Viewing artwork inside of a home as opposed to a gallery or museum invites one to experience and appreciate the art in new, more accessible ways. That’s the idea behind Paul Lester and Aileen Comora’s latest listing at 3542 Knobhill Drive, a modern architectural in Sherman Oaks boasting clean lines, comfort and original artwork to boot. “One of the inventive movements in the development of The Agency’s showcasing of homes has been to elevate not only the furniture staging to a higher degree of design expertise, but to also take the artwork and showcase both upcoming and established artists,” lends Paul. That’s why he and artist Burton Machen, who has shown worldwide in cities like New York, London, and Berlin, teamed-up to host private and exclusive showings at the residence. Sharing similar sensibilities towards art, design, food and wine, the two were able to collaborate on the intersection between art and luxury real estate. Put simply: the art helps to tell the story of a home.
Here to tell us more is none other than Paul Lester, The Agency’s official/unofficial authority on the Los Angeles art scene.
I seem to remember Miami as being the first place you and I really connected…
Yes, we bumped into one another at Art Basel where I was showing my work, around 2010 if I recall correctly. Our friendship developed from there as we realized how much we had in common.
You were the clear choice in my mind to show in one of our new contemporary homes because your street art combines innovation with elements of surprise, much like the home.
I do feel that every house has a unique energy as well as a unique aesthetic. When I walk into a space, I can envision specific works that would coalesce appealingly—not only because it looks right but it feels right.
After visiting 3542 Knobhill Drive for the first time, did you know what art would go where?
During that initial visit I got a feel for each room in the house and almost immediately developed an idea of which pieces would be perfect for which spaces. My photographs and paintings are a mix of figurative and abstract. For a home that is on the market, I like to keep the taste fairly abstract so that the art will compliment the house without being disruptive and therefore appeal to a wide variety of people.
I definitely think that there’s a balance between artwork that sets moods and artwork that insists on one point of view. The challenge is to balance those two so that the people viewing feel welcomed, invigorated and inspired—which I believe you executed perfectly.
I feel that the right art adds dimension and warmth to a home. It also attracts more people to visit a property, spreading exposure not only to the artist’s contacts but to the agent’s contacts as well. The more awareness that you can bring to the house the better.
If art can evolve without our knowledge, can architecture?
I believe that art can influence us without our knowledge and I do believe that architecture can do the same. When it flows it seems effortless and attainable. This particular home was designed in such a way that from the minute you walk in, you want to stay. You want to own it.
You draw much inspiration for your paintings and collage work from what you absorb on the street. How does Los Angeles specifically inspire you as an artist?
Every city has its unique palette of colors and has its own idiosyncratic personality. Los Angeles is vibrant and offers the luxury of space…space to breathe and to create.
You live and work between LA and Brooklyn. What’s your favorite way to explore the city (on foot, bicycle, etc.)?
NYC and Brooklyn by foot. Los Angeles…by Uber. Los Angeles is so spread out and there’s so much to see (and to miss) that if your eyes are fixed on the road you can miss so much. But as a passenger you can stop and see it all without having to worry about parking. That’s a real pleasure in Los Angeles.