Great Spaces: inside a Midtown home where there’s art on the walls, on the floor and in the driveway
Astrid Bastin recently gutted her century-old, midtown ravine-side house. Just about everything was updated—except the barn-shaped gambrel roof, which she maintained. Bastin, who was born in Bogotá, runs AB Projects, a cultural exchange program for established Canadian and Latin American artists. She mainly works with avant-garde mixed media artists and often gives them a live-work space in her home for a few months, then helps sell their work; the commissions are invested in the organization. As a result, the first floor of the house is a showcase for experimental pieces. A tiny TV shows a blinking eye, for example, and a series of speakers play noises such as crunching gravel. Even her driveway is an installation, with a piano that plays Chopin every evening from 5 to 7 (the tunes are quiet enough not to irk the neighbours). The renovation, by Dean Goodman of LGA Architectural Partners, was tailored to highlight the ever-changing assortment of artwork. The expansive walls are MoMA white and there’s plenty of room for the crowds of curators, collectors and art lovers Bastin often entertains.