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Friday, October 31, 2014

What if Mr.Brainwash is Banksy? Hublot, David Guetta, Mercedes, Madonna, Kanye, Kate Moss, Williamsburg, and Miami Basel.

Mr. Brainwash with the directors of Hublot Watches. Who buys investment art? Bankers and the elite. Who buys investment watches - Bankers and the elite. Some don't like Mr. Brainwash's art - too commercial - not enough integrity...while the fact of the matter is investors buy art for one reason - investment. Warhol and Basquiat sold pieces for $300 dollars when they first started. Mr. Brainwash is the only known mega celebrity artist that you can buy art at the college grad rate - $500 to $5000 is the average going rate for Mr. Brainwash. Already those pieces are selling for $100k or more.  Its all about the ROI and appreciation - you don't have to appreciate art to watch a named artist sky rocket in value. 
Hublot is the leading luxury brand watch tied with Audemars Piaget and Phillipe Patek for spending on PR campaigns - they have chosen an unlikely candidate - not an athlete or race car driver - but a whack attention grabbing artist, named Mr. Brainwash.

Co-branding - Mr. Brainwash examines an Hublot watch in a white hygenic lab coat - a far cry from his signature style Jackson Pollack on steriods approach to throwing paint on everything from rubber tires to buildings. 

Mr. Brainwash appropriates everything from Andy Warhol's Cambells Soup Can, Star Wars Storm Troopers and the graffitti artists own tools - the spray can....creative or copycat? Does it matter? Is it fun? Is it new? Is it art? Yes to all of the above or no to all of the above...either way Mr. Brainwash is a Zen master - what the sound of one auctioneer shouting if no one is around to hear it? Kaching - because today all art bidding is done over the phone.  Sothebys, Crisies and Phillips de Pury will all have Mr. Brainwash in the upcoming auctions, so get ready.

Mr. Brainwash has been commissioned to paint an entire new condominium in the fashionable Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. 

Banksy - Blek le Rat - Mr. Brainwash aka Thierry Guetta and David Guetta

World Class Interior Designer Architect, Inson Wood, believes strongly that Mr. Brainwash may indeed be Banksy. In any event according to Wood, "His pieces have sold at Phillips de Pury for 5 times valuation estimates. Meaning purchased for 10k, estimated to sell at 20k then selling at 100k - not a bad investment for a years holding.

Mr. Brainwash makes a bit of fun at the commercialization of art much like, Banksy, and even Jeff Koons and his agent provocateur, Larry Gagosian. Its all about branding and manipulation of the public and private view. Many people have made remarks about the uncanny similarity of the method, not just style, of Mr.Brainwash art with that of Banksy. 

Mr. Brainwash and Jonny Depp. 

Mr. Brainwash recycles materials and material such as Warhol, Basquiat, Koons, Hirst and Pop Culture icons.

Why would Hublot choose Mr. Brainwash to be an Ambassador of their brand? They make a 5 million dollar watch - hardly the radical "follow your dreams" to the masses concept - but then again high low is always a good pitch - Jeff Koons with Lady Gaga, Dom Perrignon, and H and M. 

Mr. Brainwash aligns himself with as many rockstars, movie stars, DJ's and luxury brands as possible. 

Mr. Brainwash and 911 World Trade Center Memorial. 

Mr. Brainwash does one thing right - he goes big. 

Mr. Brainwash and Jimmy Fallon - after painting a Mercedes car stunt - painting a late night show host...check!

Music and Mr. Brainwash - the ultimate PR - music. 
     What if there is a secret we don't know about the star of Banksy's film "Exit Through the Gift Shop" - like the possible fact that Mr. Brainwash aka Thierry Guetta is actually Banksy himself. As any good businessman whether it be Steve Jobs, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Henry Ford - the concept is to get others to do the work and even give them a little bit of credit. Mega artist Jeff Koons has 100+ people working for him and a host of industrial fabricators. Banksy has had a number of ambassadors act as him in his absence.  Banksy has also known that graffiti is applauded in London but shunned in America and erased immediately in Paris.
     What fun is the prank if one can never take credit - not even a little bit. Serial killers often crave being caught and revel in their genius after have been caught. Perhaps Thierry Guetta aka Mr. Brainwash realized he was more powerful with a face when sharing his 12 step art therapy for the masses. Where Banksy hid in the shadows, Mr. Brainwash is a brazen showboat with sold out art shows at affordable prices, even free art and almost free art available on his website for as little as $100 -see www.mrbrainwash.com

     The biggest question and biggest give away clue is perhaps why on earth would Banksy make a hoax movie or a movie that featured the videographer, Mr. Brainwash.  The other question is why is Mr. Brainwash's art as good or better than Banksy's? Is it coached or produced by Banksy - and is Brainwash just another ambassador - or is he indeed the real thing. And why the name Mr. Brainwash - why "Mr." ( for a guy so absolutely casual )  and why "Brainwash".

