For this week's 'In Their Permanent Collection' we reached out to Alisa Grifo, co-founder of the cult, shape-shifting shop, KIOSK. Alisa and her partner, Marco ter Haar Romeny, travel the world in search of the type of everyday, ordinary household items found and used locally, but virtually unknown elsewhere. Since she's always on the go in search of beautiful things, we couldn't wait to see what Alisa would choose as her "permanent" possession.
Alisa Grifo: A painting done in 1959 by my father-in-law Edlef Wybo Rudolf Arthur ter Haar Romeny. This piece is one of his early works he painted when living in Stockholm with Marco’s mother, it’s called “Yellow in Center”.
Permanent Collection: What is the story behind the painting?
A.G.: Edlef was an amazing man and a dedicated artist, he lived in his work as much as his work was in him. He was from another time and place, born in 1926, and he truly experienced life. Hobo, rambler, explorer, artist to the extreme, he was a Dutchman who spoke 5 different languages, traveled the world, lived in several countries, had 6 children and painted every day, no matter where or what the circumstances. He was incredibly social, an excellent storyteller and conversely, a horrible listener, but so incredibly charming, to most people, it never mattered. More than anyone else, Edlef showed me how to live, enjoy and believe in what your desires are, with no remorse or second-guessing as to why. He was a bit of a hedonist I have to say, but also incredibly honest and caring.
P.C.: After the above, this question seems almost self-evident, but why did you choose it?
A.G.: Actually, I didn’t choose the painting but I chose to hang it in a place where I look at it every morning and several times a day. We are not certain, but we believe Marco lifted it from Edlef’s studio at some point in time and stuffed it into our suitcase. It’s a bit of a stolen work of art. Visually, I find the work beautiful, I love the color and movement in the piece. But deeper than that, at the start of every day it gives me energy and determination to do what I want and believe in what I do. It also reminds me about this crazy family I am connected to and all of the stories we have created over the years. Bohemian is a way of life, proof is in this work, proof is in my family's history. To me it says: "Do what you wish, dream, create and have a good cheese and wine every day."
P.C.: What are your current obsessions and/or giving your time to?
A.G.: In April, Marco and I are opening a space in Marseille, France. Between that, KIOSK and cataloging 576 paintings by Edlef, I have a lot to be obsessed with. One day I hope we rope all those things together and they go hand in hand.
P.C.: Where are your favorite places to collect?
A.G.: Hardware stores, 99cent and grocery stores anywhere in the world. Kyoto, India, Vide Greniers, Myrona in Sweden...Jasper Morrison’s store in London, and friends' studios.