Five minutes with Isaac Mizrahi, gallerista
From the aisles of Target to Bravo’s The Fashion Show, Isaac Mizrahi seems to have a finger in every pie—literally, now that he’s announced he’ll be selling baked goods on a new QVC show of his own this fall. The art world isn’t immune to his charms, either. Recently Mizrahi teamed up with friend and gallery owner Julie Saul for his curatorial debut, the group show Summer Pictures, which is on view at the Julie Saul Gallery through September 12. We caught up with the fashion world’s favorite mench to get the back story.
So now you’re a curator?
I have a hard time using the term “curator”—the process felt more personal than that. I just wanted to put together a show based on things that inspire me, in this case the artists who have influenced me. I suggested the idea to Julie and then the exhibit just kind of came together.
Tell us a little about how you picked the artists.
It’s a group of artists that I have collected or am influenced by. Like Lisa Sanditz, who demonstrates the “silver lining” quality, and Wayne Thiebaud whose use of irony really speaks to you. And I am just awed by Julie Sherman. My “Candy Store” collection for Spa 2010 was influenced by the colors in her work.
Julia Sherman canvas; Mizrahi’s “Candy Store” collection.
What was the inspiration behind Summer Pictures? Is there a central theme?
I don’t like themes, except in retrospect. If I could rename the show now I would call it “Silver Lining.” The collection demonstrates a way of looking at things in a new light; colors, irony and happiness all in juxtaposition.
Did you have any great revelations along the way?
Well, there are great lessons to be learned about life from assembling a show. I learned a lot about the process of editing and setting a meaningful tone.
And finally, tell us how you’re planning to spend your downtime the rest of this summer.
Cook way too much and eat way too much! I could never lose my lust for appetite. I actually never lose my passion for anything I do—it just builds and builds.
Issac’s very own strawberry rhubarb pie.
Gallery photos: Helen Klisser During; pie photo via Isaac Mizrahi’s blog