Next Stop: The Gilded OwlAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Highly respected Hudson Valley decorative arts gallery, The Gilded Owl, just landed on Beverly BLVD., with neighbors including: Nickey Kehoe Shop, Garde and Twentieth.
What began as a personal design blog in 2012, designer and visionary Andy Goldsborough transported his eloquent story-telling of art and design from online to an in-person gallery now known for showcasing some of the world’s most sought-after pieces. Goldsborough’s profound taste and expertise have earned him the exclusive representation of iconic Italian heritage design brands, including the Gio Ponti estate. In 2019, the designer collaborated with textile and wallpaper artist Voutsa on an exclusive pop-up in L.A. that garnered immense respect from local design and art enthusiasts, inspiring him to open a second West Coast location. Here, we share a conversation with the designer and curator about his passions, perspective and how he has landed with great poise in California.
–Being that the concept began with a blog, how does digital media play a role in the gallery now? No doubt, Instagram is the biggest digital platform at the moment, but from the beginning of The Gilded Owl, I was inspired by the idea of contributing longer stories into the design dialogue on the web. My practice and my inventory are always concerned with backstories, and I believe The Gilded Owl attracts design enthusiasts who also love deep dives and comprehensive storytelling. With the opening of our new L.A. location, I’m very much inspired to continue writing design stories about all of the new discoveries I’m making on the west coast.
–What drives your passion for Italian design? Craftsmanship, first and foremost. But also the strong lines and sense of materiality that architects and designers from Italy have always strived for. I’ve looked to Gio Ponti, Paolo Buffa and lighting and furniture designers Max Ingrand, Pietro Chiesa and Angelo Lelli since I first discovered all of their work in college. And I continue to look for great examples of their work for my gallery.
–Each piece is so unique in style. How do you approach the purchasing? I tend to look for things that are unusual, or that are not readily available elsewhere. Delighting and surprising my clients is always a part of my journey when acquiring works. I am interested in The Gilded Owl having its own creative direction, not chasing trends or being too influenced by what we know are easy sales. The Gilded Owl is a passion-inspired gallery, born out of my deep love of design, and every piece we acquire is one that I feel connected to in some way. Our clients are often more object-driven in their design sensibility, so they are open to fine and unique things, rather than coming to us to ‘get a look’ so to speak.
-What inspired you to open a new location in L.A.? This city is having such a creative and cultural renaissance. I had the opportunity to participate in a pop-up in L..A. in 2019, and I immediately connected with the energy, when I arrived. The success of that space gave me the confidence to open a permanent location for The Gilded Owl. It has been exciting to show works in L.A. that were not readily available here, such as the Levaggi chairs that I sell from Chiavari, Italy. I thought they would be a natural fit with the California design aesthetic, and I had several other artists and photographers that I was excited about showing in Los Angeles as well, as their sensibilities connect with the West Coast to me. I also wanted to introduce my own boutique line of camouflage carpets in collaboration with my friend and creative genius carpet maker Joseph Carini which were not available in L.A.
-How do you envision the gallery disrupting the L.A. design industry? Haha, I’m hoping not to disrupt as much as offer a missing point of view in what the gallery is showing. I’ve been buying furniture in L.A. for clients in New York for many years so I was really familiar with the fantastic dealers and showrooms here which are so different from NYC. I’ve always loved the architecture and interiors history here and felt it would be a great backdrop for the furniture, lighting and objects I show.
-What design trend would you like to see go away? Disposable furniture. I think the pandemic really made people think more about the things they want to surround themselves with at home. And I’m hopeful those things are more design driven and built to last. Things that you want to pass to down to family and that have a patina to them and really shine a light on how things are made.
–Why do you believe the California design community is so vibrant? I think it’s always been exciting and had a distinctly different vibe than New York City but there’s an optimism in Los Angeles in the art and design world and a laid back attitude that is refreshing. I love the bright, airy and modern feeling that L.A. seems to exude right now.