Laura Gonzalez Images a 1980s Tastemaker’s Apartment, and Other News

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“New York Splendor” by Laura Gonzalez at the Invisible Collection in New York until the end of February. Photography by Rodrigo Rize

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An ‘80s-Era Tastemaker’s Home Through the Eyes of Laura Gonzalez

When the Invisible Collection first launched, founders Anna Zaoui, Isabelle Dubern-Mallevays, and Lily Froehlicher dreamed about the design-minded e-commerce marketplace eventually settling into a fanciful home. They recently pulled back the curtain on their first physical outpost stateside: a two-story debonair townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that will house a rotating selection of collectible objects and furniture from their roster of world-class designers. One of the first is Laura Gonzalez, the Parisian architect behind the unforgettable eclecticism of the five-star Hotel Saint James and lavish nightclub Régine’s in her hometown.

Channeling holiday warmth and the sophistication of ‘80s-era New York, Gonzalez recreates the splendor of the neighborhood’s dazzling residences across the entire main floor. “We had fun imagining the show around what the apartment of an iconic 1980s tastemaker’s home would look like,” she says. These carefully curated vignettes appear throughout and include her Lilypad chandelier in shimmering champagne shades, the clean-lined Casa Sofa upholstered in Pierre Frey fabric, and a lacquered Nenuphar table designed with Anne Midvaine. They intermingle with handcrafted pieces by Goossens, Lesage Intérieurs, and Studio MTX, three Maisons d’Art from Chanel’s Le19M initiative. 

Dubern-Mallevays describes the setup as “an organic meeting of the minds inspired by a shared love for eclectic design and an understood, unique approach to maximalism.” For more, we recommend also dropping by Cartier’s newly redesigned Temple nearby on Fifth Avenue, which Gonzalez transformed into a romantic apartment through her whimsical lens. —Ryan Waddoups

Amoako Boafo. Photography by Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects

Amoako Boafo opens Dot.ateliers, an artists’ residency and resource center in Accra.

“The market darling Amoako Boafo, one of the most successful artists from the Ghanaian capital Accra, is known for his game-changing works and eye-watering auction prices. But stories about Boafo often dwell on this rise and focus mainly on the start of his career. Less is written about what he is doing now—opening an artists’ residency and open resource for artists in Accra, a city that is fast becoming an art world hot spot. Dot.ateliers, housed in a three-story David Adjaye–designed building, launched on Dec. 17 with two exhibitions: “Homegrown,” a solo show of Boafo’s work organized by the Nigerian-British curator Aindrea Emelife and “Side by Side,” a show of collaborative works Boafo has created with Stephen Allotey, Eric Adjei Tawiah, David Aplerh-Doku Borlabi, Crystal Yayra Anthony, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe and Kwesi Botchway.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

Researchers make progress on developing a “game-changer” vaccine against fentanyl.

“Drug overdose fatalities soared to a record high during the early Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, deaths from overdoses in the U.S. rose to 91,799, a 30 percent spike from the previous year. Researchers say synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are partially responsible. These drugs were involved in more than half of all fatal overdoses in 2020. More than 150 people die every day from synthetic opioids. Now, researchers at the University of Houston say they have a potential solution that could be a “game-changer” in the fight against opioid overdoses: a new vaccine that blocks fentanyl from entering the brain.” [H/T Smithsonian]

Arsonists destroy one of Thomas Dambo’s giant troll sculptures in Western Australia.

“Police are investigating after a fire destroyed a wooden sculpture built in regional Western Australia by an international artist. The blaze ruined one of six trolls made out of salvaged scrap wood by the Danish artist Thomas Dambo as part of his Giants of Mandurah exhibit, which was designed to be a towering tribute to sustainability, adventure, and imagination. Taking about 750 hours to complete, each troll was constructed on location by Dambo with a local team of technicians and volunteers. Six trolls were erected in secret locations throughout the Peel region as part of the exhibition. Dambo’s trolls have dotted landscapes in the US, Belgium, China, Denmark, South Korea, and Puerto Rico.” [H/T The Guardian]

A reimagined Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Image courtesy of NYC Mayor’s Office

A proposal reimagines a busy stretch of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for pedestrians.

“A proposal to ‘reimagine’ stretches of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue between Bryant Park and Central Park could mean fewer cars and more space for pedestrians and cyclists along the busy commercial corridor. Mayor Eric Adams announced what he referred to as a ‘major new visioning process’ with the goal of making Fifth Avenue safer for the public. Adams said he will assemble a coalition of government officials and community leaders across Midtown to make Fifth Avenue ‘more appealing to residents, workers, and visitors with world-class public space.’ Adams said the process would draw from what has been deemed a successful Open Streets holiday season that opened Fifth Avenue to pedestrians.” [H/T Gothamist]

Donald Trump’s sold-out line of NFT portraits are now trading for as much as $44,000.

“Former President Donald Trump has sold a lot of self-branded products in his day. Trump Ties. Trump Steaks. There was even a short-lived Trump Shuttle airline. And now, Trump NFTs. The collection of 45,000 non-fungible tokens depicting Trump in absurdly heroic poses, each priced at $99, sold out within a day of last week’s “major announcement” of the drop. Political commentators had been expecting news surrounding Trump’s third presidential campaign. Instead, we got JPGs. The card that has traded hands for the most money since the initial offering is one of the one-of-ones, an “autographed” image of Trump in a tuxedo. It went for a surprisingly hefty 37 ETH ($43,644.46).” [H/T Artnet News]

In Reykjavik, Pussy Riot stages an exhibition where they urinate on a portrait of Putin.

“For more than a decade, Pussy Riot has been staging brilliant, disruptive, and poetic political stunts. These “actions” have been part of its ongoing attempt to expose the absurdity and cruelty endemic in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. “Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot’s Russia” is the first overview of what Pussy Riot has been up to over the past 10 years. Improvised, anarchic, and intense, the exhibition—at Kling & Bang, an artist-run gallery in Reykjavik—may just be the most important of 2022. The first work you encounter as you enter the show is a short, sensationally provocative video. Filmed only days before the opening in the studio of Ragnar Kjartansson, the video shows Pussy Riot member Taso Pletner, in a red balaclava, standing on a table over a propped-up portrait of Putin. Pletner hikes up their black smock and urinates on the portrait before kicking it to the ground.” [H/T The Washington Post]

The Nendo Christmas tree in Tokyo Midtown. Photography by Takumi Ota

Today’s attractive distractions:

Here’s an early glimpse at Amtrak’s next generation of Airo and Acela trains. 

Nendo’s latest has us reconsidering our stance on designer Christmas trees

Tiffany taps Alex Brewer to create a colorful mural at its new store in Atlanta.

New research may offer insight into why exactly Roman baths disappeared.

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