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What Do Chanel, Pharell and Larry Gagosian Have in Common? Shelter Serra

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Two years ago I met the local and notable artist George Sanchez Calderon at his studio for an event that I was invited to by Carolyn Travis. When I entered, another artist of importance, Pablo Cano, who’s works have been at MoCA, was also there. As I toured the space, I was fascinated by George’s creations , but also by the works of his contemporaries. One of those artists that George collected was by his friend Shelter Serra, and before I knew it, I had a package in the mail addressed to me, full of his wearable art: rubber watches.

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Shelter Serra with George Sanchez Calderon

My parents are art collectors, so I have a pretty tight understanding of ‘who’s who’ in the art world. When I heard his last name, I knew there was a relation to Richard Serra. I’m just intuitive like that. I suppose there is creativity in the blood.

Most recently, I reached out to Shelter because I wanted to share what this young, contemporary artist is up to. Young in age, but appealing to all, Shelter is not only about the rubber watch that he is most recognized by. He was just commissioned by Chanel to draw their famous Camellia flowers for their Paris boutiques. His rubber pieces are worn by Pharell and Larry Gagosian. So here is my gift to you: an introduction to the Haute artist for the moment…. Mr. Shelter Serra.

Tell me, how did the concept of your recognized watch come about? 

I was intrigued how wrist watches maintain their status and function even as they become obsolete in our increasingly technical world. And how the global market for goods creates top quality bootlegs. So I chose the most iconic of watch forms- the Submariner by Rolex and called it the “Fake Roley,” by stripping it of its initial function and offering it for the price of a Canal street knockoff makes people aware of these coexisting worlds.

Are they limited edition?

Yes, they are all limited edition for each color- no more than a specific number will be produced.

They are available at the Standard on Miami Beacg. Do you have a website? And what is the retail price?

They should be available at the Standard, www.shelterserra.com and

Grey Area is an online market place that handles web orders – www.shopgreyarea.com, they will also be available through Birchbox and AHA Life, which is a wonderful site full of curated “objects”. The retail is $40 USD

watch silver watch gold

So, Chanel commissioned you. Wow. The drawings of the Camellia flower of Chanel, will they be available for sale?

The drawings of Camellia flowers were purchased for display in the Chanel boutiques. That’s a good question! I hope they stay there for a few months at least.

flowa

 

Your uncle is Richard Serra right?

Yes, Richard is my uncle. My father, J. Tony Serra, is his older brother, and a civil rights lawyer from San Francisco.

 

What are his thoughts on his nephew’s success and work and contemporary vision?

Richard is very supportive. We have great ongoing dialogues ranging in subjects from Duchamp to Malevich. He is exceptionally perceptive and encouraging.

richard-serra
The Monumental Works of Richard Serra

 

What celebs are wearing your wearable art watches?

Pharrell got some “Fake Roley’s,” and also Larry Gagosian. I like how they appeal to all walks of life, like good art should do.

 

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014