing interest in modern watches and a preference for larger case sizes and leather straps at the June watch sales in New York, according to an analysis of the major auctions.

Independent and neo-vintage categories, meanwhile, experienced declines in total sales and average prices, said the report from  EveryWatch, a global online platform for watch information. Overall, the New York auctions achieved total sales of US$52.27 million, a 9.87% increase from the previous year, on the sale of 470 lots, reflecting a 37% increase in volume. Unsold rates ticked down a few points to 5.31%, according to the platform’s analysis.

EveryWatch gathered data from official auction results for sales held in New York from June 5 to 10 at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s. Limited to watch sales exclusively, each auction’s data was reviewed and compiled for several categories, including total lots, sales and sold rates, highest prices achieved, performance against estimates, sales trends in case materials and sizes as well as dial colors, and more. The resulting analysis provides a detailed overview of market trends and performance.

The Charles Frodsham Pocket watch sold at Phillips for $433,400.

“We still see a strong thirst for rare, interesting, and exceptional watches, modern and vintage alike, despite a little slow down in the market overall,” says Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of the California-based pre-owned online watch dealer BobsWatches.com, in an email. “The results show that there is still a lot of money floating around out there in the economy looking for quality assets.”

Patek Philippe came out on top with more than US$17.68 million on the sale of 122 lots. It also claimed the top lot: Sylvester Stallone’s Patek Philippe GrandMaster Chime 6300G-010, still in the sealed factory packaging, which sold at Sotheby’s for US$5.4 million, much to the dismay of the brand’s president, Thierry Stern . The London-based industry news website WatchPro estimates the flip made the actor as much as US$2 million in just a few years.

At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire
Richard Mille

“As we have seen before and again in the recent Sotheby’s sale, provenance can really drive prices higher than market value with regards to the Sylvester Stallone Panerai watches and his standard Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1a offered,” Altieri says.

Patek Philippe claimed half of the top 10 lots, while Rolex and Richard Mille claimed two each, and Philippe Dufour claimed the No. 3 slot with a 1999 Duality, which sold at Phillips for about US$2.1 million.

“In-line with EveryWatch’s observation of the market’s strong preference for strap watches, the top lot of our auction was a Philippe Dufour Duality,” says Paul Boutros, Phillips’ deputy chairman and head of watches, Americas, in an email. “The only known example with two dials and hand sets, and presented on a leather strap, it achieved a result of over US$2 million—well above its high estimate of US$1.6 million.”

In all, four watches surpassed the US$1 million mark, down from seven in 2023. At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire, the most expensive watch sold at Christie’s in New York. That sale also saw a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM52-01 CA-FQ Tourbillon Skull Model go for US$1.26 million to an online buyer.

Rolex expert Altieri was surprised one of the brand’s timepieces did not crack the US$1 million threshold but notes that a rare Rolex Daytona 6239 in yellow gold with a “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial came close at US$952,500 in the Phillips sale.

The Crown did rank second in terms of brand clout, achieving sales of US$8.95 million with 110 lots. However, both Patek Philippe and Rolex experienced a sales decline by 8.55% and 2.46%, respectively. The independent brand Richard Mille, with US$6.71 million in sales, marked a 912% increase from the previous year with 15 lots, up from 5 lots in 2023.

The results underscored recent reports of prices falling on the secondary market for specific coveted models from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. The summary points out that five top models produced high sales but with a fall in average prices.

The Rolex Daytona topped the list with 42 appearances, averaging US$132,053, a 41% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, with two of the top five watches, made 26 appearances with an average price of US$111,198, a 26% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar followed with 23 appearances and a US$231,877 average price, signifying a fall of 43%, and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak had 22 appearances and an average price of US$105,673, a 10% decrease. The Rolex Day Date is the only watch in the top five that tracks an increase in average price, which at US$72,459 clocked a 92% increase over last year.

In terms of categories, modern watches (2005 and newer) led the market with US$30 million in total sales from 226 lots, representing a 53.54% increase in sales and a 3.78% increase in average sales price over 2023. Vintage watches (pre-1985) logged a modest 6.22% increase in total sales and an 89.89% increase in total lots to 169.

However, the average price was down across vintage, independent, and neo-vintage (1990-2005) watches. Independent brands saw sales fall 24.10% to US$8.47 million and average prices falling 42.17%, while neo-vintage watches experienced the largest decline in sales and lots, with total sales falling 44.7% to US$8.25 million, and average sales price falling 35.73% to US$111,000.

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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