An Open Letter to Ken Fulk & A Standing Offer
Dear Mr. Fulk,
I first came across your name in a Vanity Fair article about Denise Hale where you were mentioned as her darling of design and favorite party guest. Six months later I attended an event at The Battery where I was hit in the face with the full effect of your sense of interior design.
The dead animal heads, majority of them African, were quite a sad shock. I tried to make sense of this over a few cocktails. I forced myself to sit at that bar and take in the impact of being surrounded by an aesthetic that even most Africans wouldn’t dream of in this day and age. I was surrounded by a throwback to colonialism, destruction, racism, the last vestiges of the cliched ‘African Cowboy’.
The Battery, and many other locales of yours, seem to be decorated from the Institute of Regressive Colonialism. I honestly don’t know where you attended school, but my dear… your subconscious is showing. You might want to cover that up, because it looks desperate.
If only you could witness the staff that struggle to avert their eyes from your gleeful stapling of dead animals on a brick wall. They despise it. But then again, its not for the staff, its for the patrons, right? Has anyone asked them? I hear you have many private and public clients, and that you’re mentioned in the press as a hot thing of interior decorating. You are referred to as possessing “irreverent wit, daring aesthetic and all-round fresh sense of style.” (WestWeek 2014 Pacific Design Center) It would be cliche to mention the Emperor’s New Clothes, but we’re looking at the embodiment of cliche here.
You’re getting your dead animals from somewhere. Inside sources tell me you’ve claimed they all died from ‘natural causes’. Is that self-inflicted lead poisoning? Did these animals in their prime suffer the great ennui and throw themselves in front a gun, over a cliff, run in front of safari vehicles? Rabies?? Or imported from an out-of-touch taxidermy shop in Paris?
You are a very open, proud, lover of your beautiful pet dogs but your usage of dead animals in your work is the epitome of cognitive dissonance.
If I were to read too far into the design I could imagine the decor as a snide in-joke about the impending Silicon Valley bubble burst while you retain your blue-er blooded clients as the VC money disappears from the Bay Area.
But you see… aside from all my insults and snarking on your aesthetics, I have the gut impression that you’re an interesting guy. I’d put you on a dinner party invite in a heartbeat. I don’t think you’re the epitome of the ugly trophy hunter, you’re just residing in a gilded tower. It is time to step outside, my future friend.
So here is my offer to you, Ken Fulk. Join me on any of my safaris. I will waive my fees, provide you with a very generous discount and donate to the Wildlife Conservation NGO in-country.
Until that time I will keep an empty seat open in our vehicles with your name on it as a public reminder to you of my ongoing invitation to witness the world of the wild in all its beautiful, sublime glory. I look forward to what you create from that day on… I’ve a feeling it will be fabulous.