Brush With Fame
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
WHO: Malcolm Hill.
WHAT: Paintings, illustrations, and sculpture that transcend fashion.
WHERE: "At Barneys New York, I used to joke with Simon Doonan and Peter Marino that we were having our Bauhaus moment 50 years later."
Malcolm Hill's far-flung interests have led him to Austin, Texas, for college, Guadalajara, Mexico, to sculpt, and West Virginia, to live on a farm—all experiences that have shaped him as the success he is today.
Generally thought of as a muralist, Hill doesn't always paint on walls. He applies latex colors in organic patterns to canvas—often along with ordinary rope, stones, or cardboard—and then adheres the result, like wallpaper.
He started out painting backdrops for a clothing store in Dallas. When a friend, Todd Oldham, gave Hill a referral to Barneys New York, he moved to the Big Apple to accept the store's offer: a contract to oversee paintings worldwide and collaborate with creative director Simon Doonan and Peter Marino Architect. "Todd told Simon I could paint Caravaggio in 15 minutes," Hill recalls.
The Barneys commission naturally led to collaborations with such industry leaders as Ralph Pucci International and the Rockwell Group. In addition, he does work for the namesake firm of his partner, Shamir Shah. Hill's been sculpting in resin and dabbling in illustration lately, too—perhaps channeling his Austin and Guadalajara years.