Folk Monthly Newsletter | Summer Edition
Hunt House: Andrew Geller (1959)
Mid century modern on the beach
If only we could we’d be renting an Andrew Geller house this summer
Known as the architect of happiness, Andrew Geller built sculptural beach houses in the 1950s and 60s on the East Coast of America intended "for play". His creations, usually based on eccentric geometries, inspired self-expression and personal freedom and were mostly built in wood for under $10,000.
Like Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s celebrated The Fountainhead, Geller refused to compromise his artistic and personal vision for worldly recognition and success. Despite many requests for replica builds, Geller made a point never to repeat himself. Here are Folk’s top three Geller houses:
Pearlroth House: Geller called this house built in 1959 in Westhampton Beach, New York, the "square brassiere" or "double box kite". According to the architect, Arthur Pearlroth who commissioned the house, had a reputation for being a lady’s man. Geller said: "He was a romantic macho guy who wore a bikini bathing suit where everything showed." The design Geller came up with allowed guests to leer out from the binocular-shaped structure onto the object of desire: the sea.
The Hunt House: Built in 1959 on Long Island, New York for the manufacturer of cardboard boxes Irwin Hunt, the Hunt house was like a tribute to the owner’s personality. It was a box turned on its edge, which was quickly nick-named "the milk carton". The Hunt house was the moment when Geller truly succeeded in transforming a domestic space into an abstract sculptural object.
The Frank House: A modern-day tribute to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, the Frank House was built on top of the highest sand hills along the beach in Fire Island Pines, New York and was built for $14,850. Geller, who also created most of the furnishings for this house, designed couches and beds made out of stock plumbing pipes and lumber. What’s more, the commercially successful soft-core adult film called "Boys in the Sand" was filmed here, unbeknown to the owners who rented it out occasionally.
The Frank House: Andrew Geller (1958)
Pearlroth House: Andrew Geller (1959)
Untitled, 1970 - 4 (Dennis Hopper) by William Eggleston, 1970–74 ©Eggleston Artistic Trust
A man at war with the obvious
Godfather of colour photography William Eggleston comes to town
William Eggleston, who is credited with establishing the acceptance of colour in fine art photography famously said: “You can take a good picture of anything. A bad one, too.” This may be so, but to date it is only he, who has managed to turn a bare light bulb on a red ceiling (Greenwood, Mississippi, 1973) into an iconic image. It is he who paved the way, with his democratic way of looking, where nothing is less or more important for Martin Parr, Nan Goldin and countless others. Like a master of mindfulness, Eggleston always finds a little detail to focus in on, one that most others would miss. He, like no other, finds beauty in the everyday.
This summer William Eggleston Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London is bringing together over 100 works by the photographer renowned for his vivid and poetic images of people in diners, petrol stations, phone booths and supermarkets. We are looking forward to catching the never before seen vintage black and white photographs from the 1960s taken in and around the artist’s home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Eggleston once said in an interview: "I’m at war with the obvious." We can’t argue with that.
William Eggleston Portraits is at the National Portrait Gallery, London, 21 July - 23 October, organised with support of the artist and the Eggleston Artistic Trust.
Around the swimming pool
This month French DJ Boris Horel brings you the perfect playlist to launch you into summer
For Boris Horel it all started with African Groove when he was but a young boy in France. But in the years that followed jazz, soul, world and electronic music were added to the mix and Boris soon began to blend those influences. For this edition of the Folk Playlist, Boris brings us the sounds of José Feliciano, Johanna Billing, Gaz Nevada and many more.
Where's the BBQ beef?
From now on only at Provenance
At Provenance Village Butcher in London, owners Tom and Struan have made it their goal to only sell meat from animals, who have lived as natural a life as possible. The beef is pasture-reared, the chickens get so much exercise outdoors they actually develop chunky thighs, the lambs come from a farm where the farmer still rides on horseback… We spoke to them about their meaty endeavour.
Provenance Village Butcher is a bit like the meat equivalent of Folk. Tell us about the little details, which make Provenance unique?
Struan: To us, where the meat comes from, authenticity and integrity are key, so when we set up the business, we spent time travelling around our suppliers’ farms. We went to Wales, to our Wagyu beef supplier in New Zealand. We even took it a stage further and helped our lamb supplier in the Cambrian mountains during lambing season. We witness how the animals are cared for, how they are processed, the abattoirs… all the way through to the shop. Also we are all passionate about cooking, so when needed, we make suggestions about how to prepare and present the meat.
The other day I had the pleasure of eating one of your 3kg chickens. That was quite some bird. How do you get your chickens so strapping and healthy? Does chicken happiness translate directly into flavour?
Struan: The most important thing for us is that the chickens live as natural a life as possible. Our chickens and pigs are farmed by two brothers, Alec and Rob, in Shropshire. The chickens live outside. They have lots of space to move around in. They live a lot longer than conventional chickens. Even supermarket free-range chickens only live to 56-60 days. Our birds are approximately 80 days old. Commercial chickens are pushed to the limit of their capacity. They are fed heavily and exercised little. Our farmers take more time and allow things to develop at a pace that’s comfortable for the animal. The muscles have time to grow stronger, which in turn imparts more flavour into the meat. It allows for more balance and gives more succulence and tenderness. A lot of it is to do with the animal husbandry. We choose farms that are in tune with nature. Our pork guys, for example, are fourth generation pork farmers. Our beef farmer is 3rd generation on the Yorkshire moors. They have a link with the animals.
You also sell Wagyu beef. What exactly is it?
Struan: It’s 100% pasture reared beef from New Zealand. In contrast to Wagyu beef reared in Japan where they concentrate on intense grain feeding, New Zealand beef is entirely grass fed, which gives it a complex, deep flavour.
You call yourself a village butcher, does that mean you try to greet most people who come in by their names?
Struan: I’d say 80% of our business comes from repeat customers, so usually we know people’s names. Often people come to us for special occasions, whether it’s a celebration after a wedding, a kid who is going to eat meat for the first time… Walking into a butcher’s shop can be quite intimidating as usually there’s a big bloke behind the case who has all the knowledge. We try to make sure our staff is much more warm and welcoming, and once the relationship starts to build we introduce ourselves.