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Are You a Deco Minimalist Too?

In the auction world, or the secondary market, as it's often referred to, we see many trends in purchasing. These are often of generational or even regional tastes, but the love for a particular style tends to be shorter lived. Let me just put it as, “What's in vogue this week?” or “What is New York telling us to like this season?”

Few of these styles seem to have the staying power of the Art Deco period. Often characterized by its bold stylized geometric forms and extravagant ornamentation, Art Deco was all the rage in the 1920s and 1930s after the world embraced Art Nouveau. I just always think of its simple straight lines. For me, black, white and silver, or all things between World War I and World War II come to mind. Simplistic of me, yes, but also a helpful association.

Great examples of Art Deco crossed the auction block often and constant remind me of the universal love for this style. Just watching a pair of period Wall Sconces, a classic 1930s Platinum & Diamond Brooch, and a Classic Art Deco Marble Mantel Clock cross a local auction block. all have me again thinking, “Wow, deco is still in.” I say this as in my nearly two decades of consulting sellers, I feel I've seen all styles come and go. However, Art Deco seems to always be cool. I see it on reruns of Mad Men, the television series based in the 1950s and 1960s and everything hip about that period. I saw it in the 1980s with Miami Vice and pop artist Patrick Nagel, whose minimalist illustrations of women in Playboy and on Duran Duran’s Rio album cover helped define that era. I saw it in the Saturday Night Fever album cover and again in the design of most things having to do with the 2000 Millennium, Disney's Tron, all things Star Wars and even Pac-Man. All have several elements of Art Deco!

Currently, I credit the minimalist movement for this trend. I believe the Art Deco style personifies this trend toward minimalism. And thank you, Marie Kondo. With the simplistic designs of Art Deco, it fits the mid-modernist and the minimalist trends of today's hip and downsizing baby boomers, mid-century loving’ millennials, as well as it goes with all Apple products. Yes, a little joke but, seriously, my iPhone looks deco to me as I am typing this.

Trends in style, design and architecture come and go, but Art Deco seems to stay. Lately, we are seeing even the most contemporary of furniture and jewelry incorporate this now classic style. If only I could invent the next best thing in a minimalist style. I’ll have to channel my 1980s 10th grade geometry class to help me. It was "totally" Art Deco. To the max....



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Great piece, Josh.

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