WORKAHOLIC // JOEL CHEN

With a career spanning the past four decades, Joel Chen has become the reference – or simply put in Nike’s John Hoke’s own words “the gold standard” – for design and art lovers worldwide. Located in Los Angeles, the JF Chen galleries and showrooms boast an extensive selection of museum-quality pieces from furniture to lighting, photography, accessories, and art, ranging from period pieces to 20th and 21st-century masterworks. His broad taste, constant pursuit of uniqueness, and genuine passion for craftsmanship make him one of today’s most respected collectors and dealers, trusted by his many loyal customers. Chen’s prestigious clientele includes the likes of fashion designers Valentino, Tom Ford, and Rick Owens, Grammy Award-winning musician Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and acclaimed actress Jennifer Aniston. Kicking off what is promising to be a significant year in the JF Chen legacy is a retrospective auction at Christie’s, the illustrious New York auction house on February 13, 2018. The dedicated auction features over 300 lots and includes historical pieces by modernist pioneers Arne Jacobsen, Ettore Sottsass, and Hans J. Wegner, traditional 18th and 19th-century Asian decorative objets and furniture, rare bronzes, and lighting and pieces by contemporary artists Material Lust and Tanya Aguiñiga.

 

Where is your workspace? 

At my 3 galleries moving from one to the other with no fixed schedule or importance. They are all in close proximity.
What made you turn in this direction? 
My enthusiasm towards all things designed.
Was this always your dream job? 
It is now my definite dream job accomplished.
 
How much of the week is work and how much is play? 
24/7 work.
What has been the most exciting this you’ve done with your work and what is a dream situation you’d like to find yourself in? 
To be able to present shows with new emerging local and sadly neglected artists. I have done a Charles and Ray Eames show, a Nymphenburg show, Michael Wilson and Tanya Aguiñiga shows, a Dieter Rams show, and collaborated with MOCA for a ‘rebel’ show.
How do you find inspiration? 
I’m out there probing, scouting, picking, reading, examining everyday. Checking out new places is the norm. But I also like to ‘sort it all out.’
How do you define your personal style: work, clothing, home etc? 
I always consider what’s offering to me. I like seeking good emerging artists. I’m trying to dispel the problem of my hard of hearing. People have to repeat all the  time, but I would like to know what exactly is said to me! I like to wear Margiela, Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe and Stone Island. I am not home that much; there is always a new gallery show, new museum installations and new emerging areas to go to.
For more information please visit JF CHEN.

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