I went to visit floral artist Olivier Giugni, whose book, Living Art (Atria Books, 2010), written with Sylvie Bigar and photographed by Phillip Ennis, is just arriving at bookstores now. Both his book and his balconied apartment”located on Central Park North, with some of the best south-facing views of the park bar none”has inspired me to think about flowers in a whole new way, stems and all. Photo: Wendy Goodman
The dining table, chairs, and sofa in the open living room are all from B&B Italia. To section off the dining room, Olivier uses a pair of industrial glass vases filled with curly willow and pear branches that go right to the ceiling. The photograph, a detail of a sculpture in Paris’s Jardin du Luxembourg, is by Alexander Vethers. Photo: Wendy Goodman
Of course, there are a variety of flower arrangements throughout the apartment. The table, set with Hermès plates, is centered by a sculpture of moss, succulents, crystals, and a variety of objets. Photo: Wendy Goodman
The stems in Olivier’s arrangements are often just as important as the flowers themselves. Here he has used curly willow to anchor the orange calla lilies in a low container. Photo: Wendy Goodman
The cover of Olivier’s book. The foreword was written by Catherine Deneuve, an admirer. The book includes a series of step-by-step instructions on how to build the arrangements yourself.
Living Art illustrates Olivier’s work for various clients, whether in a home or restaurant; here is a photograph from actor Joel Grey’s modernist urban loft.
Another photograph, from fashion stylist Freddie Leiba’s apartment.
The table centerpiece in the penthouse apartment of clients Lena and George Howard.
A romantic setting Olivier created for culinary-PR maven Georgette Farkas. “The Francophile soul of the owner is visible everywhere,” Olivier writes.
Ten Eyck Street and Union Avenue, Williamsburg. Early in the morning of October 18, 2007, Murphey was biking home from escorting his date to her South Williamsburg apartment. According to police reports, Murphey attempted to outrun a gas truck turning left on Ten Eyck Street. His pelvis shattered on impact, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. In his honor, over 40 friends have since received tattoos that read BE BETTER. Frank C. Simpson
Linden Boulevard near 175th Street, St. Albans. Simpson, a janitor returning from the evening shift at a Con Edison facility, was hit by a Dodge Stratus on November 9, 2006.