Art Design Fashion Film

CULTURED’s Top 10 Stories of August 2023

Portrait of Charlie Ferrer in a client’s home by Tim Lenz. From left: Various work on paper and Thomas Barger’s Gingham Passion Chair, 2020. Images courtesy of Ferrer.

1. Interior Designer Charlie Ferrer Has a Bone to Pick With Millennial Home Decor

At what point after graduating college do we let go of collapsible dinner tables and high-end knock-offs? For interior designer Charlie Ferrer, the answer is ASAP. The Chelsea-based creative founded his own interior design studio and gallery in 2012, offering a plethora of furniture, lighting, and art by both notable and emerging designers. The joint practice has been the go-to agency for fellow creatives and private collectors who appreciate his eclectic eye. Here, Ferrer discusses his personal favorite artists, the importance of supporting smaller talent, and the secret to putting together a tasteful interior. 

Image courtesy of Anthony Akinbola.

2. 10 Art World Professionals on How to Land Your First Big Break

Nearly 150,000 performing and visual arts degrees were awarded in 2021—around a 4 percent decline from previous years. But within that same period, employees in the amorphous visual art world grew over 3 percent, to a total 2.12 million in the American workforce. With this year’s commencements already completed (and the art world poised to kick back into full gear this fall), CULTURED touched base with arts professionals from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise to collect their best advice for rising professionals across the industry. Some matters, like the importance of social media, proved universal. Others, like the efficacy of cold calling, remain contentious. Read on to advance your path, regardless of where your career is in the big picture.

Marina Abramović, Nude With Skeleton, 2005. Photography by Attilio Maranzano. Image courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives.

3. 12 Essential Art Exhibitions Worth Traveling For This Fall

Museums and art organizations around the globe are putting their best foot forward this fall with fresh takes on outdated histories and new, thrilling discoveries. Outside the well-trodden hubs of Los Angeles and New York, the coming season boasts a vibrant celebration of women artists, from historically misunderstood figures to contemporary creators. The work of Native and Indigenous artists is also the subject of growing, overdue attention. And of course, it wouldn’t be a fall art season without a few boldface names getting deliciously ambitious retrospectives. Here, CULTURED selects 12 shows worth the trip this autumn. From a survey of contemporary Native American art in Washington, DC, to Marina Abramović’s long-awaited star turn in London, here are the shows you won’t want to miss.

John and Christine Gachot at their Shelter Island Heights home. Portrait by William Jess Laird.

4. Designers Christine and John Gachot's Must-Visit Guide to Summer on Shelter Island

"I think people come here to get away from the bustle—it’s pretty sleepy,” says Christine Gachot when asked about the appeal of Shelter Island, an 8,000-acre enclave nestled between the North and South forks of Long Island and accessible only by ferry or seaplane. The couple, who met while working at Studio Sofield in the ’90s, bought their first home on Shelter Island shortly after their first son was born (their second was born five years later). Often referred to as the anti-Hamptons, Shelter Island maintains a charming small-town vibe. “Having raised two sons out here, they were allowed a freedom from a very early age that they were never afforded in the city,” says Christine. “And that is the true luxury of it.” Here, the two design darlings tell us about their family home and share an insider's guide to their beloved getaway.

Mire Lee, "Black Sun" (Installation View), 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and the New Museum.

5. Ick Art: Why a Rising Generation of Female Sculptors Is Embracing Body Horror

Imagine a meat locker or a mad scientist’s lair: that’s what the New Museum’s fourth floor looks like today. Plastic-lined scaffolding forms a dank, fetid room within a room that appears to sweat. Inside, a torqued rod wrapped in ropy limbs—entrails, perhaps, or tentacles—twists slowly and menacingly, tangling in on itself until it looks like it’s about to break. Then, all of a sudden, the appendages snap free and spray clay on anyone there to bear witness. The sense of release is orgasmic—and gross. Lee’s vision is all her own, but the themes of her work belong to a larger trend among young sculptors, mostly women, who are mapping the amorphous anxieties of modern life onto human anatomies. See how these exciting young artists are turning to the gross-out genre to give form to the ambient dread of modern life.

