It’s nothing new that real estate brokers and developers use art to sell their properties. Developers will install sculptures in the lobby of a building or hang paintings on the wall to increase a space’s clout. At 650 Sxith Avenue in Chelsea, Shvo Marketing went as far as using white cube galleries as design inspiration for residential apartments.
Whether artists are interested in being fodder for developers is another matter.
The Observer received an e-mail about Platinum Properties’ sale of 92 Laight in Tribeca, which claimed to have a feature designed by a prominent artist. (This artist’s dealer asked us to use the phrase “world famous artist” in place of a real name.) The e-mail said the Tribeca loft was purchased for the most money paid per square foot in Tribeca in years ($2,996). To increase this feeling of elegance, the release boasted of the space’s “elegant powder room finished in gold leaf and hammered bronze that was designed by [world famous artist], an American minimalist sculptor known for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal.”
Though the brochure did not mention the artist, last week, when The Observer spoke to the president of Platinum Properties, Daniel Hedaya, we were told once again the bathroom was by the [world famous artist] in question.
We contacted [world famous artist]‘s dealer, who owns a very prominent and internationally focused network of galleries, and a spokesperson told us, “The information you received in the press release was an ERROR.” The spokesperson was very adamant about us not using a real name: “Please do not use [world famous artist]’s name in any way in connection with any story about the referenced property.” This spokesperson also forwarded a series of emails between Mr. Hedaya and the PR person who originally sent out the false information in the press release. Mr. Hedaya said:
“I’m sorry but there was some confusion between the owner’s rep and my information. This design for the bathroom was not a [world famous artist] design but rather was inspired by [world famous artist] designs. There is a HUGE difference of course between the two so I need to ensure corrections are made.”
Mr. Hedaya then wrote to [world famous artist]’s studio and kindly said, “Please apologize to [world famous artist] on my behalf.”
The Observer received a correction e-mail regarding the property.
“The powder room WAS NOT designed by [world famous artist]. It was merely influenced by [world famous artist].”
This morning, Mr. Hedaya reached out to us personally to clarify the sale of the property. His e-mail read:
I received your email from [world famous artist]’s office. I just want to clarify that [world famous artist]’s name was not used ANYWHERE in the marketing materials in accordance with the sale of 92 Laight Street. It was brought to my attention AFTER the closing that this was designed by [world famous artist]. The owner’s representative, must have misconstrued this fact in that it was inspired by a [world famous artist] design. I just want to clarify this – you can confirm with all the marketing venues as well as the brochure which I attached here.
Just wanted to reinforce that this price was NOT achieved as a result of this misconstrued fact and this was in no way, shape, or form pitched as his design.
So, to clarify. To Michael Cohrs and his wife Arlene, the owners of 92 Laight Street, the rumors of your bathroom being designed by [world famous artist] have been greatly exaggerated.