Richard Shapiro Studiolo LA
Antiques dealer and designer Richard Shapiro‘s new gallery in LA is an absolute delight. Like delving into a life-size treasure chest, the space, which was the former Blackman Cruz space on La Cienega Boulevard, is filled with a scrumptious mismatch of all things beautiful – furnishings and art from afar, such as the black-resin boomerang desk from the 1970s, a baronial 17th-century gilded chair, a ’50s Boris Lacroix lamp, a Lee Mullican canvas, as well as creations from his own Studiolo line.
While the opening may come as a surprise to some, having shut his West Hollywood showroom in 2013, it also quite simply reaffirms Shapiro’s passion – and gift – for collecting, and for design. “I felt a strong calling to be more assertive in expressing my sensibilities,” he says, and so returned to the world of vintage wonders and unlikely discoveries and opened again. Between the clashing materials and objects, things for the floor and the wall, eccentric pieces with “unfamiliar 20th-century finds,” it’s a space that epitomises his life-long work and offers visitors something quite unique.
Alongside the opening of the gallery – as if that wasn’t enough – also comes a book: ‘Past Perfect’ (Rizzoli), a monograph that documents Shapiro’s two California homes and gardens. “My homes are the culmination of my life’s work,” he says. “I wanted to do this book to communicate everything I’ve learned about enjoying the glories of art, furniture, and design.” A treasure in itself, the book will surely be adored by many for years to come – even if he decides to close the gallery again.