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July 28 2014

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The Surreal Life Of Diane De Maria

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Though his name may not resonate with the masses the way, say, Salvador Dalí’s does, Pierre de Maria was a Surrealist of no little significance—his work hangs in the Guggenheim and at MoMA, for example. For years, however, many of his pieces were languishing in the family archives. Diane de Maria, the artist’s granddaughter, decided to do something about that—last night, she opened a show of Pierre de Maria originals in West Chelsea, and as a further homage to her grand-père, the Parisienne has extracted and abstracted his man vs. machine-themed designs for use on her new range of ultra-luxe bags. “First of all, it’s an homage,” de Maria explained. “I want to show my grandfather’s work to the world, but as well as showing the paintings, I thought it would be interesting to take the work out of the atmosphere of the gallery and put it in another context.” De Maria also noted that a handbag, unlike a T-shirt, say, is somewhat like a painting in that it can be passed down—it’s a vessel between the past and the future. At the post-opening dinner at Il Bottino, however, the attendees were squarely focused on the present. Co-hosted by ex-Rivington Arms gallerist Melissa Bent and artists Rita Ackermann and Amy Greenspon, the indoor/outdoor fête saw a good portion of New York’s art and fashion bright young things enjoying weather that was its own kind of masterpiece. (Not to mention, also, the limitless wine.) “It’s perfect,” said Kai Kühne, who had just returned from Vienna. “Perfect,” said Jessica Joffe, just back from L.A. Perfect, indeed.

Photo: Courtesy of Diane de Maria

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