Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, RomaindeTirtoff (or “Erte”-a nickname based on the French pronunciation of his initials) was destined for a military career, as his father was an admiral in the Russian fleet. However, he defied expectations and proved that he was to become a fabulous fashion illustrator, moving to Paris in 1912. He is notorious for his elaborate costumes and exotic designs, especially at the Folies in Paris. Erte also spent a brief period of his life in Hollywood in 1925, working with MGM at the invitation of Louis B. Mayer.
Raised as a child of the socially elite, Erte lived in Paris for a year in 1907, then moved to France at the age of 20 to work in the world’s center of art and fashion. His father strongly objected to his career choice, leading Erte to work under his pseudonym. He began his career under Paul Poiret, the most respected couturier in Paris at the time, from 1913-1914. Erte went on to work for Harper’s Bazaar for 22 years where he created more than 240 magazine covers, and his artwork appeared in publications like Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
His reputation earned him the patronage of Mata Hari, Pavlova and William Randolph Hearst, as he became a major contributor to 20th-century fashion. Erte began his work with the fine print media in the 1970s, publishing more than 180 of his designs through the Circle Fine Art Corporation and then numerous lithographs and serigraphs commissioned by various publishers. In 1979, the Smithsonian Institution organized a retrospective of his work, which traveled to major museums across the U.S. and Canada.
Erte is often referenced as one of the founders of Art Deco, the style that came into vogue internationally in the 1920s. Erte defined it as the fusion of the curvilinear designs of Art Nouveau of the 19th century with the Cubist, Constructivist, and geometrical designs of modernity. He was also influenced by Persian miniatures and would often use a brush with a single hair to complete his gouache paintings.
His imagination was limitless and Erte designed costumes, stage sets, jewelry, objet d’art, sculpture, and ceramics. His costumes and sets were used in productions of the Foiles Bergere and on Broadway, and in 1925 he worked in Hollywood, designing sets for movies like “Ben-Hur,” “Time” and “Dance Madness.” He also worked on ballets, operas and revues, and even created seven limited edition bottle designs for Courvoisier that depicted the different stages of cognac creation.
Erte drew comparisons between his art and his interior design, saying it is all based on fantasy. Unlike many artists who work freely before a canvas or sketchpad, Erte developed his own unique process: he would visualize the entire work of art in his mind until it was completed to every detail and then create the work from his “mind’s eye.”
At the time of his death at the age of 97, he was considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
California-based artist, Cait Chock, grew up wishing she was a mermaid but settled with drawing the imaginary. Self-taught, her background had been primarily focused on athletics, running professionally for Nike. In 2010 she was struck by a hit and run driver while out running which resulted in her nearly losing of her lower right leg. Told she would never run again, a fate she refused to accept, she relied on her other great passion, art, to keep her sane through her recovery.
Perhaps living in the imaginary, and stubbornness, helped keep her motivated; a year later she proved the doctors wrong and was able to run again, though certainly not as fast. Having to consider a career change she pursued her dream to work as an artist.
“My style hinges on long limbs, jagged joints, and exaggerated facial features,” explains Chock. “I give my characters a whimsical, light sense even when the theme or emotion may be darker. The juxtaposition urging the viewer to look beyond their first reaction. My mediums of choice are pen, watercolor, and pencil. I’m highly diverse and tailor my style accordingly to the client and outlet.”
Growing up on Disney and properly obsessed with Tim Burton, Chock says, “One could call my style a marriage between the two.” Fashion and fashion photography are also major inspirations to Chock, “I love the angles and the way eye makeup and hair is utilized to give more emotion to the images.”
Eyes tell a story and they are key to all of Chock’s characters, “I want people to feel what the character is feeling; make people connect with the moments they’ve felt the same.” The stories behind her characters, ones too long to caption for her Instagram followers, spurred her to publish a collection of illustrated short stories, “And Then She Ate the Wolf”, available on Amazon.
She’s not a mermaid but found a way to never grow up; draw all day and eat breakfast for dinner.
