At first glance, the East Hampton home and studio of artist Billy Sullivan and his partner, curator and author Klaus Kertess, is really just two boxes with several more rectilinear spaces tucked inside it—just like one of those Russian nesting dolls. That’s all there is, it seems, until one sees the goldfish darting about in the tank garden that separates the living quarters from the newer studio. Or notices the dove-gray paint color that emphasizes the lowness of the dining room and kitchen ceiling, in tantalizing contrast to the adjacent soaring white living space, where a substantial mural by David Novros plays on reflections from the windows. Or realizes that the art and furnishings inhabiting the home are a carefully vetted collection of pieces from the past several decades, a handful of antiques, and a superb array of textiles in warm colors, rather than a mishmash of finds from summertime tag sales.
Even so, one might still call it uncomplicated, and describe Sullivan’s work that way too. The artist himself is casually offhanded about most things, describing his straightforward, yet deceptively complex portraits as “diaristic, they’re just people around me.” He typically depicts his circle of intimates in thin washes of oil on gleaming white canvas or chalk pastel on paper. “It’s about my friends,” he continues. “Sometimes they’re in the art world, you watch what they’re doing, and it’s really interesting.” Read the rest of this article on Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.281