Portrait of Myriam Ben Salah by Saskia Lawaks. Image courtesy of Ben Salah.

6. How to Traverse Chicago Like One of Its Most Keyed-In Curators

Myriam Ben Salah has unquestionably good taste. In her two-and-a-half years at the helm of the Renaissance Society, the small but widely influential kunsthalle at the University of Chicago, she has staged shows by such rising stars as Aria Dean, Meriem Bennani, and Diane Severin Nguyen. That’s why she was a natural fit for the inaugural "My City" column, which offers tastemakers’ guides to the cities they love. As the Chicago-set show The Bear dominates silver screens and Lollapalooza brings thousands of music lovers to Grant Park this weekend, the Tunisian-born curator dished on why she hasn’t indulged in deep dish pizza and where to enjoy a snuck-in glass of wine in her guide to the Windy City.

Portrait of Dianna Agron by Tom Mitchell.

7. Dianna Agron and Rachel Sennott's Friendship Endured Onscreen Acrimony and Bushwick Stand-Up Shows

Dianna Agron and Rachel Sennott first crossed paths on set for Emma Seligman's 2020 hit Shiva Baby. Sennott played the titular sugar baby, and Agron was cast as the sugar daddy's oblivious wife. Despite the onscreen acrimony, the pair were able to foster a harmonious friendship. In the years since, Agron has taken roles in a suite of projects, including sci-fi drama Acidman, medical thriller Clock, and fantasy series El Elegido, which recently debuted on Netflix. Sennott has starred in off-kilter comedies such as Bodies Bodies Bodies and Bottoms, out last week, which she co-wrote with Seligman. Here, Sennott and Agron reunite to take stock of the ground they’ve covered.

Artwork by David King Reuben. Image courtesy of Sterling McDavid. 

8. See Inside the Homes of Four Tastemaking Aspen Collectors

Earlier this month, art lovers from across the country flocked to the mountain town of Aspen, Colorado, for ArtCrush, the Aspen Art Museum’s annual star-studded auction and gala. But, some of America’s top collectors were already there. Aspen has cultivated a creative, open-minded collecting community for decades. Here, CULTURED looks back on interviews with four such figures. 

Alejandro Cardenas, Hermes delivers the order of Zeus, 2022. Photography by Kobe Wagstaff. Image courtesy of Yasmin Kazeminy.

9. 9 Top Collectors Reveal the Dramatic Lengths They’ve Gone To Acquire Art

For some, art collecting is a pastime. For others, it’s an obsession. These collectors are willing to go to great lengths to acquire the objects of their affection—whether that means recruiting friends to petition a gallery on their behalf or hiring a crane to deliver an especially heavy sculpture through a window. Here, CULTURED looks back on select Collector Questionnaires to explore the most strenuous tests these art lovers have passed. From arranging an artist intervention to international travel at the drop of a hat, they know what it takes to pursue a passion.

Lily-Rose Depp and Kirsten Coleman on the set of The Idol. Image courtesy of Coleman.

10. Makeup Artists From The Idol, Euphoria, The Bear, and More on What Goes on Inside the Beauty Trailer

In the past four years, highly stylized makeup has burst out of runways, TV screens, and movie theaters, with teens, tweens, and makeup fiends across the country whipping out eccentric looks. Productions like Daisy Jones and The Six and Everything, Everywhere All At Once have encouraged people to swap out their usual routine for more adventurous styles. After Sam Levinson debuted Euphoria in 2019, sculptural eyeliner and rhinestones became everyone's business. The creative minds responsible for this seismic shift deserve the spotlight more than ever, so CULTURED chatted with four makeup artists on the key role glitter, gloss, and sweat play in telling a story, onscreen or IRL.