Thursday, April 15, 2010

Best interview ever.


Where did you grow up?
Oh. I’m Cuban. I lived there until I was 15 years old.

How was it to grow up there?
Well, I mean … it’s very … I mean … where did you grow up? As a kid, you’re just growing up in your home. You only know in hindsight what those experiences are like to compared to other situations.

I’m not asking if you had an exceptional childhood, just what your memories of it were.

No … no … I know …



You really have to read every word of it HERE. If only Parade's interviews were this testy and constipated...

(Thanks to Harvey Millstein, Certified Interior Decorator, for sending the link.)

50 comments:

lily said...

his loft was used as a set in 'my super ex girlfriend' as uma's apartment. frankly i liked the way it was styled in the movie. all the main furniture pieces were there, but it was the accessories that made it better.

Anonymous said...

Angry Decorator Syndrome.

Anonymous said...

I tried to listen to the interview he did on Skirted Round Table, and had to turn it off. While I realize that English is not his first language, his voice was so monotone and boring, it hurt my ears.

Ann said...

I like it. He's very undecorator-y to me. I like how his rooms just look thrown together but they're not. He's going against the grain a lot of the time and I like that.

katiedid said...

Yes...best.
He's an individual. I saw him in person recently and he was unique and funny. You may not like his point of view, but at least he has one.

An Urban Cottage said...

I love the chairs with the photos for their invitation not to sit down. But maybe I'm just a curmudgeon.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

Hilarious.

And to think that I just literally wrote a post with the phrase "diarrhea of the mouth" on my blog. The irony.

Kelly

abodewell said...

I'm all for individualism but ungraciousness, in and of itself, is not enough to constitute individuality. He is opinionated, yes, but always at the expense of his guests (and that's what they are) and that's just plain rude.
Mr. Wolf acts like someone who is being interrogated, rather than interviewed (voluntarily, by the way). For a person who spends so much time decorating homes, he could use some lessons on making people feel at home.

andrew said...

YAWN.

Hello Lover... said...

I can't decide whether I love him or hate him.

Hello Lover... said...

I can't decide whether I love him or hate him.

Anonymous said...

It's the bison grass vodka, go to www.liquorsnob.com/archives/2006/09/zubrowka_bison_grass_vodka.php

Jessica said...

I can't help but think that he is (deep down)very insecure and possibly feels a tad inadequate maybe. Not inadequate in the design area, but more in the smarts department. Not that I intimate he is a dummy, but rather that he comes across to me as someone with a chip on his shoulder about his circumstances surrounding his childhood and early adolescense which possibly contributed to his not finishing his education. I only know of him through other blogs (his included) and while I'm sure he's talented, I don't see what all the hype over his decor skills is about. But then again, his is not my style so who am I to comment. That's all.

Pieter said...

This interview was hysterical! My favourite part was:

"Are you tired?"
"No … I’m bored … [grins]"
"You don’t deserve to be bored. Not many people get a chance to talk solely about themselves for two hours."

I really appreciate that the journalist wasn't too gushy and called him on being a diva! He sounds like a funny chap though!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Yes, it was a good interview! I like the fact that everything out of his mouth was not some canned "designer" statement.

If I had a chance to interview him or sit down for dinner and talk to someone with this thought process, I'd jump at it.

And, whether you like his style or not, there is no doubt it exists!

bruno said...

I've always loved this apartment. I'm a bit surprised that it hasn't changed that much since I first saw pictures of it in Elle Decor many, many years ago. As for the interview, I like Mr. Wolf's candor and honesty. Yes, it's a little uncomfortable to read in some parts (bravo to the interviewer for being professional and not walking out on the interviewee), but at least we're not being subjected to the same old predictable designer answers.

i suwannee said...

Ha! Knew it had to be him before I clicked over. His interview in this months HB was more of the same.

maison21 said...

must you mock everything, decorno? even the hard-hitting investigative journalism of parade magazine? who would protect our freedoms, if it wasn't for parade?

mary said...

Definitely ungracious and mannerless, buuuutttttttttt I love that loft (except for the white floor-which I think is a bit harsh and cold in winter). I would like to have a deep, meaty conversation with him, as I believe that once the veneer is peeled back, he is pretty interesting. Love this post.

Patrick said...

