Guest Curator

Where East Meets West: Interior Designer Sara Story Guest Curates an Exclusive Collection of Contrasts for Saatchi Art

We’re excited to have New York-based interior designer (and sometime elephant polo player) Sara Story guest curating an exclusive collection of art as part of our ongoing Guest Curator series. Read on to learn the first piece of art she bought, the last great art exhibits she attended, and the role art plays in her life.

(Image: Bjorn Wallander)

A globe-trotting interior designer who was born in Japan and has lived all over the U.S., Sara Story brings her elegant worldly style to clients’ homes from Singapore to Texas. Her latest project for Sara Story Design is a collection of wallpaper represented by Holland & Sherry, inspired by her travels and love of Asian motifs. We welcome the talented designer, an avid collector of contemporary art, to our site to select a few works that strike her fancy.

Gramercy Park North project by Sara Story Design (Image: Photo by Eric Laignel)

How do you describe your personal style?

My style is pretty diverse. I love mixing fancy with a bit of edge – a rawness with a tailored sophistication.

What role does art play in your life?

Art is a huge influence and inspiration in my life – in my career and as a passion. Viewing art at museums or galleries is my favorite way to spend my free time.

What do you collect?

I collect a wide mix of paintings, drawings, and photography. I started collecting strong female artists, such as Elizabeth Peyton, Cecily Brown, Lisa Yuskavage, and Kati Heck. Lately, I have mixed it up with photography by Richard Prince, abstract by Andro Wekua, and paintings by Tal R and Jonathan Meese. Also just bought my first sculpture by Franz West!

What was the last museum or gallery you visited?

Museum: Guggenheim in NY– incredible show of Picasso Black and White. Gallery: Luhring Augustine — icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson– one of the best shows I have ever seen. Incredibly emotionally moving. Gagosian’s Cy Twombly show was one of my favorites, too.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

It is a tie between Cy Twombly, de Kooning, and Picasso…. three of the greats.

Gramercy Park North project by Sara Story Design (Image: Photo by Eric Laignel)

Which artist would you most like to meet?

Yoshitomo Nara.

How does art inspire you?

Being an interior designer, I strive to create atmosphere with interiors and to continue to evolve as a designer. Viewing art inspires my creativity and provides a sense of stimulation for me and my work.

What was the first piece of art you purchased?

A drawing by Elizabeth Peyton.

What does the art in your home say about you?

It is playful – drawings by Nara and paintings by Tal R create tremendous energy. I try to select art that creates happiness and a thoughtful outlook on life, especially for my children to grow up around.

Which skill would you most like to possess if you could paint, draw, sculpt?

If I could possess a skill, it would be to paint. I would love to paint abstract like Joan Mitchell or de Kooning – full of freedom and passion!

Gramercy Park North project by Sara Story Design (Image: Photo by Eric Laignel)

Abstract or Realism? Abstract

Painting or Photography? Painting

Contemporary or Classic? Contemporary

Color or Black+White? Color

Hirst or Hockney? Hockney

Picasso or Pollock? Picasso

Bacon or Basquiat? Bacon

Murakami or Mondrian? Murakami

Met or MoMA? MoMA

Los Angeles or New York? New York

Paris or London? Paris

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