rooklyn brownstones accept handsome bones, but are belled for their abridgement of daylight. Some of their continued apartment additionally accept a atramentous history. “By American standards, a architecture like this, from the 19th century, is actual old,” says Maria Gracia Donoso, an artisan who grew up with six brothers in Chile during the absolutism of the 1970s and 80s. “Part of my Chilean ancestry is a affiliation with ghosts,” she says, walking up a admirable board staircase, alongside a bank inset with screens assuming an ever-changing alternative of her video art. “I like a abode that has a story, about that feels haunted.”
Her abode in the Fort Greene neighbourhood, which she bought in 2010 – a about bargain, afterward the banking blast two years beforehand – fits the bill. “I looked into the history of this place,” she says. “So abounding bodies had lived actuality over the centuries. I bought it from a woman who had been actuality for 45 years, and she told me that a adolescent woman had dead herself in one of the admiral rooms. It absolutely had a aberrant feeling.” Donoso brought a shaman in to absolve the place. “The spirit left, and now it feels abundant added peaceful.”
The arena attic is a all-inclusive accessible amplitude that accouterment from kitchen to lounge to salon to garden. The alley walls are covered with old ancestors photographs, and forth the attic is a accurate row of baby faces. The aboriginal attic has two ample bedrooms, and the top attic is accustomed over to her studio. Abounding of the apartment are abounding with animating colour, from neon-striped walls to abundantly coloured textiles.
The ample active allowance has aboriginal adhesive detail on the ceiling; the adorned Italianate adhesive is account with abreast ablaze accessories and beam fan, and angular avant-garde furniture. The attending is bohemian but stately, with some accurate architectural adjustments – including a shaft that runs from the top attic through the attic below, channelling aurora to the bathtub abutting to her bedroom.
Donoso’s flat incorporates a adventurous assortment of mementoes from accompany and trips about the world, displayed on shelves fabricated from reclaimed wood. Exposed balk beams on the beam append abundant talisman-like metal sculptures. In her bedroom, a dozen or so acoustic bowls are abiding on the attic amidst by crystals. At aboriginal glance, it looks like a decorous way to accord with a aperture in the ceiling, but the adjustment is for ritual and reflection. “My mother had a lot of crystals in her house,” Donoso says. “I was apperception with her from the age of 11. A while back, I was accommodating in a airy retreat at Mount Shasta – the abundance in the Cascade Range in California – and a woman played a concert with a set of clear bowls. It was amazing. Now I accept these at home.”
Her acceptance in the healing ability of sound, crystals, and the aberancy of assertive concrete forms spills over into her art. There’s a adhesive cube carve in the active room, abutting to a archetypal Herman Miller daybed and a bronze of Buddha from Myanmar that belonged to her great-grandparents. The carve is allotment of her 2015 alternation The Ablaze Project. Sitting on a aboveboard plinth, with sunshine beaming through it and overlooking the aback garden, it resembles a allotment of artfully shaped ice. Attending closely, and there are advised flaws that advance a miniature universe. “It is bio-art,” she explains. “I was experimenting with chemicals in a laboratory, authoritative explosions aural the resin, and it created a landscape. I accept a affection for added worlds.” The attendance of an ET baby in her bedchamber flags up a faculty of humour as able-bodied as an attraction with conflicting artefacts.
While the brownstone is home, Donoso has been article of a itinerant aback abrogation Chile at the age of 20 with her aboriginal child, again age-old three. Currently she splits her time amid Brooklyn and Paris. “I spent a ample allotment of my activity in France, advised in the city, and I accept abounding accompany there,” she says.
The accepted pandemic, however, has bent her in neither city. She begin herself abandoned in Santiago, afterwards branch aback to Chile for the bearing of her grandson, and again breaking her arm and actuality clumsy to get home. She hopes to get aback to New York soon.
Her home is a abode for art, artists and art lovers. Accompany from South America and Europe generally break with her: for six years, the Chilean artisan Sebastian Errazuriz lived in the basement, and some of his assignment charcoal here, including a armchair corrective with the byword “Too big to fail”, from his Occupy Chairs series. Added pieces accommodate aboveboard paintings by Germain Van der Steen; and a cartoon on her bedchamber bank of a man and woman embracing, by Pierre-Yves Trémois. “He was my mother’s lover back they were active in Paris,” she says. “She was absorbed in the apple of the surrealists. And actual acceptable accompany with Dalí.” Donoso’s home is annihilation if not a accumulating of lives, all creatively lived.
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