    Mr. Brainwash never answers questions about Banksy nor himself - they are the same approximate age, they are similar in philosophy if you dig deep - art for the people and in someways by the people. Something for everyone. Banksy sold paintings in Central Park recently for $25 dollars and gallery shows are often labeled "unauthorized. Perhaps Banksy is a hedgefund conglomerate plot - or maybe just a crazy guy who knows how to sell to the young generation - Brainwash/Guetta allegedly sold blue jeans for much of his life to the tune of a $10 million dollar net worth.

     To collector/ dealers like Inson Dubois Wood is doesn't matter if Mr. Brainwash is Banksy or not, ( although he does think he could be ) - "Mr. Brainwash has evolved into his very unique brand. He is independent of the mentor shadow of Banksy, whether it was his teacher or his alter ego, it no longer matters. He is co-branding with the biggest names in the world: Hublot, Jimmy Fallon, Madonna, Mercedes, Kanye, David Guetta, Realestate Developers, Phillips de Pury - he is almost outshining Jeff Koons on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook - the numbers don't lie when it comes to things like Youtube audiences. Soon he may be matching Jeff Koons prices if he limits his pieces to 5 of each and gets Larry Gagosian to rep him....or if he turns out to be Banksy...

Either way it doesn't matter because he is the Picasso of the new millenia - no one can keep up with his energy, no one can even come close to the number of pieces he makes, the scale and size of his shows and audience - at the recent olympics in London - he had a space of 140,000 square feet with 50,000 visitors - that makes Andy Warhol look like a middle school drop out in popularity.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Inson Dubois Wood creates Limited Edition hand carved furniture for Overseas Projects.

Hand Carved Skull Chairs by Inson Dubois Wood

Hand Carved Custom chaise by Inson Dubois Wood. A painting by Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen and a custom Piano by Justin Elliot. 

One size fits all -  A Hand Carved Chaise Longue by Inson Dubois Wood
Inson Wood of Inson Dubois Wood, a Manhattan based Design Firm has begun creating Hand Carved Furniture
     The illustrious Manhattan based architecture

In addition to designing luxury homes and boutique hotels, selling museum quality collectible furniture and art, Inson Wood has become somewhat of a go-to person for authenticating valuable purchases. In a world of fraudulent claims and forgeries, its nice to know where something came from - carbon dating, certificates of authenticity, and even DNA testing are tools often employed. Inson adds however, the ultimate Provenance, is reputation - as his business card reads: "because in the end, all you have is your name."

design firm of Inson Dubois Wood LLC,  has begun creating a series of hand carved limited edition furniture. Each piece is numbered and comes with its own website which is activated upon purchase acting as an electronic and updatable "Provenance." According to designer and owner, ( not to mention honors level graduate from Harvard University's prestigious, Graduate School of Design, -a time when Rem Koolhaas, Wolf Prix, Zaha Hadid, and Frank Gehry were teaching there. )  - "My most discerning clients are not only wanting trophy architecture and interiors - they are also looking for named pieces of furniture and art - this doesn't necessarily mean expensive - just special.  Often it can be a simple Eames chair or something one finds at a Parisian Flea Market or an Upstate NY Garage Sale."  Often times the goal is to create an environment that is special with items worth discussing. If we take for granted that one can buy beautiful things - part of an objects intrinsic beauty above materiality, scale, texture, proportion is something even more important - its Provenance - where when and by whom was it made, where did it come from, how did you come to acquire it and who has owned it prior to you.  Is it signed, is it dated, is it a limited edition or a unique piece - often for collectors and connoisseurs and more and more elite home owners - these important questions add to the intrigue and above all can be a wonderful discussion at a cocktail party. "

