Andrea Claire is a double-edged sword, a licensed architect as well as an accomplished artist. Some might say that creativity runs in her blood – her great great grandfather was renowned Dutch painter B.J. Blommers of the Rembrandt school.
After years of developing her signature abstract shapes, Andrea became curious about turning them into 3D forms. Her debut lighting collection, Constantin, combined state of the art technology with old-fashioned craft. The original collection included a mobile chandelier that also served as a floating sculpture. When turned off the polyhedrons appear solid, but when illuminated they transform into glowing bodies of light. Additional product launches and collaborations with architects and designers such as Jean Louis Deniot, Robert A.M. Stern, and Victoria Hagan followed.
Now, Andrea Claire Studio is a trusted partner for interior designers and architects from around the world. She takes pride in her bi-coastal team’s ability to tailor dimensions, colors, and materials to suit the needs of each space and client. The result is sustainable lighting solutions fabricated to last for generations to come.
Andrea holds undergraduate degrees in art and architecture from Rhode Island School of Design, as well as a Master of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts. Today, Andrea is joining us for Friday Five and sharing a few of the things that inspire her most!
1. The Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi Museum is my go-to spot to reflect and surround myself with awe-inspiring art and design – it never disappoints. The peaceful, thoughtful, un-pretentious space dedicated to the varied design-art work of Isamu Noguchi is a New York treasure. For 15 years I lived close to the museum, and whenever I was in need of inspiration I would make time for a visit.
2. Fine Line Single Fin Surfboard
My handmade bright yellow Fine Line single fin 7′-6″ surfboard was the first real board I got for myself after I had been surfing for about 2 years. I had started surfing after hand and back injuries kept me from yoga and fell in love immediately. Buying my first board was intimidating, but when I came across this one I did not hesitate. It’s like magic to ride and I went from a “kook” to a real surfer in the first sesh.
The board’s shaper is an OG elusive, Los Angeles surfer Brian Hilbers. This is what he says on his website and I agree: “In spite of the commercialization, exploitation, and all the other “tions” you can think of, surfing remains an individual’s path, on which the only goals that exist are the goals that you set for yourself – outside of the competition scene, surfing remains as one of the last truly subjective ways of having fun.”
3. Southern California’s San Elijo State Beach
One of the best surf spots I have been to in SoCal. Surfers can be a bit territorial with their waves, but this spot has a great vibe, a really nice wave, and plenty of affordable public parking. I hand it to California for keeping their coastline accessible to the public, unlike many other beautiful places in the United States. Thank you, California.
4. Alexander Calder’s Lobster Trap and Fish Tail Mobile Sculpture at MoMA
Anytime I am in that part of Manhattan, I take a moment to pop by the stairwell where this gem of a sculpture hangs. I look up, breathe for a few minutes, and walk away inspired. It’s a lovely mobile and somewhat unusual for Calder, with the combination of three different elements. It is iconic and elusive at the same time.
5. The Chinati Foundation, Marfa Texas
In 2000, after finishing my MFA at California Institute of the Arts, I was honored to be an artist in residence at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas for three months. It totally changed my life, my work, and my relationship with art and design in general. The ethos of this place is that the experience of art need not be limited to sanctioned “art” spaces, and that art and design are two sides of the same experiential coin. This concept resonated with me then and continues to be a founding principle of my current work.