Chicago NeoCon 2013

NeoCon 2013, the largest design exposition in North America, was held at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart from June 10th – 13th. My wife, Susie, and I flew up to Chicago Sunday afternoon for what was to be my 25th NeoCon. The following morning we were off to the Art Institute of Chicago to check out the museum’s new modern wing and for some artful inspiration.

The new wing brought new life to many of the contemporary masterpieces – Hockney’s “American Collectors”, Warhol’s “Mao” (both shown)


The real showstopper was Charles Ray’s “Hinocki”, a huge wood carving of a tree trunk. The craftsmanship was remarkable


On our way back to our hotel, we took a detour through Millenium Park where the gardens were in full bloom


Monday night, my Marketing Director, Julia Velasquez, joined Susie and I for a cocktail reception at interior design icon Holly Hunt’s sumptuous, art-filled home. Holly jump-started my art career by agreeing to represent me 25 years ago. I will always be indebted to her for my “big break”


Tuesday was spent on the Mart’s residential 14th Floor. Meeting with Holly Hunt staff, running into industry friends and making a wish list of pieces for our home took up most of our daytime hours. After attending Holly’s keynote NeoCon speech, we headed back to the HH showroom for a post speech reception


Eric Chang, co-owner of Hellman – Chang from Brooklyn, and I met and swapped stories about our similar non-traditional route into the designer showroom business as fellow manufacturers


David Sutherland’s VP and good buddy, Cathy Hodges, recommended – no, demanded – that we head over to Fulton Market that night for the Guerilla Truck Show. She was SO right. For one night, the market played host to over 60 truck “galleries”. From low to high design, it had it all


Susie and I, Guerilla Truckin’


Garth Borovicka’s miniature landscapes really stood out. So we bought one


Garth’s work


Susie and I were really impressed with Tom Oliphant’s custom furniture and accessories. We were even more impressed when we overturned one of his postcards and saw my “Conversation” sculpture included in one of his installations. Small world!


The steel and rubber chairs of Joe Hindley were so cool and comfortable

Wednesday, we caught a morning flight back to Kansas City, bringing to a close another action-packed and fun-filled NeoCon.


Art Institute of Chicago


Holly Hunt

David Sutherland


Guerilla Truck Show

Garth Borovicka

Thomas Oliphant

Joe Hindley