Despite its short life (2016–2020), Sander Lack’s beloved New York fashion brand Sis Marjan made a bold and lasting impression. After all, his trench coats and jeweled dresses injected the classic black palette of downtown New York with a splash of luxury.
“Color is everything,” the Brunei-born, New York-based designer and creative director told Artnet News. In fact, he has a whole new book out on the subject: Colors of Sies MarjanPublished by Rizzoli in October.
Inside, alongside contributions from the likes of Rem Koolhaas, Julie Mehretu and Isabella Rossellini, you’ll find past Sies Marjan ad campaigns and runway shows, as well as Lac’s personal sketches and portraits, not to mention a foreword by Elizabeth Peyton. Creative inspiration – all organized by hue.
Color informs every aspect of the designer’s life, including his art collections, everything from Neo Rauch’s lithographs (“I’m a color snob and I don’t think anyone does a good job of combining colors, but Neo really knows!”) to a. Bright green ceramic sneakers from bookstore-slash-gallery in Athens, Greece.
“I’m very sensitive to color so I can’t have too many different colors in my house,” says Lack, whose approach to art collecting is less restrictive. When asked what he would choose if he stole a piece of art without getting caught, he said, in part, “I’m going to park a car at the Guggenheim and load it with as many Alex Katz works as I can humanly carry. !”
Lack gave Artnet News a look at the collection, which is colorful in more ways than one.
What was your first purchase (and how much did you pay)?
When I was making my first career in fashion, I bought a photo of Kurt Cobain with a gun and a black feathered hat from Yuri Lenkette. It’s one of my favorite pictures of Kurt, and when I saw it in the gallery in Paris, I knew I had to say it, even though I couldn’t eat for a week…
I don’t remember exactly what I paid for it – it was about 750 euros, which was a lot of money for me at the time. I still have the picture, and it has always found a place in many of my homes over the years.
What was your most recent purchase?
My partner and I were in Barcelona in the summer, and when we travel we always go to local bookstores and galleries where we buy lots of things! At this point we found a small gallery called La Plataforma, which was showing the works of a young Barcelona-based artist, Jan Valverdu. We both fell in love with the title. later. We have just framed it and are finding the right place for it.
Which works or artists are you hoping to add to your collection this year?
Maybe not this year, but at some point, I want a picture of Rineke Dijkstra and a big picture of Julie Mercy.
What is the most expensive piece of art you own?
Maybe it’s a toss up between Lucy Kim. Dr. Eric Lander, Geneticist 1I bought her after seeing her work at the Institute of Modern Art in Boston; Alvin Ong’s incredible paintings Feeling #55, feeling tomorrowAnd Feeling #76In the year Here’s what I chose from the many pictures I showed at the 2021 Armory Show. And then there’s the series of six Thomas Ruff paintings I bought by David Zwirner, which are unfortunately stored away because I don’t have a proper wall for it at the moment. So I need to move some things, because I need some Ruff soon!
Where do you buy the most art?
Never in the same place. I always find things when I travel or go to museums or galleries. I love shopping on 1stDibs, and I’ve found some great paintings and designs for nothing on eBay! Then you put them in a beautiful frame or put them next to a picture of Alice Hey or Hans Eikelbom, and it looks like a million dollars.
How does your background as a fashion designer influence the way you collect art?
I don’t think it works in a very straightforward way. When I look at art, I don’t think about fashion and clothes, especially not when I think about buying something. I do everything by instinct. It is clear that this color plays an important role since it is in the DNA.
What is your philosophy on incorporating art into your home? And how does color play?
Color is everything, and I mean “no color.” I’m very sensitive to color, so I can’t have too many different colors in my house – it would be crazy! If you have a very sensitive and sensitive palate, you can’t eat everything all the time because it makes you feel nauseous. So I’m very picky with color in my house.
I like to think about where I live before I hang a piece of art because I really hate changing things around it; I want to pledge for the election. This doesn’t always happen, but I try. I also believe that not everything should be hung properly. I love carved work on a table or floor – expensive but more casual. And I like to mix high and low.
What’s that job hanging above your couch? What about in your bedroom?
I have a few things in these areas. One is a Neo Rauch lithograph I bought a few years ago. I love the use of neo color. I’m a color snob and I don’t think anyone does a good job of combining colors, but Neo really knows!
On the other side is a wonderful portrait by Wolfgang Tillmans.goats) I had it in the living room of my old apartment. One day I was taking pictures in my house. She decor By Tina Barney (I blurt out ‘I’m doing the writing while Tina is shooting’). She took some photos of my apartment, including one of Wolfgang Tillmans’ photos. I asked if I could have it, so now I have a one-of-a-kind image of Wolfgang-Tilmans-by-Tina-Barney!
Above my couch is a lithograph of one of my favorite works by Marlene Dumas. Amy – Come back (2015) I had it sent to me from a gallery in China, which cost me more than the actual work, but was worth it.
What is the most impractical piece of art you own?
I found an artwork at a bookstore/gallery in Athens, Greece called HyperHypo—a ceramic Nike sneaker by Koxx Ceramics and I really like it, but I’m having trouble putting it in the right way and in the right place. I’ve tried a few things and can’t figure it out, but I know I’ll find a perfect fit somewhere. Now, the most missing item in my library is…
What job do you wish you could buy when you had the chance?
I want to shoot myself for not buying one of Diedric Brackens works when it first started. I immediately fell in love with the work when I saw it and had the opportunity to buy a large piece, but I didn’t because I was shopping for something else and I stopped buying art for myself for a while and saved up. I still regret this decision.
Another was years ago when I met painter Claire Taboret at her Los Angeles studio. It was coming up and I had bought quite a bit of painting, but I was in the same situation as Brackens… So, I don’t tell myself I shouldn’t buy art anymore. I am missing these gems.
Are there any jobs you regret buying? If so, what is it, and why?
I don’t regret the art I bought. I regret the things I didn’t buy – that’s the problem!
What if you stole a piece of art without getting caught?
I used to go over to David and Monica Zwirner’s house and take that huge Neo Rauch painting. I like that a lot.
But I would steal a piece of Sarah’s time wherever I could find it. And I’m looking for that giant Boris Mikhailov I saw at the MoMA this summer…
Oh, and I just parked at the Guggenheim and loaded up on as many Alex Katz works as I could humanly carry!
OK, one more thing: I saw a Bernhard Martin painting in Berlin that made me feel like I had taken mushrooms. So I want that too.
As you can see, I can’t get it to work. I would be a true art thief.
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