More and more designers from the United States are finding it helpful both for their business and their creative inspiration and sources to attend the international design and art trade shows. Paris shows Maison Objet and Deco-off are quite popular with designers here in New York. This year, we attended the Brafa Art Fair in Brussels, Belgium the same week as the Paris shows, and it was an exceptional experience. An added bonus was seeing this beautiful, historic city with cobblestone streets. Known for their beer, chocolate and waffles, there is certainly a lot to do besides take in the design at the fair. The fair showcased a milieu of the classics, beautiful historic art that keeps you enthralled. But, make no mistake this international art fair, showcases modern art and artists as well. There is also plenty of decorative arts at the fair. I especially loved the showhouse-like designs sponsored by Delen Bank in Belgium and created by mother and daughter interior design team, Anne-Sophie Delen and Marie-Alix Delen. The rooms were gorgeous and jam-packed with rich art, mid-century furnishings and vintage lighting. It was wonderful to see how European designers put all these factors together in a home-- this certainly gave us fodder to bring home to our projects.
Anne-Sophie Delen and Marie-Alix Delen
One of the artists at the fair who drew my attention was Julian Opie represented by Patrick De Brock gallery. The artistrenders his subjects with minimal details in thick black outlines then fills it in with solid areas of that same color. I particularly love the portraits, including "Lucia 1" which he painted in 2017. It's a must-see for modern art lovers. His oversize sculpture installations are stunning as well and they appear in a multitude of applications from hospitals to other public spaces and of course private gardens and homes.