I thought it was funny to open the May 2008 issue of Town & Country magazine and see a spread about a couple that I have had the pleasure to meet in New York, Blair and Alistair Clarke. Blair is a fabulous dealer of contemporary art and Alistair is the worldwide head of English and European furniture for Sotheby’s. Alistair was in charge of my old boss’s sale at Sotheby’s a few years ago and for some reason I always see him when I’m walking on the Upper East Side.
Anyway, I think their apartment is a great example of mixing modern art and antiques. Without Blair’s contemporary pieces, Alistair’s antiques would look very stuffy. They definitely lighten the mood and make for a very interesting space. “So many people are worried that they’ll do something quote unquote wrong, ” says Blair. “But Alistair and I think it’s a great luxury to experiment with new ways of living with art.”
In the dining room, the juxtaposition is quite evident as 18th-century decorative arts share space with a martini glass chandelier by Michael Marra, while an Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe silkscreen looks on. While below, a Sara Genn painting and a Shane Bradford box lighten up the mood of Alistair’s Boulle-front cabinet while Poppy plays in the background.
Photos by Oberto Gili