     After all, in todays world, an object being beautiful ( or expensive ) isn't enough, what are the details that make it important. Whether Art, furniture, or collectibles - who owned it before you can be a story in itself." A vintage 1962 Ferrari recently sold for over 35 million dollars - why? Because it is extremely rare, in mostly original condition, and it had won a slew of distinguished races. Some furniture and art has been owned by people of note, collectors, notables, royal families, or was in the artists or designer's personal collection. Some art or furniture has even has special political, religious or historical meaning pivotal to an entire movement. Verifying a piece and its authenticity is also an intriguing game in a world of fraudulent activity and forgeries. Inson Wood explains, " I had one client concerned of the veracity of an Andy Warhol painting ( especially with the Warhol Foundation not being currently active. ) We were able to do a DNA test based on something personal of Andy Warhols that an authority had possession of. This same DNA was found on the actual canvas and frame. Not 100 percent proof, but the next best thing to asking Andy Warhol himself."  Inson Wood specifically likes selling art, of( blue chip or emerging ) living artists because in the event you cannot buy it from a premier galleryist, like Larry Gagosian, one can at least have the artist confirm its authenticity. "I love the work of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, or Damien Hirst.  Even lesser pricey artists such as Mr. Brainwash, otherwise known as Thierry Guetta, have started creating non-forgeable certificates of authenticity with actual burnt edges and blood samples on the art and the certificate. For some this seems unnecessary, but to Mr. Wood, the optimistic skeptic, one can never be too careful. Forgeries today can be made new,  but actually on an old period perfect antique canvas, stretcher and frame and with old oil paints from the 15th and 16th Century. Carbon dating as a verifying tool becomes nearly useless in these cases.   For some it doesn't matter as the art and furniture are beautiful in their own right - but when the stakes become hi - its nice to know the "provenance" of a piece...and if its really...real.

In a townhouse designed by Inson Dubois Wood for CEO of Magnises Billy McFarland and CFO Callie McClendon Katt,  a 1972  Charles Eames chair repurposed by Inson Wood with a vintage silk mohair, sits adjacent to a piece of art by Fernand Leger, acquired from the Jane Kahn Gallery in New York City. 

Le Corbusier Villa Savoye - France's modern architectural treasure

Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, 1929-30

Perhaps one of Le Corbusier's most famous works of architecture - this little house on the outskirts of Paris has inspired countless young architects. Its beauty is in its simplicity and encompasses several interesting modern concepts such as a free floating facade, strip windows and the open plan. 

One of the most famous houses of the modern movement in architecture, the Villa Savoye is a masterpiece of LeCorbusier's purist design. It is perhaps the best example of LeCorbusier's goal to create a house which would be a "machine a habiter," a machine for living (in). Located in a suburb near Paris, the house is as beautiful and functional as a machine. 
The Villa Savoye was the culmination of many years of design, and the basis for much of LeCorbusier's later architure. Although it looks severe in photographs, it is a complex and visually stimulating structure. As with his church of Notre Dame du Haute, Ronchamp, the building looks different from every angle. After falling into disrepair after the war, the house has been restored and is open to the public.
Villa Savoye, Le Corbusier's machine for living - design features of the Villa Savoye include:

  • modulor design -- the result of Corbu's researches into mathematics, architecture (the golden section), and human proportion
  • "pilotis" -- the house is raised on stilts to separate it from the earth, and to use the land efficiently. These also suggest a modernized classicism.
  • no historical ornament, something quite radical at the time.
  • abstract sculptural design
  • pure color -- white on the outside, a color with associations of newness, purity, simplicity, and health (LeCorbusier earlier wrote a book entitled, When the Cathedrals were White), and planes of subtle color in the interior living areas
  • a very open interior plan
  • dynamic , non-traditional transitions between floors -- spiral staircases and ramps
  • built-in furniture
  • ribbon windows (echoing industrial architecture, but also providing openness and light)
  • roof garden, with both plantings and architectural (sculptural) shapes
  • integral garage (the curve of the ground floor of the house is based on the turning radius of the 1927 Citroen)
  • Little known fact - Le Corbusier loved privacy and liked to walk around naked hence the creation of the inner courtyard at Villa Savoye. 

Important, Interesting and Key Facts about the Villa Savoye

It was built between the I and II World Wars for a couple, Pierre and Emilie Savoye, as a country home in Poissy, on the outskirts of Paris, France. The house fell into disuse after 1940, and entered a state of disrepair during World War II (occupied twice during the war: first by the Germans and then by the Americans, both damaging the building severely). The Savoye family returned to their estate after the war, but, no longer in position to live as they had done before the war, they abandoned the house again shortly after.

