When asked about his recent acquisitions of Julian Schnabel works, Steven Vail, of Steven Vail Fine Arts, responded, “These are somewhat unbelievable to be offered in Des Moines. We have been receiving inquiries nationally and internationally and have several pending sales. Each is unique with the artist’s hand embellishment in addition to the artist’s base screen-printing work, thus giving them the status of “unique” works on paper. Collectors in Berlin, Miami, Greece, Beverly Hills and others have all been reaching out to SVFA in Des Moines inquiring about the work.”
Steven Vail is an international art dealer whose Steven Vail Fine Arts gallery is in Des Moines. I asked him to lunch, and he chose Lucca, Steve Logsdon’s mostly Italian café in East Village. On our visit, the carryout business was considerably more active than the indoor dining.
Is there a natural crossover between fashion and art in the creative process?
I only worked in the fashion business for a year, 1969-1970. I lost interest in it. That was the moment of great unrest and change in American society-civil rights, women's 'liberation', Vietnam, the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King, Earth Day, and Nixon. In my fervent twenty-one-year-old world view, fashion didn't seem worth giving my life to. The crucial thing I brought from my great design education though, was the knowledge of how to build a figure-using cloth. This technology was vital to my early work, and remains so.
Steven Vail Fine Arts is currently showcasing a collection of prints by Chuck Close that encompass a range of techniques, including woodcut and silkscreen. The show goes through June 14 and is a rare opportunity to see a grouping of the artist’s work in Eastern Iowa.