Contemporary life is fast-paced, inspiring, and often very beautiful. It is also diverse, with one person's experiences (and the objects they collect along the way) as fascinating as the next. With that in mind, we asked five of today's most relevant tastemakers across fashion, design, and art what they think it means to be modern in 2015—and which items from our upcoming sale they want to add to their own contemporary lives.
Oh, the editor in chief of the popular street-style blog Street Peeper and a photographer for Vogue.com, first experienced the word "contemporary" during a middle school family vacation to Disney World. "I remember boarding the monorail and gliding through the lobby of an enormous monolithic white A-frame hotel," he says. "The pre-recorded message announced a quick stop for Disney's Contemporary Resort. I was awestruck. 'Contemporary' became a concept I didn't quite understand, but knew I really, really wanted to have—aspirational childhood dreams of, you know, gleaming modernity and junior suites with Magic Kingdom views."
"My favourite television commercial when I was a kid was Chanel's Égoïste. I can't recall exactly why, but there were a bunch of models flinging open doors to their hotel room balconies, screaming "ÉGOÏSTE!" This is that, but the original, I guess. And I love the colours."
Lot Pictured: 74. Ormond Gigli, New York City (Girls in the Windows). Est. 20,000-30,000 USD.
"In college, I hustled up spending money buying and selling Beanie Babies out of my NYU dorm room. Relaxing at home, sipping a Miller High Life, perched on a throne of stuffed animals would be a nice reminder of how the more things change, the more they stay the same."
Lot Pictured: 80. Campana Brothers, Banquete Chair. Est. 20,000-30,000 USD.
"The opportunity to reheat leftover Chinese takeout on a signed and numbered Roy Lichtenstein salad plate is just too good to pass up. Are these microwave safe?"
Lot Pictured: 109. Roy Lichtenstein, Dinnerware: One Setting. Est. 2,000-3,000 USD.
To Pesch, a graphic designer and the founder of the lifestyle blog eat/sleep/wear, the concept of Contemporary Living carries a far-reaching sense of scope. "People who live contemporary lives are interested in all aspects of aesthetics," she says. "Not just in terms of art or design, but everywhere they look. They're very attuned."
"As a graphic designer I'm especially drawn to figurative art and artists who have expressive line work. Alice Neel is one who is absolutely wonderful. I was able to go one of her exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art once and it was incredible."
Lot Pictured: 122. Alice Neel, Nancy. Est. 700-1,000.
"White furniture has such a highly polished, clean, crisp feeling to it. The twists and curves of this little wall piece are simple, but really beautiful."
Lot Pictured: 41. Pair of Modern Wall Sconces. Est. 1,000-1,500.
"I love the graphic overlays of colour here. Warhol was so prolific and an avant-garde spirit."
Lot Pictured: 44. Andy Warhol, Cowboys and Indians. Est. 200,000-300,000.
"Contemporary Living means being around the things that move you—the things that inspire you, that make you feel, that give you comfort, and that make you think," says Abergel, an in-demand celebrity hairstylist and passionate collector.
"I looked up to Scavullo from the beginning of my career as this trendsetter—someone who was a complete visionary. His look still feels very modern. In this particular photo I love the dichotomy of the real person and the fantasy."
Lot Pictured: 8. Francesco Scavullo, Mirella Petteni, Cartier, N.Y.C. Est. 3,000-5,000.
"Sally Mann's use of light, perspective, and tonality has always haunted me. There is not a time that I see a Sally Mann photograph and it doesn't get some kind of reaction."
Lot Pictured: 92. Sally Mann, Untitled (Deep South). Est. 8,000-12,000.
"In this photo, Chloë Sevigny brings back a real sense of nostalgia and youth. Kids was big for my generation. Larry Clark plays so well into the way we were rebellious and individuals, but at the same time really wanted acceptance."
Lot Pictured: 161. Larry Clark, Untitled (Kids). Est. 15,000-25,000.
"I love the idea of Contemporary Living or something that feels of the moment," says Korban, an interior designer who has worked with clients such as Alexander Wang and Jessica Stam. "The term 'fresh' comes to mind. I think contemporary can also lead to the idea of comfortable, but without the comfort compromising the design."
"Karl Springer is flashy in a good way. It's the whole notion of being showy, but still maintaining a level of sophistication. There's a level of contradiction. Plus, zebra is always an eye-catcher for me."
Lot Pictured: 10. Karl Springer, X-Base Chair. Est. 5,000-7,000 USD.
"I like the Barcelona daybed because while it has history, it feels modern even today. The black leather makes it very sleek and sexy. It's able to perfectly marry the old and the new."
Lot Pictured: 65. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Daybed. Est. 8,000-12,000 USD.
"Early on in designing I really found a voice through texture, and that sort of became my colour. I'm very drawn to the silver finish on this series of tables."
Lot Pictured: 172. James Mont, Three Stacking Tables. Est. 3,500-4,500 USD.
Clawson, founder of the design blog Habitually Chic, admires contemporaries who "look toward the future with an eye to the past." "I think Peter Copping, who has taken over design at Oscar de la Renta, is truly contemporary," she says. "He is always visiting museums and old homes but takes this inspiration and turns it into fashions for a vibrant modern woman."
"Prints are a great way to purchase works by artists you might otherwise not be able to afford. This David Hockney pool picture would be perfect for a beach house or even a New York apartment."
Lot Pictured: 1. David Hockney, Pool Made with Paper Blue Ink for Book (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo 234). Est. 10,000-15,000 USD.
"I've visited George Nakashima's house and studio and would love to own a piece of his furniture. This sideboard was purchased directly from Nakashima in 1976 and comes with a copy of the original drawing."
Lot Pictured: 51. George Nakashima, Sideboard. Est. 10,000-15,000 USD.
"I love Picasso sculptures from this period and the fact that these are vases makes them even more fun. Although I'm not sure I'd recommend filling them with water and flowers."
Lots Pictured: 170 and 171. Pablo Picasso, Chouette. Est. 7,000-10,000 and 10,000-15,000 USD.