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Toma Clark Haines displays original art by Michaela Zimmer in her Diva Headquarters home

Michaela Zimmer

Antiques Meet Modern

When asked whatToma Clark Haines displays original art by Michaela Zimmer in her Diva Headquarters home I personally collect – my answer is always first and foremost “People.” In my line of work, I am constantly meeting fascinating people from all over the world. While in Venice last year at Saloniste’s , I fell in love with both the artwork and personality of Michaela Zimmer! She is a remarkable artist who lives and works in Berlin, Germany, and whose work is exhibited around the world. People are often shocked to discover that as The Antiques Diva I’m obsessed with contemporary art. But as in love as well as decorating…  opposites attract. My personal decorating style is a juxtaposition of antiques meet modern.

I  am over the moon to have contemporary paintings by artist Michaela Zimmer in our Antiques Diva headquarters (which happens to be in my personal home).

Michaela Zimmer

A friend of mine refers to me as “his whirlwind.” Anyone who knows me, knows I am always on the move. And perhaps that’s what attracted me to Michaela’s work. It moves. It flows. It dances with light and motion. Michaela Zimmer rethinks the idea of the abstract painting. She filters the fundaments of abstraction through the syntax of performance. With a background in dance and photography, it’s no wonder movement is such an important part of her process— incorporating the idea of physical movement (dance) and the concept of a still moment frozen in time (photography). When she paints, she surrounds herself with canvases and literally dances as she creates her art. Looking at a series of her work, you can see the movement as it dances from canvas to canvas.

Relationship Between Antiques and Contemporary Art

When discussing the relationship between antiques and contemporary art, Michaela sees it as revolving around time and space. One look at her canvases shows that she places a focus on movement. She explains, “What is specific about these canvases, characterized by a virtually incorporeal, floating chromatic space, is the fourth dimension inscribed within them; time manifested as traces of the performative between the multi-stratified, fragmented layers.” It’s this movement that enters into a dialogue with antiques.

Interior Photography: Susanne Ollmann http://www.ollmannfoto.com

all artwork courtesy of the artist and FOLD, London http://www.foldgallery.com/

Michaela Zimmer

Michaela Zimmer

Relative to movement, Michaela says, “It is interesting that the word ‘speed’ always evokes the notion of ‘fast speed’ first. Focusing on both, fast and slow motion, and situations where they blend into each other, has always been an aspect of my work. Mind you, even when a line appears to be ‘fast’, this might have resulted from a slow movement which accelerated from a certain intensity that wasn’t fast at all.”

Antiques often reveal traces of the human hand which played a part in creating them, and the sculptural element of Michaela Zimmer’s paintings reflect that as well. Details get blurred and stay hidden behind semi-transparent PE film. The dichotomy of abstraction and corporeality disappears in the merging of image and object – illusionary space and material. Combining contemporary paintings with an antique environment is combining both visual experiences.

Michaela Zimmer

Michaela Zimmer

Combining Contemporary Paintings with an Antique Environment

There are different approaches in Michaela Zimmer’s paintings. The lines that originate from a concentrated single movement are mostly applied to white canvas that is only primed. They take a long time in their (mainly physical) preparation, but are then executed quickly. Even with the best preparation, a lot of them end up unresolved and get destroyed, since they can’t be corrected.” The process of creating a work can take quite some time. The paintings are based on numerous layers of paint, which are applied and then often taken away, again and again. This process is time-consuming and very difficult to control since the aim is not a spectacular composition, but a rather quiet one that unfolds only slowly. As Michaela explains, “A similar ‘gradualness in the investigation process’ is also required from the viewer, if he or she is to be rewarded.”

Toma Clark Haines displays original art by Michaela Zimmer in her Diva Headquarters home

In my own home, it’s time that forms the interaction with other objects around the paintings in the room. The present meets the past in my home in Berlin – the historic building is a brewery dating from the early 1800’s – that has been converted into modern loft space for working and living. Michaela’s contemporary art visually bring the space to the 21st century but the 19th C building is grounded with 18th Century antiques.

While I was delighted to share with you a glimpse into my own home office so you could see how art interacts in private spaces – I want also to tell you about an opportunity to visit a gallery in England for a special Exhibition of Michaela’s work.

