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Info about - Mongiardo
Here is a slightly edited version of Jenny Wonderling's article About Nick Mongiardo The Secret Designs
By Jenny Wonderling
Nick Mongiardo has designed and built furniture for Giorgio Armani, Yoko Ono, Calvin Klein, Michael Chow and Jann Wenner, among others. Keith Barrish of Planet Hollywood says he is one of the best kept secrets in the industry. After three decades of restoring, creating and executing some of the most noted designs of the century, Mongiardo's name is known only to an elite circle of high end fashion designers, architects, restaurateurs and the like. Furniture he built for clients like Calvin Klein and Donna Karan has appeared in numerous publications. The Spoon Chair (for Donna Karan) in particular has been featured in at least eight magazines . Nick says "To maintain the quality that we need, which I won't compromise, we can't afford to sell wholesale anymore."
|Nick Mongiardo Table - This piece uses bent recycled ivory inlay techniques not seen since 1925, on a table made of macassar ebony and amaranth veneer.|
In the past, Mongiardo sold his pieces to designers, and through stores like Wyeth in New York.
When Calvin Tsao, the esteemed designer of the Wheatleigh Hotel in Lenox and architect of Tsao & McKaan, finally tracked down the creator of the furniture he had admired for so long he commissioned him to do pieces for the hotel.
Matt Nye of Matt Nye Inc., a New York based designer who collaborated with Mongiardo on Jann Wenner's (Rolling Stone magazine) mansion, says, Nick really participates in the process of design, there's a dialogue. He's an amazing craftsman. He does every piece by hand, and so can only work on a small scale. When you start mass producing, the work loses its fine quality, the thing that made it so special.
Nick Mongiardo Sofa of only the finest materials, hand carved solid macassar ebonized arm rail and Dualoy leather.
|Nick Mongiardo's Ruhlmann inspired Gonse Chair The chair floats effortlessly on three points of balance.|
Nick Mongiardo's Ethereal 24 Karat Gold Leafed Folding Screen, a shimmering portal to distant lands
When asked where he thought his sense of aesthetics comes Mongiardo can quickly recall the various influences that set his path. I lived by the Brooklyn Museum, so I would go there all the time, see things. Eventually his interest turned to antiques and importing furniture from Europe. After restoring and furnishing a Victorian townhouse he was awakened to the clean lines and smooth surfaces of Deco. In 1974, a bedroom suite he had restored for Alan Moss, one of the most knowledgeable dealers in the design industry, was exhibited at the Radio City Deco Show. It commanded so much attention that it secured his career as an expert restorer of Deco furniture. Extensive research into the period led him to his first experiments with eggshell inlay and lacquer in his own designs. The artist's pains to achieve the finished product of this ancient technique can be quickly overlooked. A mere square foot of the labour intensive process of eggshell inlay requires approximately eighty hours to create. His own furniture designs, utilizing these techniques, became a passion and was soon exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Museum (1977), and collected by the likes of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, Jann Wenner and gallery owner Lillian Nassau.
|Mongiardo Planter Japanese lantern inspired goat skin and bronze planter.|
|Chareau Style Table Lamp t Mongiardo celebrates the luminous style of Pierre Chareau with this lamp constructed from mahogany and bronze with alabaster shades.|
Mongiardo Z Lamp t playfully hammered steel and alabaster.
Candles cast their glow and Nick's face transforms as he speaks. Around him sit a chef, a book publisher, a writer, a sculptor, one photographer, his son Taj, and Lydia, his radiant wife. Between bites of homemade lasagna and mesclun salad, we are mesmerised, suspended, often convulsed with laughter.
Mongiardo begins again: A few years ago I got a call from a gallery owner. This woman was designing a hotel and wanted a bid on a similar mural to one we executed for Sigourney Weaver's character's apartment in the film Copy Cat. Mongiardo s voice for now takes on the cadence of an older woman. I had to call all over the world for your number! All the best people in Hollywood seem to know your work but no one would give up any information on how to find you! I finally got in touch with Jim Clay in London who couldn't recommend you enough! No longer labouring in obscurity and getting the recognition he has long deserved. Mongiardo has been phenomenally successful, with international clients responding to the unparalleled quality of his work. Content to have finally struck a better balance between work and family, he can appreciate the fruit of his labours in a way he never had time to in the past. Mongiardo's eyes grazes the objects around us and says,'You know these are the heirlooms of the future. Like Damion Pedutto says, You're creating something that will never be disposed of, or should never be.