It became the property of the French state in 1958, and after surviving several plans of demolition, it was designated as an official French historical monument in 1965 (a rare occurrence, as Le Corbusier was still living at the time). It was thoroughly renovated from 1985 to 1997, and under the care of the Centre des monuments nationaux.

Drawing inspiration from the design of early 20th century machinery such as electricity turbines and low-pressure ventilating fans, Le Corbusier conceived a space that would be similar in functionality and design to a machine, following his architectural mantra of "machines for living" (machines à habiter).
The villa was designed addressing Le Corbusier's emblematic "Five Points", the basic tenets in his new architectural aesthetic:
1. Support of ground-level pilotis, elevating the building from the earth and allowed an extended continuity of the garden beneath.
2. Functional roof, serving as a garden and terrace, reclaiming for nature the land occupied by the building.
3. Free floor plan, relieved of load-bearing walls, allowing walls to be placed freely and only where aesthetically needed.
4. Long horizontal windows, providing illumination and ventilation.
5. Freely-designed facades, serving as only as a skin of the wall and windows and unconstrained by load-bearing considerations.

Le Corbusier chose a flat roof for the Villa Savoye, a move he argued was for functionality, though it may just as well have been for the appearance of functionality. Eventually, the roof proved less than fully functional and leaked. The owners took Le Corbusier to court. But World War II broke out before the matter was settled, and the building was left in a state of disrepair.

'The approach is by car and as one passes under the building (a demonstration of urban doctrine), and follows the curve of industrial glazing (of which the geometry was determined by the car's turning circle), it becomes clear that one is to be drawn into a machine-age ritual. The plan of the building is square (one of the 'ideal' forms from Vers une architecture), curves, ramp and grid of structure providing the basic counterpoint to the perimeter. The section illustrates the basic divisions of a service and circulation zone below, a piano nobile above, and the celestial zone of the solarium on top: it's the section-type of Le Corbusier's ideal city but restated in microcosm.' Simon Glynn 2001

Friday, October 17, 2014

Top watches of Patek Philippe

This vintage timepiece was made in 1943, and is considered the most expensive wrist watch ever made (the top 2 are pocket watches). The watch comes outfitted with a 18k yellow gold case paired with a silver matte dial measuring in at 37mm. This timepiece also features chronograph, perpetual calendar, and that beautiful moon phase display. The watch fetched its record setting price tag when it was sold at Christie’s auction in Geneva just a few years ago in 2010.
When it comes to luxury watches, there is no other maker that matches Patek Philippe & Co. Founded in 1839, the Swiss watch maker is considered by horophiles to be the cream of the crop when it comes to to high end (and expensive) timepieces. Basically if you’re looking for a timepiece that will appreciate, your best bet is to get your hands on any Patek Philippe watch. This particular model features an 18k gold case, several different timezones, and a polychrome and enamel dial displaying a map of North America.


If you’re looking for the most elaborate watch ever made, this Patek Phillipe piece is it. It displays the night sky on one side which showcases a precision type that is uniquely its own. The front is additionally advanced with moon phases and the date displayed. It’s simply an incredible piece of art.

Built back in 1989, this timepiece remains the world’s most complicated pocket watch with an impressive 33 complications. The watch was created to celebrate the company’s 150-year anniversary, weighs over 2 pounds, and took the team at Patek Philippe five years of research along with four years of manufacturing to make this watch a reality. With 1,728 components, this complex mechanical pocket watch can perform all sorts of functions, including displaying the temperature.


This pocket watch is very stylish, as it comes with 18-karat gold, is hand engraved and highlights a silver face that possesses superb craftsmanship. You might want to pick yourself up a safeguarded watch chain after you exchange your older watch for this newer one.
During 2002, Patek Philippe’s Platinum World Time sold at an auction for $4 million USD. When it was introduced it was the most expensive wristwatch in the world, and many believe there was only ever one of them created. Using it you are able to find time anywhere on the global map and it winds by itself. For the demanding consumer of this watch comes platinum, rose, white and yellow gold finishes to choose from.

One of the rarest watches in the world, this is a timepiece with a history that is mostly unknown. All we do know is that this thing sold for a staggering $4,026,524 at Antiquorum over a decade ago in 2002. Experts have speculated that this world time wristwatch was the only one of its kind.
With an original reserve of $600,000, this timepiece went on to be the most expensive watch ever sold at a Sotheby’s auction fetching exactly $2.994 million. Part of the collection of Henry Graves, Jr., the movement dates all the way back to 1895 while the case is from 1927.

