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James Klein and David Reid NYC Apartment: It's Emotion, Instinct Above All

Posted by Guenee Abragan on Feb 29, 2016 07:26 AM EST
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Lower Manhattan is lit up as night falls September 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

James Klein and David Reid's more than a thousand-square-foot home is adorned with a set of castoffs, misfits, and misunderstood objects. However, the 1960s leather and chrome Arne Norell chairs, which were procured for just $100, are what characterize the whole place. 

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The "KleinReid" studio owners' living room is a visual portrait gallery of their loved ones. Artworks hung frame to frame by an odd crew of artists and friends, including Robert Gober, Kara Walker, Carrie Moyer and James Gobel. While not all, many of their decorations were rescued from junk shops and flea markets.

Klein found the self-portrait by the 20th-century artist Leonard Foujita at an antique bazaar in Ohio. At first sight, it struck a chord with him. The duo did not know anything about it at the time, but it immediately became one of their favorite pieces. The Foujita, until today, hangs in a stylized gilded frame over their marble fireplace. Sporting his signature black-rimmed specs with his pet cat perched on his shoulder, the French-Japanese artist seems at home among the midcentury-inspired art pieces, antique chairs, and the couple's timeless ceramics.

Amongst the many featured wall decors, the Foujita portrait illustrated the couple's choice of art pieces and decorating aesthetic. Their preference is primarily driven by emotion and instinct rather than pedigree, New York Social Diary reported.

"KleinReid," the couple's ceramics studio, started in 1993. Crafting handmade vessels, the Brooklyn studio highlighted more of the art side and less design. Their crafty aesthetic is credited with pushing the pottery movement into evolving past its folksy roots. A team effort in 1999 with celebrated artist Eva Zeisel permanently marked KleinReid's place in history.

All of their works appear in venues as varied as showroom floors and museum galleries. The duo recently released a set of new pieces in collaboration with Room & Board. The pair's latest line Mijara was awarded Best New Collection at the design fair "NY NOW."

With their quirky tastes, it is no surprise that Klein and Reid know how to effectively collaborate on a creative project; be it for business or for their home, Lonny said.

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