Frank Maresca: Architectural Digest

Frank Maresca:
Architectural Digest

Project Description

Celebration of Folk, Self-Taught and Outsider Art Fills a New York Dealer’s Loft

Architectural Digest – 2006

“‘Mystery and magic–not only good degign–are what I look for in an object,’ says Frank Maresca, the esteemed dealer in American folk, self-taught and outsider art. And indeed those are the qualities exuded by the human and animal figures, the decoys and industrial molds, the whirligigs and weathervanes, the trade signs and stimulators, the paintings and sculptures, and the circus and carnival artifacts that literally–which here, more often than not, means figuratively–form his personal collection. It is both a wonder and no wonder that almost every object stands possessed of cultural as well as aesthetic significance, for through the gallery in Chelsea that Maresca runs with Roger Ricco, his business partner of 27 years, and through the six books they’ve written together, he has helped to boost traditional folk art and visionary vernacular art into the constellation of mainstream American art forms.

The collection is housed just a few blocks up from the gallery, in a musicians’ rehearsal studio that Maresca has converted into a loft for himself. It’s furnished with such midcentury-modern icons as Eames, Nelson, Noguchi, Warren McArthur, Vladimir Kagan and Ward Bennett. The bleached-oak floors and atrium-white walls set off the strangely compelling pieces that, well, people the place. ‘I don’t think of them as inanimate,’ Maresca freely admits. ‘Every single thing here is very much alive to me.’”