Nicola Vasella has become a something of the art world’s latest “it” girl with appearances in the New York Times and New York Magazine’s Look Book feature. Now New York is going back for another shot at Vasella, a former model who makes good visuals, with a shelter story.
Sarah Bernard‘s accompanying story only adds to the idea of Vasell as an other-worldly character:
Part of Vassell’s intention for the space was to fill it only with the bare necessities. “The challenge was to see what I really, truly needed, not buy for the sake of having.” At the same time, she wanted a place where she could invite her many friends for “salon-type evenings” that involve mini art shows and music and catered food (Vassell doesn’t have much interest in cooking).
In her living room, she has mostly chairs. A friend was getting rid of his collection of mid-century pieces, including a set of orange-red Knoll chairs, a minimal gray couch, and a white Mies van der Rohe chair; the white Hans Wegner chairs came from her ex’s parents. Most of the time guests can be found sprawled across the raised wood platform—a built-in piece that protects a trapdoor. “I have to repaint it twice a year because of everyone’s footprints,” she says.
For a person who spends her days around enormous canvases and installations, the airiness and emptiness are an intentional counterbalance. Vassell carefully curates her few pops of color and pattern. Her side table is made from a psychedelic black-and-white round top she found discarded on Spring Street. “It reminded me of the Op-Art artist Victor Vasarely,” she says. It sat around for months until Vassell decided to mount it on top of a cardboard box; it now holds glasses and hors d’oeuvre.
Cue the Paradise Garage (New York)