Artist Lovie Olivia loves her monographic book by Mickalene Thomas | Architectural Summary

What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everyone, so we request some of the coolest, most shopping savvy people we know, from small business owners to designers, artists and actorsto tell us the story of one of their most prized possessions.

Who?

Lovie Olivia is a transdisciplinary artist from Houston whose celebrated visual works are exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. Her paintings, prints, and sculptural installations typically center around being female, being southern, being black, or a combination of all three themes. “One of those identities is going to be brought up throughout the process,” she explains.

Lovie (right) and Preetika in their art-filled home in Houston.

In addition to creating aesthetic compositions, Lovie expresses her creativity through food. She and her partner, visual artist Preetika Rajgariah, run an intimate supper club called Two Dykes and a Knife, which combines multi-course meals with critical conversations. The couple hosts their collaborative dinner parties in innovative spaces across Houston, as well as in the backyard of their shared home.

Lovie and Preetika’s home, which they bought in 2020, is located in a lush, suburban neighborhood in the middle of town. It’s filled with mid-century modern furniture, potted plants, and decor that represents their individual ethnic backgrounds. Contemporary gems are also included of course. “Because we’re artists and we’re always collecting new stuff,” says Lovie. She also moonlights as an interior designer.

Mickalene Thomas’ book is in good company on Lovie’s DIY shelf.

What?

Although Lovie’s house is full of meaningful items, her most treasured item is a signed book by Mickalene Thomas. Not only does the Phaidon monograph with its bold portrait cover look beautiful on any surface, but its subject is also one of the couple’s most admired painters. Plus, it reminds them of a very special night. “It has so much sentimental value,” Lovie shares.

When and where?

After more than a year of canceled events, Lovie and Preetika were finally able to reunite with their artistic community in December 2021 at Art Basel Miami Beach. During the show, they saw impressive exhibits and attended many parties, including a Gucci party in the Design District where Mickalene signed books.

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