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Steamer Trunks That Serve as Casinos and Libraries
For over ten years, the Jaipur, India-based brothers and founders of Trunks Company, Priyank and Paritosh Mehta, have been on a mission to revive the steamer trunk and support local artists who make them. This week, they’ll be exhibiting 11 of the most ornate examples of the company’s work at the Salon Art + Design fair at the Park Avenue Armory, from a library trunk with quilted leather lining that’s embedded with speakers and lit with LED spotlights to a hand-painted red, white and navy blue Games Island Trunk that unfolds to become a tiny casino featuring amusements like Jenga, poker and chess. About a dozen craftspeople work two to three months on each of the trunks, which are meant to be statement pieces in a home rather than accompanying their owners on a trip, says Paritosh. “We’ve been commissioned to craft a trunk in the shape of the Taj Mahal Palace by the hotel, and to make a trunk for a collector to display his watch collection,” he says. “We’re building a whole lifestyle around heritage trunks.” Next year, though, the company plans to debut its most practical collection to date: hand-painted trunks with wheels that one can actually travel with. Price on request, on view at the Park Avenue Armory from Nov. 9 through 13, thesalonny.com.
The New York-based artist Frances F. Denny once considered “magic” an empty word, relevant only in fiction and fairy tales. “It felt a lot like bibbidi-bobbidi-boo,” she says. It wasn’t until Denny spent time alongside modern-day witches, photographing them for what eventually became her 2020 book, “Major Arcana: Portraits of Witches in America,” that the term began to gain real-world resonance for her. Starhawk, one of her subjects, described magic as “the art of changing consciousness at will,” spurring Denny to think about how that might work in her own practice. The result is “Spellwork,” a collection of floral still lifes on view at the Manhattan gallery Clamp starting Nov. 9. In each image, the stillness of daffodils, nasturtium and other blooms is interrupted by iridescent traces of plastic childhood accessories sourced from Denny’s daughter’s…