Art of Living Well

Tastemaker Arden Wohl Runs on Stella McCartney Serum and Poetry Podcasts

Photography by Chiara Clemente.

This is the Art of Living Well, a column from CULTURED that explores how tastemakers think about luxury: the luxuries that are free, the ones that cost way too much, and the little ones that punch above their weight.

Arden Wohl is many things: poet, designer, director. If you Google her, “it girl” is probably the term most commonly used to describe her, most recently in New York magazine’s exhaustive history of the term. Now, she has added another descriptor to the list: curator. Last month, Wohl unveiled the first of a two-part exhibition she organized at James Fuentes, “A Study in Form (Chapter One),” which is on view at the New York gallery through June 3. 

The show brings together work by an eclectic mix of artists, from postwar figures like Robert Rauschenberg, Rosemary Mayer, and Marcel Broodthaers to emerging stars such as Martine Syms and Melissa Joseph. Wohl has also published a zine of poetry to be paired with the works in the exhibition; contributors include David Rimanelli, Kyle Dacuyan, Patricia Spears Jones, and more. “A Study in Form (Chapter Two)” will debut at James Fuentes in early 2024. In the meantime, Wohl told CULTURED about the small and big luxuries that keep her inspired. 

What product do you use every day that instantly improves your mood?


What is a splurge you reserve for special occasions?

Travel! I am scared of flying, so it happens very rarely.

What’s your favorite small luxury to give to someone else?

Rare books.

“A Study in Form (Chapter One)” (exhibition view), 2023. Image courtesy of James Fuentes

What do you do when you need to feel grounded?

Read poetry—I like the poem of the day put out by the Poetry Foundation—or take a walk while listening to a poetry podcast. I love the New Yorker’s poetry podcast and The Slowdown: Poetry & Reflection Daily. 

What is something you’d love for someone to buy for you, but would never buy for yourself?

A Mary Cassatt painting.

What’s a generic that’s just as good as the original?  

Cotton swabs over Q-tips—also, all the products in the background of the 1984 film Repo Man.

What’s your favorite smell?


“A Study in Form (Chapter One)” (Exhibition View), 2023. Image courtesy of James Fuentes.

What’s a luxurious ritual you inherited from someone in your life?

Getting a professional blowout, which I learned from my mother.

What is the best thing you’ve put on your face recently?

Stella McCartney's new beauty line—the cream and the serum.

What is your favorite luxury that costs less than $20?

Vegan macarons from Confectionery in the East Village

What’s a wellness ritual you think is overrated?


What is the most luxurious thing in your life that’s free?

Sunshine on my face.