Stefano Tonchi’s Hamptons How-To
When W magazine’s peripatetic editor needs a break from the jet-set circus, he hits the LIE and heads for Bridgehampton. For the best-dressed father of two, summer is all about local artists (The Fireplace Project), simple pleasures (Italian vino), hanging with old friends (Ross Bleckner), and the latest hip-hop jams. BY ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV
DINNER DESTINATION: “My house. I don’t go out for dinner much in the summer, just to friends’ houses. Otherwise, we stay at home. In the winter I like food that I can’t cook, like sushi from Sen in Sag Harbor or Yama Q in Bridgehampton. Loaves & Fishes still has the best prepared food and ingredients.”
DESSERT SPOT: “Sant Ambroeus. I love the pear and chocolate gelato on a cone.”
DRINK OF CHOICE: “A glass of San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino or an Aperol Spritz.”
MIXOLOGY MOMENT! Navy Beach mixologist and partner Martin Cabrera shares his twist on Tonchi’s favorite tipple: Navy Beach’s American Summer Spritz
• Chandon Sparkling Wine, like Chandon American Summer
• Angostura bitters
• 1 fresh orange
Fill wine glass with ice and add 1 ounce of Aperol, 4 ounces of Chandon Sparkling Wine, and a small dash of Angostura bitters. Garnish with a fresh wedge of orange.
FAVORITE EAST END ARTIST: “I will be forever a fan and friend of Ross Bleckner.”
…Bleckner weighs in! “I’ve known Stefano for a very long time. We met up in Italy once and he took me to his parents’ house in some small town. We had pasta together. He’s just all-around knowledgeable about so many things.”
SUMMER SOUNDTRACK: “I have satellite radio, and I like to play The Heat channel.”
Ed. Note: What’s The Heat?! Good question! Here’s a sample playlist…
“Keep It Trill” by Kirko Bangz
“Lighters Up” by Snoop Lion
“Yellow Tape” by Fat Joe
“Bitches & Bottles” by DJ Khaled
“Party Girls” by Ludacris
LOCAL HANGOUT: “The Fireplace Project in Springs has a great gallerist and curators, plus fun artists. The Parrish Art Museum by Herzog & de Meuron is also wonderful. It has the best architecture in Long Island.”
…Gallery Gossip! With The Fireplace Project’s Edsel Williams
How does it feel to be Stefano’s favorite East End gallerist?
That’s super nice to hear because he has such a great eye. He sees all the shows we do here. He’s been a regular since we opened in 2006.
What kind of work does Stefano dig?
He likes a little bit of everything.
DÉCOR DESTINATION: “Turpan in East Hampton.”
HAUTE TICKET: “Edwina von Gal’s Perfect Earth Project fundraiser in Springs. It has fantastic live music performances, local food, great artworks, families and kids, and the best views of the Hamptons from Cindy Sherman‘s backyard.”
BELOVED BEACH: “Peter’s Pond Beach. It reminds me of Mediterranean beaches!”
FAVORITE HOUSE: “Edwina von Gal’s place on stilts in Springs. It’s small and personal, and has great views.”
READING LIST: “Lots of biographies of Italian artists, film directors, and designers from the ’50s and ’60s, because I’m working on an exhibition in Rome on that period: Fontana, Capogrossi, Antonioni, Fellini, Mila Schön, Capucci, and Valentino.”
NETFLIX QUEUE: “Italian films for my research, like Antonioni’s Le Amiche.”
SUMMER SPORT: “Either tennis or sailing.”
PLUS! Stefano fills us in on his arty faves out East, the story behind W:Art, the June issue of W, and much more…
What’s your favorite piece at the Parrish?
The Ross Bleckner Cell Painting, because it’s about the AIDs crisis, its about something very terrible and touching, but shown in a very poetic way.
What are your favorite pieces you’ve seen, or bought, at The Fireplace Project?
Paintings by Herman Bas; I saw his work for the first time there, and I wish I’d bought everything he did. Now, I’ve started collecting it. I have also wonderful memories of the exhibition by Helmut Lang, the great designer turned artist, that transformed the garments from his archives into real collectible art.
What’s your must-read in W‘s Art Issue?
Chris Bagley’s interview with the artist Sturtevant. It is exceptional not just because he was able to have such insightful conversations with the notoriously private artist, but it is, unfortunately, her last interview before she passed away just recently. There will be an exhibit of her work in November at the MoMA, and our story provides some wonderful context around her work. We also have the first American interview with the French artist Camille Henrot, who was the breakout star at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Any other faves from W:Art?
There’s no way to overlook our cover story, featuring Pharrell. His collaborations with five artists, including Urs Fischer, Alex Katz, Rob Pruitt, JR and Mr. are one of a kind, created specially for the pages of W:Art. Lynn Hirschberg‘s interview with the maverick singer-songwriter-performer-producer-designer-collector looks at how 2013 became the year of Pharrell.
The latest Art Issue is a special, standalone issue! Why did you decide to do this?
Contemporary art is transcendent; it is a reflection of the way people live and think. W:Art takes readers inside the most inspired minds in the art world, with unparalleled access to the larger-than-life personalities that continue to drive the cultural conversation. It’s a unique way of looking at art, as both social currency and a form of entertainment.
What excites you most about W‘s June issue?
Our June/July issue looks closely at Los Angeles’ evolving art scene. Los Angeles today is no longer just about the film crowd and expats. It’s about local talent: a new generation of artists, designers, chefs, and curators who were born and raised there and have a very different modern sensibility that combines California’s laid back attitude with global savvy.
Where’s a very W-appropriate Hamptons place to read the June issue of W?
Any place that inspires you.
Which Hamptons ’hood is the most W-ish?
Bridegehampton, because that’s where I spend my time.