“Yes, everything that has truly been seen must become a poem!”
–rainer maria rilke (1875-1926)
from dance…to fine art…to design
weaving words from images
It is a joy to share with you my creative vision, honed through my life as a dancer and choreographer – an art dealer with a passion for 18th- and 19th- century French academic art – and an all-encompassing love of beauty. First, a little about myself.
In the art world, I had the pleasure of auctioning French period art and antiques at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, lecturing on 18th-century academic art and interiors, as well as selling art to collectors worldwide. Living with and researching these exquisite art pieces, until they found a home, was one of my greatest joys. Haunted by their beauty, my passions merged – from dance to French Period art to design – and, to my delight, took shape in the form of my forthcoming book Inspired by Beauty: a Journey Through Time, an enchanting romp through art and style from 18th-century France to the contemporary era. Enveloping the reader in tastes, scents, and stunning images staged as living theatre, the book is woven throughout with anecdotes, sense impressions, and observations on cultural history.
As a designer, I have created graceful and elegant interiors and enchanting gardens – holding the title of Official Garden Designer of the Mission of Argentina to the United Nations. Inspired by Classical ideals of balance and harmony, my guiding principle has always been beauty. Indoor spaces harmoniously integrate fine art, antiques, and contemporary furnishings, while landscapes seduce the senses through color, texture, and scent.
Assuredly, my life as a dancer and choreographer has shaped me into the artist that I am today. It is the lens through which I experience the world; and, it is a rich and rewarding perspective. Recently, I was thrilled to learn that images of my choreography are part of the permanent collections of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Those can also be viewed on the Gardens and Dance Page of this site.
Lastly, as a writer, I am delighted to share that my memoir style piece, “My Russian Roots” – inspired by the principle of tolerance – was published in March 2022. And there are more creative nonfiction pieces in progress.
Be it academic or artistic, my muse continues to be beauty, with my hope being that all which inspires me transcend into something luminous to touch your spirit, delight your senses, and ignite your thoughts and imagination.
This gorgeous, bursting with life, oil on canvas painting by Albert de Belleroche – friend and colleague of John Singer Sargent – is available to purchase through our online gallery. It is part of our small, yet fine collection of 18th- and 19th-century French academic paintings, drawings, and prints from artists who exhibited at the Paris Salon and are represented in fine art museums throughout the world.
inspired by beauty – a journey through time
the blog and soon the book…
A new direction in my work began with my lecture-presentation, Exquisite French Period Art and Interiors- A Journey Through Time. First presented in 2010, the lecture explored the art of the 18th-century French Rococo period through 19th-century French academic movements and its influence on culture. One of the many subjects I explored was Enlightenment thinking, as the force that set these movements into motion. I also included marvelous stories surrounding the artists’ lives and work, which magically brought the colors, tones, and textures of this wondrous past to life.
My enthusiasm for these subjects inspired me to continue exploring and sharing fascinating details about this era, without knowing where this would lead. And now, here we are, continuing this journey together in the form of a blog, where we will travel from Enlightenment to Romanticism and onward to modern times. And adding to the pleasure of exploring the principle of beauty, and aesthetics, we will be joined by 18th- and 19th-century philosophers and poets; as they are the guardians of beauty and truth.
Above, is a beautiful fine art photographic image created by Brooklyn-based artists Scott Irvine and Kim Meinelt of WAXenVINE. It is one of a number of their works that will be featured on the blog. (Tab is at the top of the page)
I am delighted to also share how my passion for these subjects, sparked by my desire to create beauty, evolved into a book. (To learn more, click on the Book tab at the top of this page)
As a choreographer, I began the creation of each dance from a single idea. With an open heart and an open mind, I allowed the creative process itself to lead me in new directions. The result was a synthesis of all the elements which led to a finished work of art. I was moved again and again when I noticed members in my audience shedding tears from the experience. The transformative nature of art and beauty runs deep. I find the creative process of design to be similar to dance. I begin with one idea. It could be tone, color, style, rhythm, or concept. In storytelling, (when I am writing from my imagination) the process unfolds in a like manner. I allow this initial idea to lead me through magnificent doors which I had not known were before me. The openness of this creative process* is what I love most about art, beauty, and life itself.
When I create, my desire is always to ignite and inspire that place in our souls where we experience beauty. This wondrous process of creating and bringing beauty to others, brings me more gifts than I could ever have imagined.
“- but I have lov’d the principle of beauty in all things”
-john keats (1795-1821)
from a letter to fanny brawne, 1820
*Note: The choreographer Merce Cunningham referred to his creative process as “chance operations”, while the poet John Keats used the term “negative capability”.
— Rainer Maria Rilke quote used with kind permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York —
The slideshow on the Home page features Lauren Rossi in scenes from my book, photographed by Phillip Van Nostrand.