FORT STREET STUDIO FOUNDERS JANIS PROVISOR AND BRAD DAVIS. PHOTOGRAPH BY SETH SMOOT.
In the early 1990s, artists Janis Provisor and Brad Davis left Manhattan for an extended stay in China. Long fascinated by Chinese art and culture, the couple first settled in Hangzhou, and later moved to Hong Kong. Along the way, a chance meeting with a carpet technician led them to interpret Provisor’s watercolors into a rug. Fully embracing the expressive powers of wild silk and working with highly skilled weavers, the couple eventually opened Fort Street Studio in Hong Kong. With additional locations in New York and London, Fort Street has become renowned for innovative, painterly carpets. Provisor and Davis may have left the New York art world, but they never stopped being artists.
The couple’s new limited-edition collection, Progetto Passione, is ample proof of their virtuosity. Going for “playfulness and surprise” as well as a sense of drama, Provisor and Davis have created eight designs, most to be produced in an edition of less than six. The complexity is staggering: the patterns have an almost three-dimensional depth, and a single carpet might incorporate as many as 30 colors and take four to five months of loom time to complete. The new collection is presented by Sotheby’s and will be on view 1–29 June at Fort Street Studio in New York. “Janis and Brad have singlehandedly transformed high carpet design from the traditions of Eastern cultures to the cutting edge of innovation,” says Allan Schwartzman, co-founder of Art Agency Partners and chairman of Sotheby’s Global Fine Arts division. “Their newest and most exclusive Progetto Passione carpets raise that bar even higher.”
FEATURED IMAGE: A DETAIL OF STRADA BLUE.