Jean-Charles de Ravenel

several months ago i visited lyford cay in the bahamas. one of the highlights of the trip was meeting jackie and jean-charles de ravenel.

i had met rebecca de ravenel, their daughter, several months earlier in nyc through a mutual friend, since then rebecca has moved to la and started working with me…i call her my angel, because someone with her talent can only come from heaven.

prior to meeting mr. and mrs. de ravenel, i had seen their gorgeous home in departures magazine, i was completely smitten with it, might be because it’s almost entirely blue and white. jean-charles invited me over for a tour and of course i was in heaven- blue and white heaven!

the best part about the tour was getting to see jean-charles’ studio. jean-charles is an artist, and might i add the most dashing, charming and stylish man, he creates the most magnificent collages. each collage is a story board of his interests, either travel, history or art. his pieces are inspired by the 18th century trope l’oeil, yet feel fresh and modern at the same time. valentino and annette de la renta are collectors of his collages.

this week jean-charles, and his beautiful wife jackie are in l.a., because jean-charles is having an art exhibit of his collages tomorrow night at hollyhock, and of course they’re also here to see their wonderful daughter. soon as i found out they were coming to l.a. for the exhibit i immediately asked jean-charles to do me the honor of interviewing him for the latest installment of ‘MDS Interviews.’

i’m thrilled about his interview because i got to see first hand the magic and the beauty jean-charles creates with his collages that day i got to spend time with him in his studio in lyford. i found his life, his experiences, his world, his style and of course his collages so fascinating and beautiful- i know you all will too! enjoy!

How would you define your style?

“ Organized clutter “as seen here in our late Paris apartment. Watercolors by Isabelle Rey.

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Where did you grow up and how do you think that influences your work?

I was brought up in Paris and was fortunate enough to visit there and all over Europe many houses of unparalleled beauty.

I always had a fascination for historical houses and for the sense of harmony that emanated from them all, as much due to the elegance of the hanging of the paintings, as to the subtle choice of colors, or to the graceful distribution of furniture, objects and collections.

There would be a very long list to be made of such houses, but the very first on the list happened to be Mr.de Besteigui’s magical Groussay, that I was so fortunate to be taken to at a very young age, and to discover those extraordinary rooms as seen here below in reproductions of watercolors by Alexandre Serebriakoff.

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And the latest was Holkham in Norfolk, with the beautiful room hung with no less than twenty two Claude Lorrain Landscapes, as seen here with my wife Jackie standing in the forefront :

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If you weren’t doing collages, what would you be doing?

I would have loved to be an Orchestra Conductor. Unfortunately, I don’t have a great musical sense, even if I spend all my working hours listening to classical music.

Who or what is inspiring you right now?

I can’t keep my mind off the extraordinary Ronald Lauder donation of Cubist Paintings on show at the Met in New York.

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What is the favorite room in your home?

My studio, where I am totally happy creating collages. I can concentrate for hours on a project while just listening to music.

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Is there anything you obsessively collect?

At this moment, it is mainly prints, prints of all sorts.
As soon as I get an idea for a collage, I log on to eBay.

And at this very moment my obsession is Cubism.

Fill in the blank: “I could never own too many ____________ .”

Wirehaired Dachshunds, as sitting here on daughter Rebecca’s lap.

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If you could do a collage for anyone – who’s would it be and why?

It would be for Cristiana Brandolini, because she is the person with the greatest sense of colors I have ever met. It would be quite a challenge to try to please her.

I took this photo in a shop selling fabrics in Hyderabad. Cristiana is leaning against the wall with rolls and rolls of fabric in the background, most of them of very similar shades of yellow. And whenever I look at this photo, I just imagine Cristiana picking just the right one to be the very perfect match for what she would need for a home in Geneva, Paris or Venice. And for sure it would be.

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What do you want to be known for?

For having been Jackie’s husband, Rebecca’s father, grandson Max’s godfather, and I hope also a true friend to a little more than just a few.

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What do you think is chic, stylish and glamorous?

Chic can be acquired, glamor can be worked on, but style you just have or have not!

 

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