He's presented with a real opportunity to get his points across and he has the nerve, the audacity to actually come out and say he's bored. What a fraud. Speak up, dude. That is, if you have something to say. If you feel you have to create your opportunity because you find the questions dull then by all means do it. It's called fidelity of purpose. Newsflash: he thinks the interviewer is dull precisely because he's the one that's dull. He called a lion a mangey cat and excused (or at least qualified) a high murder rate. He had nothing to say about his home country, a country that most Americans understand very poorly, if at all. People like this make me cranky. Just decorate.

s. said...

Meh. Don't love his apartment or his attitude. Still, the interview is fun to read simply because it's not like every other designer interview.

Linda said...

He isn't the most fun person to be interviewed but I do like his apartment.

Anonymous said...

I love this exchange, between him and another interviewer in the May House Beautiful:

Q: But what about your trick with mirrors?

VW: They're not a trick!

(goes on to explain "My mirrors are about kicking the walls out..."--in other words, a trick)

Shauna said...

LOVED! He's droll, which rarely comes across in print. And his interiors - not totally my style - are signature and poetic. And I liked seeing his loft more lived in in these pics than I have before.

A definite point of view. And he's self made.

And Patrick - debunch your panties, dude. What he was referring to about the murder rate, not that it's OK. But who are we to judge b/c we are a pretty vicious society in a lot of ways too. And he has a point.

This faux outrage is why we have such canned, overly rehearsed celebs. I found him refreshing if prickly. That's cool by me.

Anonymous said...

Patrick makes a good point when he mentions fidelity of purpose. Mr. Wolf's ambivalence is a turnoff, and not the behavior of a gimlet-eyed aesthete. He comes off as petulant, unengaged, uninteresting and dimwitted. He's neither droll or incisive - and all that travel doesn't seem to have yielded much wisdom. This makes you question his work and when you re-examine the photos his place looks lifeless - filled with a lot of things - but without verve.

Patrick said...

@Shauna - that makes two of us who need to debunch our panties, don't you think? (I'm referring to him.) I don't find insolence attractive at all.

Ann said...

Also in the HB article ( I think...) he said 'I'm not curing cancer" (or something to that effect)about decorating. Perhaps some misinterpret his aloofness as arrogance when really, he's not taking himself so seriously? Honestly, it IS just decorating and some of these designers take themselves and what they do WAAAAY too seriously.

Smooth Panties said...

"You may not like his point of view, but at least he has one."

The perfect excuse. It covers everything.

Anonymous said...

Vague, mildly defensive, slightly jaded and a Buddhist.
Terrible combination.

Anonymous said...

Hitler had a point of view, and his Berghof in Berchtesgaden was really chic. Guess that makes everything else OK.

Anonymous said...

Look, he's Cuban. That pretty much explains it all.

ModFruGal said...

Whew, that was a squirmy read! Thanks for posting it...quite entertaining.

Susan said...

I enjoyed the interview--thanks for sharing it.

reclamationdesign@yahoo.com said...

I don't know why he found these reporters so irritating and let it show, but they held their own. No harm, no foul. Otherwise I have an affinity for his perspective. He seems able to enjoy the many wonderful things that his career and success have afforded him, but still he recognizes value in a wide range of experiences and cultures that are not "mainstream." As for his apartment, I love it and I love his work in general. I love the way he uses natural/tribal materials in modern and practical ways.

Decorno said...

Anon 9:31... maybe the comment of the thread. (But honestly, so many good ones, this was a tough call.)

Anonymous said...

He tries to come off all tough and spartan, but you just know he has a copy of Dorothy Draper's Decorating Is Fun! stashed under his mattress.

Anonymous said...

I vote for Anon. 9:02 as the best comment (although there are some other more detailed ones that hit the nail on the head). I think Wolf needs to spend a year getting over himself before he does the next interview. I think it would have taken a lot more than one swig of vodka to get past Wolf's arrogance.

Anonymous said...

a bit of a prick, non?

Anonymous said...

Personally I don't like his style, but the interview is great. I like that he is pissed off by the super dumb questions concerning childhood, travelling, NY etc. while the interviewers just can't be bothered. It is funny - in a sardonic way! ;)

katiedid said...

Oh Jeez Panties and Anon.....all I meant was one might not personally like his design style, but he does have a decided "style". It may appeal to some and not others. I make no excuses for rudeness, perceived or actual. I see I will have to explain myself more clearly in the future. Hitler? Extreme comparison don'tcha think? We are talking designers here and their personal approach to design, not murderous dictators.

