Although she initially considered neighborhoods like Tribeca and SoHo, the walk-to-work appeal won out for Erica. Here in Chelsea, she’s steps away from not only her own gallery, Friedman Benda, but also the area’s extensive network of galleries, many of which employ her friends—who also often live nearby. “There’s a good sense of community,” she says. “I figured, if I spend so much time in the gallery and so much time in Chelsea, I might as well live here.”
The art world has been a part of Erica’s life for about as long as she can remember; at age 8, her father, a collector, brought her to art auctions and let her hold up the bidding paddle. Since the ninth grade, she’s interned everywhere from Sotheby’s and Christie’s to Russia’s State Hermitage Museum. And her apartment—elegantly artful, cozily minimal—is a reflection of that lifelong passion.
Her favorite piece, if she absolutely had to choose, is a trilogy by Misha Kahn, made up of two glass and resin “mirrors” from his Saturday Morning Series, and a set of horns presented as part of Kahn’s first solo presentation with Friedman Benda at San Francisco’s FOG Design+Art fair. “Misha started with the gallery around the same time that I did. So it’s been amazing to watch him grow as a designer,” says Erica. When she first moved in, she knew Kahn’s work needed to come with her, and unlike the constantly evolving other areas of the apartment, this little expanse hasn’t budged. “I’ve just looked at these for a while now. And they feel like part of the home.”
What feels most like part of the home—to me, anyway—is Erica’s playful aesthetic, her genuine love of art and passion for her work, and her hunger for constant evolution. It’s difficult to achieve a space that conjoins the zen of a spacious gallery with the comfort of your local coffee shop, but Erica, not one to back down from a challenge, has done exactly that.
The associate director of Friedman Benda shares a few of her favorite places to shop and find inspiration.
Architectural Digest is an American monthly magazine founded in 1920. Its principal subject is interior design, rather than architecture more generally. The magazine is published by Condé Nast, which also publishes international editions of Architectural Digest in China, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Mexico, and Latin America.