Documentary filmmaker Sophie Chahinian is making a film about Robert Longo and spending time by the pool
Sophie Chahinian, filmmaker and founder of the Artist Profile Archive, which produces documentaries about contemporary artists for museums and galleries (including David Salle and Marnie Weber), has an artistic abode that many of us dream of. And where better to spend your time than in a well-equipped home?
We talked to Chahinian about how she spends her relaxing time, what she’s working on next, and what she always has in the fridge.
What are you working on now
I am the founder of the Artist Profile Archive, a multimedia platform that produces short documentaries about contemporary artists. We just released a new video for Modernist Virginia Jaramillo for her first solo exhibition at the museum at the Menil Collection in Houston. I’m also working on new shorts about Marnie Weber and Alexandra Grant, and a longer format documentary about Robert Longo to accompany his exhibition, A History of the Present, which opens on August 7th at East Hamptons Guild Hall.
It’s Friday evening and your favorite restaurant is full. What’s your backup plan?
Takeaway from 1770 House in East Hampton. You might think that as a fine dining restaurant they don’t offer takeout, but they do and it’s fantastic. The chilled pea soup is perfect for a mild summer night and their burgers are the best in town.
It’s Sunday and your calendar is perfectly clear. How do you spend your mornings
Tennis and then lazing around the pool with iced coffee with my partner in EVERYTHING: art, love and life. For me, there is no better way to freshen up and recharge before the week ahead.
You are on a desert island and can only stream one TV series. What do you choose
I could watch forever The planet earth Series by Sir David Attenborough. It’s so beautifully recorded and so educational that it reminds us that our natural surroundings are an endless source of fascination and inspiration.
What is your favorite part of your home and why?
Our living and dining room is a bright, light and airy space where we hang most of our works of art, all of which are by artists we know. One of the best aspects of maintaining the artist profile archive is building relationships with so many incredible artists like Robert Longo, Shirin Neshat, and many more. I am so happy to wake up every day with such beautiful works.
What three things is your kitchen always in stock?
A variety of cold brew coffee options, eggs from Iacono Farm and a bottle of Billecart salmon rosÃ© champagne. I can’t wake up without coffee, an omelette is a light meal in need (Iacono Farm in East Hampton has the freshest eggs ever), and you never know when to celebrate!
The art world can consume anything. How do you create your limits?
By delegating to the A-Team: Matt Hindra and the rest of the team we work with in the Artist Profile Archive. We are so passionate about what we do and constantly communicate, but we also know that calm is important to fuel our own creativity.
What is your favorite piece of art in the house and why?
All the art in our house is my favorite! But right now I really love it Parrots (2020) a sublime work by Austin-based artist Troy Brauntuch, whose artist profile we would like to publish later this year. We also have an exquisite assemblage Susceptible (2020) by Sheree Hovsepian. Located on either side of a door, they complement each other very well in terms of how simply beautiful and ethereal they are. Getting to know the two artists through the archive reinforces the feeling I get when I deal with their works at home.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? And the worst?
The best advice I’ve been given is, just because something doesn’t happen on your schedule doesn’t mean it won’t. â- which is a lengthy way of never giving up. And worst of all, if you don’t know how to monetize something, don’t even get started. Paths show up organically when you are engaged and passionate about what you do.
What was the best habit change you’ve made in the past year? What’s the worst?
The best change is that I now actually use my home office to work (mostly at night and when it rains), and the worst thing is that I work too much from the kitchen island and take it over completely – mostly because it overlooks the garden.
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