Founder of Artnow International and world-renowned designer of palaces, mansions and islands talks on his legacy project in Sovereign Island.
What is Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and Fiji’s best-kept secret? The better question might be ‘who,’ and the answer would be Rodney Suwarski, a fine artist and art director for some of the world’s most luxurious homes, resorts and palaces.
Former studio director for Warner Brothers, artist and director for palaces like Malaysia, Kiev and Sovereign Island—and more recently, an established dwarf goat farmer—Surwarski has accomplished a great deal in his lifetime. And in about four years’ time, his legacy project will be complete. This retirement home in Sovereign Island is some of the most exclusive of real estate that has been ten years in the making thus far. The design is extremely baroque with gold and artwork throughout to create the client’s dream home.
“You can imagine what they wanted, there were no limits,” Suwarski says. “We brought concepts for every room… There are a lot of rooms there and a lot of work goes into everything down to the style of the rug style of the floor, every wall, artworks in the ceilings. Everything in the house, exterior as well, we’ve designed all the sculptures and executed the sculptures in the architecture. I’m talking about a house with sculptures all over the roof and that sort of thing, not your average house.”
Suwarski’s company, Artnow International, comprises some of the most talented artists in Australia, Italy and America, so the whole team are hand-selected fine artists in the world.
Artnow International has designed the world’s grandest residences, palaces and hotels. Five years were spent designing artwork in a palace for Tunku Kamariah, the princess of Malaysia. Another three years with a team of 30 artists working for the richest man in Ukraine. And then there’s the Laucala Island Resort—owned by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz.
“That one was just an island when we started,” Suwarski says. “It sounds very romantic, but really, you’re on an island with not the best of facilities until the resorts are really built. You have to adapt wherever you are, you never know what you’re going to be doing until you get there.”
The list of years-long projects on grandiose palaces, resorts and mansions goes on. Although always grandiose, palaces are not Artnow International’s only service.
The company is well-established in providing feature ceilings, domes, walls, murals, sculptures and full interior design–a true leader in the world’s fine art solutions.
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CREATING THE WORLD’S FINE ART SOLUTIONS
When you work with clients of a certain caliber at the level of employing an Art Director, you don’t follow trends, you are creating your own style. So, how does the world-renowned company determine designs for their fine art solutions?
Well, they don’t, the home does, as Suwarski said.
“Usually the house tells the story, the architecture tells the story of what it’s going to be like, what will enhance it,” he says.
Whether a grand residence, resort or high-end department stores, Artnow International has a knack for taking a client’s vision and transforming it into an experiential space through fine art solutions.
“I think fine art solutions are more about expressing individuality, once you’re doing what we’re doing, it’s quite a statement in the home, it’s a point of difference, really,” he added.
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MAROUFLAGE: A NEW PROCESS IN CREATING BESPOKE HOME ART
“I think fine art solutions are more about expressing individuality, once you’re doing what we’re doing, it’s quite a statement in the home, it’s a point of difference, really.”
The pandemic hit us all, and Artnow International wasn’t immune. Suwarski mentioned he was incredibly blessed to have already been working on his legacy projects in his home country, but traveling with teams to provide the usual artwork simply wasn’t possible. Artnow International found a way to adapt, doing the new era of ‘Marouflage.’
“Back in the day, we used to have to travel, but things are changing now that COVID came along, we do a lot more marouflage, which is where we do the artwork in the studio and they get sent to anywhere and they get installed instead of having the whole team on the site,” said Suwarski. “We found It saves the clients, especially if they’re looking for more artwork and it’s something we’re continuing to do.”
Marouflage is essentially painted on a canvas in the Australia studio, then installed and painted on site. With artists in Australia, Italy and The United States, custom murals and/or designs can now be completed in the studio with 1-2 artists completing the installation for a more efficient process that is just as beautiful as the original bespoke art.