“I don’t make art; I make space. Space for art,” says designer Olivia Song. Her eponymous firm has created interiors for Brooklyn Museum, the International Center of Photography, and private collectors that maximize the impact of their art collections; she has also designed statement-making interiors for leading-edge hospitality and retail businesses.
But though Olivia claims not to make art, she has curated an art collection exclusively for One Kings Lane. “I’ve tried to find images that are timeless with a mysterious provenance,” she says. “These artworks could be sourced from an established art gallery or be treasured flea-market scores. And more importantly, the works can settle comfortably in any contemporary or traditional setting.”
The works in Olivia’s curation range from landscape paintings to black-and-white photos of architectural details. Her education in management science, which influenced her artwork choices, also inform her interior designs. “As a graduate of MIT, I see science before I see aesthetic. Anyone can copy the components of a Pinterest photo, but it’s the rationality, proportions, operational flow, and sight lines that make a space,” she explains.
“My team is always looking for art that visually creates a larger space,” Olivia continues. “Works from this collection expand your view by leaning on classical Renaissance perspective and foreground-middle ground-background landscape technique. We’re moving the focal point beyond the room’s walls. The eyes relax because of the longer sight line.”
There’s an emotional component to the curation as well. The daughter of emigrants who fled their country with few personal items, Olivia grew up with “no cherished items from my parents’ childhood homes or elderly relatives. That kind of isolation can leave the interiors of a home slightly unmoored—where objects have no sentimentality and no memories attached to them,” she says. “Through my collaboration with One Kings Lane, my hope is that young families and young art collectors will have these artworks as a backdrop to their own memories.”