LOS ANGELES – “Los Angeles is the creative hotbed of the world right now,” says designer Bradley Bayou. “Why wouldn’t Sotheby’s want to continue ramping up its presence here?” Bayou is talking about Sotheby’s new Century City offices, which open this week with a preview of works from our upcoming May sales of Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art in New York. To celebrate the growing strength of Sotheby’s ongoing West Coast initiatives, Bayou is hosting a private cocktail party at the sleek Modernist “couture house” of his design in the Bird Streets, the Hollywood A-list’s favourite enclave in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Bayou, an unabashed fan of LA who also lives part time in New York, operates effortlessly at the nexus of the worlds of art, design, fashion and entertainment. We spoke with him about what makes LA great and why it’s the perfect place for Sotheby’s.
DESIGNER BRALDEY BAYOU. PHOTOGRAPH BY MUNDI MALE.
Why is LA cool right now?
Culturally, the city just exploding right now. So many great artists live here and love it. There have always been top galleries and more big-name spaces have recently opened. When I’m in Europe my friends say, “We’re thinking bout moving to LA.” They don’t talk about New York.
Why does LA make sense for Sotheby’s?
Sotheby’s is a great brand, LA has the cool factor – it’s just natural. You go where the art is and where the scene is.
Do you see an expanding community of collectors there?
There’s a huge market here, among younger people especially. There’s an under-40 population and art is kind of a new thing to learn about. They need and want expertise on how to collect art. Even if they are looking at it from a financial standpoint, you can still get something more than just a picture on the wall.
You spend half your time in New York, where you have many clients and design projects. Do you see a difference between the two cities in the way that people approach art and collecting?
The inclusion factor is huge. So much is word of mouth. People here are more open to new and different things than they are in New York. The best way to do it is to integrate art into the existing scene. The entertainment business is a whole audience in this town, then there are investors, fashion people, artists – there’s a cross section, and a lot of opportunity.