PaperCity Magazine

September 2017 - Dallas

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128 they were actually purple — not the black Bolke assumed. "It was super humbling, because I thought, 'Oh, I don't need any help picking furniture,' which was completely not the case," Bolke says. Bueno salvaged the situation by lacquering the chairs black and moving the dining table into the center of the room, so the chairs would become more of a sculptural s t a t e m e n t . O n a n o t h e r humbling note, a set of more comfortable chairs are kept in the garage for dinner parties. Bolke doesn't have any regrets. "Those Gehry chairs still make me happy every day." For Halum, the one piece he couldn't live without was a large black-and-white photograph by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat that he fi rst saw at the TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art auction. "We couldn't afford it at the time, and it was one of those things we'd talk about for years, when we might add one to the collection," Halum says. The photograph, which depicts a woman whose body is inscribed with calligraphic Farsi text, is from a series the artist created based on female warriors during the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979. Bolke considered buying a smaller version of the photograph for Halum's 50th birthday. Again, friends came into play: Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, who have known the couple for years, tracked down the original photograph at a show in Dubai, where it had come up for sale again. "I really wanted that to be his present because it was something he was very emotional about," Bolke says. The photograph now hangs in a prominent spot near the front door. "I love it," says Halum. Much of the furniture was chosen specifi cally for their new house because the massive scale of the rooms dictated larger furniture and art. But both Bolke and Halum brought a few touchstones from their past, including a pair of chairs Bolke had purchased from a vintage store in Fair Park, when he fi rst moved to Dallas 23 years ago. Bueno had them recovered in brown Holly Hunt upholstery. A pair of vintage Murano glass mid-20th-century lamps that belonged to Halum found a place in the living room. "I think Gonzalo did an amazing job of allowing what felt organic and natural to us, to come through," Bolke says. "Many times houses can end up looking like Design District showrooms, but this is a personal house. We wanted it to feel like everything in it has been collected throughout our lives." O ne of the best decisions they made was to hire a consultant to help them purchase art, says Bolke. Although they'd been buying photography for years, Anne Bruder with Worth Art Advisory in New York, the daughter of noted Dallas art advisor Rebecca Bruder, added much to the mix. "She helped us round out our collection with some things we never would have found otherwise," Bolke says. He and Halum returned from the 2017 Dallas Art Fair with a pair of interactive wall sculptures by Elaine Cameron-Weir. Made from neon light, laboratory hardware, sterling silver, mica, and frankincense, they are meant to be lit so the scent becomes part of the experience. Bolke is attracted to the contraption's quizzical nature. "I like art and objects that make you think," he says. A large-scale photograph by Noémie Goudal in the dining room does just that: It depicts an empty parking structure where the artist has built a stage set, giving the appearance of a modern-day ruin. "You think you know what it is until you look at it closely, then you're like, 'Oh my, how did she do that?'" One of their most recent purchases is a 1977 photograph of Elizabeth Taylor by Herb Ritts, taken after Taylor had brain surgery to remove a tumor. The glamorous Hollywood star's head is shaved, and you can see the scar. It hangs in the kitchen, where Bolke contemplates it every morning. "There's something poignant about the fact that Elizabeth Taylor, who had to live with the burden of being the most beautiful woman in the world, let herself be photographed with her brain tumor scar and a shaved head," he says. It makes him deeply consider the meaning of beauty, and reminds him of the fragility of life. "That's the power of having art that's personal to you," he says. "It should speak to you every day and have some kind of an interesting story to it." The couple's growing art collection was one of the driving forces behind their decision to buy the Lionel Morrison-designed house. Says Bueno, "We wanted a house that had peaceful architecture and white walls for the art." He intentionally kept the color palette neutral and earthy, dominated by bronze, black, gray, and brown. "I never showed them anything with color." Not only are the subdued hues a good backdrop for strong art, they also wear better with an active dog romping through the house. Bueno designed custom wool mohair rugs with Gator in mind, says Bolke. "He's the messiest dog that ever lived. I think of mohair as being so fragile, but it's indestructible, just like the Perennials fabrics he used for the upholstery. It made what could have been a very precious house into something practical." The interiors have become richer and evolved, and the same might be said for him and Bueno. "A big project like this could have ended our relationship, but it just made it so much better," Bolke says. Brian Bolke's Poliform closet. Gucci jacket. Hermès limited- edition Bolide Shark Indigo bag. Robert Mapplethorpe's Untitled, 1973.

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