Perpetual Movement 

exhibition 29 October 2016 till 26 February 2017

Curated by The Lowry in collaboration with Rambert, the exhibition will feature work by four international artists and explore the synergies between contemporary visual art and dance. Artists featuring in Perpetual Movement include Turner Prize nominee, Goshka Macuga, Leila Johnston and Michaela Zimmer, and the exhibition will feature specially commissioned works alongside key pieces from Rambert’s archive that inspired them.

Twitter @The_Lowry www.thelowry.com
The Lowry | Pier 8 | Salford Quays | Salford | M50 3AZ

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
#MixAntiquesAndModern

Can Comfort and Glamour Go Together?

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>You could definitely say that The Antiques Diva® brand is associated with a glamorous lifestyle—after all, we love fine antiques, foreign travel, chic hotels, gourmet meals and, of course, Champagne by the bucket load! But often, when it comes to homes, people think that glamour and comfort cannot go together. That’s simply just not the case! I want to share some tips on how these two can live harmoniously and make your life uber chic but still comfy cosy!

Decorating with Antiques, Chaise Lounge, Glamour, Linda Merrill, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Andrew Skipper, Comfortable Glamour, Chic Style

Photo credit Laila McCubbin Jones

 

First of all… go for the comfy couch.  Trust me, when it comes to nap time you won’t regret it.  But then add in antique French side tables and gorgeous little Louis chairs that are perfect for entertaining if not necessarily watching tv.  My home (prefire) is a great example of how comfort and glamour go hand-in-hand.  Art work, sculptures, gilt and crystal are perfect ways to up the glam factor in your home without sacrificing comfort. Ornate frames that set off grand oil paintings instantly transform a room. If your style is more chic, go with sleek black frames, thick white mats, and black & white vintage photography. That’s a sure fire recipe for chicness! Also think about adding a bronze sculpture on a pedestal to your space. I have a collections of  Art Deco bronzes that adds a luxe feel to my living room. And if your ceiling is high enough please promise me you’ll go for a chandelier like in my old apartment in Berlin above (or better yet two – like in my new home below in Berlin)!

Decorating with Antiques, Chaise Lounge, Glamour, Linda Merrill, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Andrew Skipper, Comfortable Glamour, Chic Style

andrew skipper, Decorating with Antiques, Chaise Lounge, Glamour, Linda Merrill, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Andrew Skipper, Comfortable Glamour, Chic Style

Now… there is one formula for Glamour + Comfort that is a guaranteed win!  Go for a Chaise Lounge!  It adds instant, glamourous comfort to any room.  I have a gorgeous chaise in my loft home office and it looks so dramatic with its patinated gilding and fresh silk gray and white striped upholstery (my dear friend ton-South_Shore-Cape_Cod.html%20″ target=”_blank”>Linda Merrill helped me source this fabric when I couldn’t find it on my own) . And the good news is that it is SO comfortable!  You’ll note my colleague Andrew Skipper who helps out at Antiques Diva Headquarters might find it… a little TOO comfortable!!! 

Antiques Diva Headquarters, Decorating with Antiques, Chaise Lounge, Glamour, Linda Merrill, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Andrew Skipper, Comfortable Glamour, Chic Style

For adding glamour into your home find antique pieces that have good proportions and have them reupholstered. That’s a great way to be sure that they’re comfortable and still stylish.   Don’t think antiques have to be fiddly and small!  Louis XIII chairs dating from the late 16th and 17th C have the most wonderful proportion to them.  And remember most quailty antiques aren’t actually that fiddly – there is a reason they’ve survived a couple of hundred years.

Decorating with Antiques, Chaise Lounge, Glamour, Linda Merrill, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Andrew Skipper, Comfortable Glamour, Chic Style

When in doubt… light candles!  What’s more glamorous than candlelight reflected in elegant mirrors? Hang a couple of antique mirrors—better yet get some antique mirrors where the mercury has melted—then sprinkle lots of candles throughout your home. This will make it feel sexy and cozy at the same time—especially after the sun goes down! At The Antiques Diva & Co we love sexy décor!

Decorating with Antiques, Chaise Lounge, Glamour, Linda Merrill, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Andrew Skipper, Comfortable Glamour, Chic Style

Photo credit Laila McCubbin Jones

 

Remember, glam antiques can certainly be part of a comfortable home. Just keep in mind proportions when it comes to seating and think about finishes for artwork & frames. And I almost forgot—antique rugs are a fantastic way to make a home feel regal yet warm (picture above of my study in my old Berlin apartment). They were made to last and the traditional patterns often lend themselves to a more upscale look. I think I’ll go sip a cocktail on my chaise lounge right now—all this talk has me feeling like I need a diva moment.