Before the Caliber 89 was born, the aptly titled Supercomplication was the world’s most complicated watch, and the story is quite interesting. Banker Henry Graves Jr. had the watch commissioned back in 1927 in order to win a competition he had with James Ward Packard of the Packard car company. The contest was to own the world’s most complicated watch. After a four-year build, this two face, yellow-gold pocket watch with 24 complications hit the scene in 1932. Sotheby’s experts predicted that the watch would fetch no more than $5 million at auction, but with the increased competition, this beauty ended up selling for a staggering $11,002,500.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The new business model: Authenticity - The Importance of Design and how it can make you rich spiritually and psychologically.

There is a new class of tourist that demands ultra-luxury…even if that means roughing it a bit.  The bottom line? Authenticity and attention to detail. 
More and more luxury homes and resorts are appearing along are coasts  around the world - the main goal?  An approach to sustainability, stunningly authentic design, and an approach to a holistic luxury lifestyle living based on health and happiness. 

Often times when it comes to luxury lifestyle - the luxury comes ironically from the simplicity. Architecture and Interiors that are consist of Clean lines,  void of clutter with hyper attention to materiality, detail of execution and spacious layout are being traded for "Neoclassical-Colonial" style designs of the older times Ritz style hotels.
Biggest design philosophy? Keep it simple. "People go on vacation so they don't have to deal with clutter and mess. They want to download their mind."

Design tip #1 - Keep it simple - less is more. A good book, a bottle of wine and some time talking with friends and family are what people are really looking for in a world of technology and hyper pressurized business deals. 

Define your intentions - if a bathroom is purely to wash, design it that way. If it is going to have a spa like affect and have ability to be a sanctuary and a meditatative space emphasize those qualities. Light, space and scale - things not always associated with bathrooms - can be critical way to add luxury simply by the fact that typically urban design environments don't allow for such spacial freedoms.

Light and texture combined with materiality can be the most important element in open air tropical design.  Cooler evening temperatures and architecture designed with cross breeze in mind provide an option for a few rooms to be Air Conditioning free. 

Find a good precedent for your design - there is plenty of room for creativity, but don't try to reinvent the wheel when there are so many incredible existing projects to borrow quality ideas from and maybe even improve on. 

Sometimes the most exotic feeling is when there is little to no design at all - open air is a critical concept. 

Views and proximity to water is the ultimate luxury - even if that means building perilously close to the seashore or waters edge. 

Nature is the best inspiration - keep the color for Pop art in your urban residence - the ocean villa can be very spartan. 

Keep color to a minimum - only use it on elements that can be changed out in the future such as accessories and pillows etc. 

Keep it natural - often the best patina's are on wood, stone and woven natural materials. 

Landscape is everything - it is the art and focal point of the entire experience. 

Often times when it comes to luxury lifestyle - the luxury comes ironically from the simplicity. Architecture and Interiors that are consist of Clean lines,  void of clutter with hyper attention to materiality, detail of execution and spacious layout are being traded for "Neoclassical-Colonial" style designs of the older times Ritz style hotels.
Rule 1. Location
Rule 2. Maximize Light
Rule 3. Simplify - simply everything - even if you are a designer, hire professionals for the things you don't know. They can save you time, headache and money. Areas such as Landscape is often critical - find a local who you can trust and who can help you. 
Rule 4. Create a language. Texture, Light, and Detail. 
Rule 5. Authenticity matters - what is your intention?
Rule 6. Find precedents - you aren't the first person designing a vacation villa or retreat. What exists and how can you improve upon it. 
Rule 7. Remember the concept that time is often the biggest luxury for the ultra wealthy who have everything - they will never have enough time. Efficiency, minimize clutter, make life effortless but still interesting and even challenging. 

From technology to real-estate, design is becoming more and more important - Steve Jobs ratified the cell phone experience with his insistence there be only one button - this concept led to a device with infinite "buttons" as we now have an app for every conceived act. Conversely, design has come full circle, few feel it necessary to have a Versailles style home regardless of their net worth - what matters in design now is defining a specific aesthetic but working closely with professionals to make sure it is executed in a precise and sophisticated manner with exacting attention to detail. Regardless of budget and lavishness - the ultimate luxury is time. Whether waiting for construction to finalize or decorating a ocean side bungalow - simplify.  - Ecomanta