We interviewed our new president, Anderson McNeill to find out 10 things he loves. He has keen insight into brands, art and architecture, fashion and trends, and all things of impeccable taste. 1) Mark Rothko 2) Greene Brothers 3) Surface Magazine 4) Arts and Crafts Architecture 5) RRL 6) Apple, BMW, Chris Craft 7) National Gallery Apple’s “Think Different” Campaign 9) Florence 10) Roman Road
1) FAVORITE ARTIST: Mark Rothko, Russian born abstract artist. The first time I encountered a Mark Rothko was during a visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. My mother was dragging me in there with the hopes that I would somehow emerge with a bit more culture than my teenage friends. For the record, I emerged from our visit to the National Gallery the same self-centered teenager I went in as with one exception. I saw Rothko’s gigantic canvas’s with layers upon layers of paint. Some hanging massively alone, others in pairs. I was blown away by the scale and simplicity, and I can still remember the feeling I had the first time I saw one.
Check out this fascinating short documentary on the power of Mark Rothko’s art.
2) FAVORITE ARCHITECT:
The Greene Brothers (Charles Sumner & Henry Mather)
Mainly Residential Architects, the Greene brothers took the early Art’s and Craft’s movement to a whole different level.
The Gamble House in Pasadena (c1908) is the most incredible example of residential architecture I have ever seen. Charles and Henry were responsible for not only the house, they designed and over saw the crafting of all of the light fixtures, furniture, textiles, tiles, landscaping, and millwork. I see the Greene Brother’s influence almost every time I open a home design book or magazine. I see their influence in lighting, furniture, house trim, exterior doors, railings, outdoor structures, walls, columns, type faces/lettering/numbering. They were artists first, and architects second.
4) FAVORITE ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: Arts and Craft Architecture, because of its simple forms, truth to materials, traditional craftsmanship and economic reform. I continuously seek out superior craftsmanship and durability, with an eye toward supporting artisans.
5) FAVORITE DESIGNER BRAND: RRL, Ralph Lauren’s cowboy-influenced offshoot—because it offers rugged “All American” vintage flannel shirts, artfully wrinkled blouses, and outdoorsy vests. Love the authenticity!
6) FAVORITE BRANDS: Apple, BMW, Chris Craft – innovation, class, details, details, details. Do I really even need to say anything about Apple???
About Chris Craft: Most of my early childhood summers were spent going to Boy’s Club located on the shores of Lake Chautauqua. (One of the “dislocated” finger lakes in Up State New York.) It was there that I saw my first Chris Craft. It was mostly wood with a gleaming solid hull, a burgee on the bow, and an American Flag off the stern. 40+ years later and under new leadership this iconic American Brand is once again turning out beautiful boats. Each one in it’s own right an instant American Classic. BMW (Bavarian Motor Works or BMV as the German’s call it)
The little blue and white roundel on the hood of every BMW (a propeller I believe?) is one of my favorite logos.
I saw my first BMW when I was in High School. It was a bright orange 2002ti. I had never seen anything like it before?
Aggressive yet practical? Was it a sports car or a sedan? I found out later that it was both. BMW had invented the “Sport Sedan”. A car that you could safely drive the kids to school in, put groceries, sports equipment, luggage, etc in the trunk, and still out run just about any 2 seater sports car on the road. The 2002ti was the precursor to the Iconic BMW “3-series”. The 320i, 318i, 325e, 325i, 328i, 330i, 335i, and the mighty M-3. BMW invented “the Sports Sedan” over 30 years ago. Often copied, never duplicated. Albeit a bit small by today’s SUV crazed auto standards, the BMW 3-series is one of the greatest automobiles ever built.
FAVORITE BRAND COMMUNICATION: Apple’s “Think Different.” This is one of the most brilliant campaigns I have ever seen. Love the message, love the execution. View the commercial and get inspired!
9) FAVORITE CITY: Florence.
I love everything about Italy, but Florence is my favorite. Great architecture, great food and wonderful memories.