Ta Ta for now, darlings.  Be Chic.  Be Glam. And Be Fabulous.

The Antiques Diva® 

Creating the Perfect Tablescape with Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>It’s no secret that I love to decorate my home with antiques. Since my home caught fire a couple years ago and I lost most of my material possessions in the flames, I’ve been scouting across Europe creating new collections, seeking accessories and staple pieces to complete my new flat. But now that I have my main pieces in place, that doesn’t mean that the decorating is over.  I, like many design enthusiasts, tend to get bored with stagnant interiors that don’t change or evolve every so often. (heck, every day!)  And while buying all new furniture would be a huge budget buster – not to mention a hassle – creating fresh tablescapes on a regular basis is a fun way to shake things up a bit.  (Confession… soon as I wrote “shake” I began singing Taylor Swift’s song Shake it Off!)

Decorating with Antiques, Designing Tablescapes, Artful Vignettes, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Toma Clark Haines

When I say tablescape I’m not just talking about the dining table. You can design table arrangements on console, coffee, and side tables. Even other flat surfaces like shelves, mantels, and window ledges can be used to artfully display objects. Here are some easy tips to get you started on creating beautiful vignettes using antiques in your home.

Decorating with Antiques, Designing Tablescapes, Artful Vignettes, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Toma Clark Haines

Keep it cohesive, but never boring. As with any decorating project, it’s important to know your personal style and the overall “look” you’re going for. For instance if you have a mid-century style home and theme, you probably won’t be adding heavily carved victorian pieces to your room. The same rule applies with tablescapes. Keep the style consistent with the rest of your decor and try to complement other elements in your home.

Decorating with Antiques, Designing Tablescapes, Artful Vignettes,

In order to keep it from feeling boring, mix up the heights of objects. Use books to stack things on top of and think about layering pieces of art in front of each other. I love the look of using small tabletop easels to display artwork or even photographs.

Shelfie, Decorating with Antiques, Designing Tablescapes, Artful Vignettes, The Antiques Diva, Berlin Apartment, Toma Clark Haines

Add natural elements to your vignettes as well. Mixing materials such as shell, horn, flowers, and geodes with antiques really sets off the patina of the older items. Also using interesting pieces is important. That’s what’s great about antiques— they are NOT being sold mass-produced at every decor store which means when you decorate with antiques you’re giving your home a uniquely you spin!

Whether you hunt for accessories at antique shops, flea markets, or tag sales, think about what other items you can pair them with to create visually interesting tablescapes throughout your house. And remember, the same as when it comes to dating… Opposites Attract!

Happy Decorating,

The Antiques Diva® 

Another Shelfie

to2.jpg”>to2-1024×764.jpg” alt=”Shelfie, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva Berlin Apartment, Book Shelves, Decorating a Loft Apartment” width=”600″ height=”448″ />

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Last week I shared my first “Shelfie” and today I had to share again- but disclaimer please, this photo from our library shows no antiques. It’s a photo simply filled with memories. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle was my favorite book as a pre-teen and after our house fire last year my mother gave me the tattered copy from my youth. The glass mason jar is filled with seashells picked up on a girl’s trip years ago in Sanibel Island with dear friends Stacey, Catherine and Tamara and the giant foot is a souvenir from Rome when I took my 16 year old niece Tessa to Italy for her birthday.

And, lastly, the playing cards a memento of my time spent chatting a couple of months ago with Design Hero Gary Gibson at his trend setting shop in LA.  I see my home in memories – each piece a souvenir, sitting on a shelf and reminding me of moments that make me smile.

The Juju – African Headdress

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Proving that mixing antique styles and periods works, in the entrance to my home I’ve contrasted an 18th century Rococo secretaire and 17th C Baroque painting with a bright red vintage Juju hat. Designers such as Alexandra Branca have made these Bamike feather headdresses from Africa so popular. Symbolizing prosperity and believed to possess the positive qualities of birds they represent the beauty and fragility of life. Typically worn by royal dancers during ceremonies held by the tribal chief, Juju hats offer a burst of burst of color to your decor!

Toma Clark Haines - Berlin Apartment - Spanish Antiques - Baroque Painting

 

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