Anonymous said...

The SRT interview was a bore for sure but more tolerable to the ear than someone cackling at comments that are not funny and calling cognac "kone yak".

Anonymous said...

The man is an "artist", driven by intellect and insight the rest of us rubes cannot possibly conceive. Frankly his disease (and I think it's one) is in some measure a malady that many in his business have in one form or another. A little intestinal cleansing would go a long way to change his attitude.

mcg said...

Decorno-
First of all, i am completely infatuated with your blog...its my go-to when I'm supposed to be studying for exams or other college bullshit. Second, I love your commenters just as much- they are awesome, and totally validate the times my friends make fun of me for reading the comments on everything from nytimes articles to youtube videos. I guess im just more interested in what actual people (instead of a pretentious journalist or interior designer) have to say about something,
which is (third) why I want to bring you and your reader's attention to this awesome debate over at apartment therapy, found at

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/small-cool-2010/small-cool-2010-lawrences-spectacular-sun-rise-tiny-division-6-113486

the ensuing debate seems like it lines right up with what the group loves to argue about over here, pretty much the essential questions of design, not the superficial "what color eames chair is most authentic" debate ive seen in some design blogs, that assumes everyone who is "designy" needs an eames chair to legitimize their space and interest in design (im in college with hardly enough money to buy a beat up eames shell, let alone a good one in the proper color!)
I think this guy's apartment is awesome, not because Im particularly into books stacked on the floor of an otherwise empty room, but because HE is and thats what matters.
anyways, check it out and bring it to the attention of your readers if you like.
And if youre wondering why Im trying to communicate via comment post, I cant get the "email me if you must" button to work and Im hoping this will catch your eye while approving comments!
so check it out if you want, but definitely keep doing what your doing.
- mcg

Anonymous said...

I was digging his dry sense of humor and amusement at just f*cking with the interviewers- they were asking some lame-ass questions...he had me until he said that africa doesnt "thrill" him because seeing lions for the third time bored him, like that is all africa has to offer. lame. Why not try traveling the world to do some good? Go to Africa to help starving children, they might not bore you so much.

and whats with the sheet thrown over the footboard of the bed?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and along those same lines, it seems to him that the value of traveling to exotic locales (of which most are the poorest regions on the planet) is their contributions to design. Great, so now there will be a whole new trend of "ethnic" accents that bring "depth" to your apartment. Its sickening to see "native" artifacts in peoples homes who have no idea of the cultural significance of the tribal mask on their wall-- as long as they got it at 10,00 villages its OK, right? Lets just hope the real overacheivers dont try to hang elephant tusks over their bed or something...christ this guy is so lucky to have traveled the world and all he gets out of it is boredom and design elements. LAME.

Anonymous said...

Have any of you noticed that more than half of the comments here would not be posted on other design blogs because they would be deemed "mean", "ugly", "hateful", "ignorant", yada, yada, yada. If a comment does not elevate the author, it gets deleted or attacked with anger from the blogger. Decorno has the guts to allow some free speech and not let the sappy females who read most of the blogs out there dictate content. So where do we go from here?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:51am said "Have any of you noticed that more than half of the comments here would not be posted on other design blogs because they would be deemed "mean", "ugly", "hateful", "ignorant", yada, yada, yada. "

Decorno is not being personally attacked here so of course she would keep the comments open. If you can't see the difference between open lively debate and personal insults, then ur not 2 smart. (that's a personal insult, btw)

Anonymous said...

Anon. 1:15pm - I would suggest you learn how to write without using text message short hand then people may take you seriously. Of course no one attacks Decorno because she never puts herself out there as a "know it all" decorator. Frankly, many of her opinions on some of these other sappy blogs would be assaulted much the way you have taken issue with mine. I applaud her outspoken, let the chips fall where they may, approach to blogging. Look at her going away comments. Read them carefully. They speak volumns about this blog and the open spirt it generated. Other blogs should take note if they can drag that big ego out of the way long enough. No one is attacking the author simply because they have an issue with the content promoted on any given day. Get a thicker skin, please!

Spirty said...

...the open spirt it generated

This is such a great note to go out on, Decs, huh?

Palm Spring said...

Yes, it was a good interview! He isn't the most fun person to be interviewed but I do like his apartment. I love the chairs with the photos for their invitation not to sit down. I can't decide whether I love him or hate him.