There are a lot of parallels between the art market and the real estate market right now.
Both are insanely hot (and possibly overheated), both are seeing record prices and both are increasingly attracting the wealth of one-percenters in the U.S. and around the globe.
To wit: In May, an 18-acre beachfront spread on Further Lane in East Hampton sold for $147 million, setting a record not only for the Hamptons, but for the entire country (see page 24). And last fall, Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction, going for $142 million.
Real estate has rebounded to a level seen before the bust, as have global art sales (totaling some $65 billion last year), with New York as the center of the world for contemporary art auctions.
A central figure in that surging art world is Domingo Zapata. The Spanish-American “it” artist sells his six-figure canvases to the likes of George Soros, Pat Riley and Leonardo DiCaprio. And his salon-style dinner discussions have attracted patrons as varied as Salman Rushdie, Ron Burkle and Lindsay Lohan — the latter of whom Zapata denied romancing earlier this year.
We peek inside Zapata’s eclectic home in a story starting on page 14. The 8,600-square-foot triplex in a townhouse directly on Gramercy Park shows that the artist clearly has it covered on both the art and real estate front. The expansive space showcases a mix of the old and new, formal and fun — the Old World elegance of the drawing room is offset by paint-splattered floors and enormous vibrant canvases. It’s much like the bad-boy painter himself, who sports tattoos and high-top sneakers but also — he claims — has his butler iron his New York Times every day before reading it in the park.
If our piece on Zapata has you inspired, and you’re looking for art to spruce up your own walls but don’t know where to start, we can help. On page 18, we survey local services that help New Yorkers outfit their apartments and grow into art collectors, whether you’re looking to spend $350 or $3,500 or $35,000.
(To shop for art, think about heading to the Upper East Side, where new galleries are sprouting up, in part because the neighborhood is “so unhip, it’s hip” – see page 30.)
We also take a look at cool décor and furnishings that are inspired by nature (charred logs that double as stools; jungle flora wallpaper created by rocker-cum-interior designer Lenny Kravitz) on page 8. And finally, we get a VIP pass inside the home of legendary sportscaster Marv Albert (yes!), and take a look at the priceless memorabilia that he’s collected in his decades on air covering basketball.
Of course, there is plenty in here that’s not about art or collectibles.
Notably, in time for 80 and 90 degree temperatures, we take a look at the poshest private pools in Manhattan — there are only a handful of apartments and townhouses that have their very own place to take a dip (see page 10). If I had my druthers, I’d plunk into the pool in the $50 million apartment atop the Sir Norman Foster-designed condo project rising just off the High Line in Chelsea.
(It hasn’t been built yet, so I’ll have to wait.)
Enjoy the issue and enjoy the summer.