Modern Luxury - For Art's Sake, by Shira Levine

Residential developers are investing in big-name public art for everyone to enjoy, proving that in today's luxury market art isn't just for private eyes.

"First impressions are everything," says Emily Santangelo (, a residential real estate art curator who consults with both individuals and corporations to acquire museum-quality art. "And in Manhattan, the lobby is the first impression, what greets you at the door, " so it should evoke the feeling that you're walking into something grand and luxurious - after all, you're paying for it.

I met Santangelo at a cocktail party presenting the work of contemporary artist Orly Genger, whose sizable "Royal Rumble," a 103 1/2 x 45 1/2 inche watercolor on paper, did indeed greet, as it's on permanent display in the lobby of starchitect Christian de Portzamparc's 400 Park Avenue South ( "Why shouldn't the entry to your multimillion-dollar building be just as well-appointed as your home?" asks Santangelo. "Art is not just the ultimate in luxury - it's the global standard of luxury."

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