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This photograph by Dutch artist Hendrik Kerstens, from the collection of Patrick Sutton, hangs over the fireplace in his living room.
This photograph by Dutch artist Hendrik Kerstens, from the collection of Patrick Sutton, hangs over the fireplace in his living room. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

The Fells Point home of Baltimore-based interior designer Patrick Sutton is filled with attention-grabbing decor.

Sutton, who designed the interiors of such luxury establishments as the Sagamore Pendry hotel and the Charleston restaurant, had to ponder a moment when asked to choose one piece from his meticulously curated waterfront townhouse. He first thought of the antique bronze goat urn he purchased from a Belgian dealer eight years ago — he’s never seen anything quite like it. Then he suggested a sculpture of a pair of lips made from straws.

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And then he remembered the framed Hendrik Kerstens photograph above his mantle.

Interior designer Patrick Sutton
Interior designer Patrick Sutton (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

“It’s his daughter,” Sutton says of the woman in the photo with the sad, vulnerable quality. “He photographs his daughter in various poses for this series.”

Kerstens, a contemporary Dutch photographer, is known for images of his daughter, Paula, wearing household items styled to look like elaborate headpieces and accessories.

The piece is always a talker among guests in Sutton’s home.

“Oftentimes they say that it looks like a Vermeer,” Sutton says. “And then I point out the pantyhose, and then they have the ‘aha’ moment.”

Kerstens has attracted celebrity fans such as Elton John and the late Alexander McQueen, who based his 2009 fall collection on Kerstens’ work.

“I was late to the party,” Sutton says with a laugh. “I think there were only one or two [pieces] left when I bought it.”

The price for the purchase last December at Art Basel in Miami? $15,000.

“There are only 15 in the series,” Sutton says. “They go up in price as there are fewer pieces. When they sell out, then he moves on to the next thing.”

According to conventional wisdom, life in the country is simpler than in the city. But for Deborah Weiner and her family, it’s the opposite.

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