On Wednesday I visited the studio of Madeline Weinrib on 5th Ave., New York.

Located on an impressive loft, her new studio (it used to be located at her apartment above a small museum in SoHo) is, as one would have imagined, full of decorative and inspirational elements, plus lots and lots of fabric samples, books and pictures.

In an informal conversation, Madeline explained her move from painter to fabric designer in 1997 (although she “forgot” to mention the connexion to her great-grandfather’s company), her world-wide network of artisans and suppliers, and her obvious historical design pattern “inspirations” (curious how she considers large manufacturers are “ripping her off” by copying “her patterns”, when her work is such an obvious “appropriation” from well known historical-cultural patterns such as the zig-zag or the muslim interlocks, as she describes it in this interview).

But above the pseudo-cultural, style, and market talk, it was all about networking. Renée Price (Neue Gallery Director), Margot Norton (New Museum Curatorial Associate), and a couple of painters present in the room talked as the good friends they were, making appear natural and even positive, something that might be killing the contemporary art space: endogamy. 

If you are an outsider, like me, you feel like they look at you above their shoulders. But, as opposed to my dear old Europe, where if you are not already part of the elite, you will never be, this is pragmatic-materialist-land: one word about “business proposal”, and most everyone becomes your instant friend.

By the way, thank you for the tea, Madi. Even the bag and the tin can in which it came was stylish. One thing is undeniable: you have taste (and I know people who have studied Fine Arts in Paris and traveled the world, like you have, and they don’t) 😉