Cait Chock can be found on her website where you can purchase prints, cards, and contact for commissions: www.caitchock.com Follow her on Instagram: @caitchock
Supermodel Elle Macpherson, now age 51 and still a sexy glamour girl, has appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar and a record breaking five-time covers of Sports lllustrated’s annual swimsuit issue between 1986 and 2006. Time magazine gave Elle the nickname of “The Body” after she appeared on their cover in 1989 and she has appeared as host of Saturday Night Live and in a number of films including Sirens with Hugh Grant, Woody Allen’s Alice, and The Mirror Has Two Faces. As a business woman, she has won awards for developing and promoting her workout series of videos, her lingerie collection and her line of beauty products. Like so many of the super wealthy who tend to congregate in the same playgrounds, Macpherson owns prime real estate in Aspen. Macpherson has put her and billionaire husband, Jeffrey Soffer’s, Aspen mansion on the market which they purchased in 2007 for $36.5 million.
Located in the exclusive gated community of Starwood perched above Aspen on 66 acres, Macpherson’s estate is in McLain Flats with mountain and city views. Built in 2004, the rustic but sophisticated home uses reclaimed aged oak, plenty of granite, white oak paneling and limestone with custom copper shingles. At 14,395 square feet, the interior, with its soaring ceilings in the main living area contains seven bedrooms, thirteen baths, French limestone floors, indoor and outdoor pools, commercial kitchen, steam room, hot tub, juice bar, exercise room and two elevators. Not as pricey as Bill Koch’s $100 million Aspen pad, but very attractive to the billionaire market, the estate is priced at $35 million.
JON BON JOVI’S SOHO PENTHOUSE!
Many people know Jon Bon Jovi’s music, Slippery When Wet and Destination Anywhere, along with his soundtracks for Young Guns II (Blaze of Glory) and Stand Up Guys (Not Running Anymore), not to mention the ten major awards these productions have won. Many of us were also aware of his acting in films such as Moonlight and Valentino and TV appearances on shows such as Sex and the City. But there’s so much more to know.
Jon married his high school sweetheart, Dorothea, almost 25 years ago. They have four children, have stayed married and are one of the country’s most generous couples, very active in the Special Olympics, American Red Cross, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Covenant House, Project H.O.M.E. and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The Bon Jovis have donated millions of their money, and much of their time for charity, then have gone out and worked side by side with the people to execute these projects. Even wielding a hammer or washing a dish where needed. Jon was also appointed by Barack Obama to the new White House Council for Community Solutions. He is not just another rock star.
If a person’s home is the mirror of the person themselves, Jon and Dorothea seem to do everything well. Now up for sale is the Bon Jovi’s 7,452-square-foot New York Soho duplex. With huge glass walls and terraces seen from almost every room, even the kitchen windows will have you looking instead of cooking. Aside from the pure glamour of it all, the layout is unusually well thought out. The family part of the house is on the lower floor with a great room, wood-burning fireplace, marble baths, dining area and a gourmet kitchen. There are five bedrooms on the first floor including the master bedroom suite with rare arched windows.
The upper level includes formal living and dining rooms and access to the home’s grand terraces with lush landscaping and panoramic New York views. Also on the second floor is another kitchen, screening room, guest room, full bath and a powder room. Did we mention the second wood burning fireplace?
The Bon Jovi apartment is located in the New Museum Building. At 12 floors, it is one of the tallest structures in the Lower Manhattan area. The building was constructed in 1897 as offices, became the New Museum of Contemporary Art in 1996, and later converted to condominiums.
In the mid 1900s, Soho was one of New York’s most distressed neighborhoods as its deep industrial base began to erode. Starting in the 1960s, Soho was transformed from the mostly deserted remnants of the city’s big textile factories into artists’ and hipsters’ lofts. Today, it is near the top of any list of U.S. upscale neighborhoods with art galleries, shops and expensive homes. Other celebrity SoHo residents include Kelly Ripa, Justin Timberlake and Ariana Huffington.
Previously asking $42 million, the penthouse, including furniture & great views, is now priced at $37.5 million. Raphael De Niro of Douglas Elliman and Leonard Steinberg of Urban Compass share the listing.
STING’S LONDON TOWNHOUSE!
How did Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, better know as Sting, get to the age of 62? Where did the time go? A whirlwind of musical talent and following his dreams, Sting has made it to the top of the celebrity world. He’s a musician and songwriter who hit the big time in the late 1970s with his band, The Police, and their first hit “Roxanne.” The band’s 1983 tune “Every Breath You Take” was the year’s biggest hit, won a Grammy for Song of the Year and has been a staple at wedding receptions for years. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and has sold almost 100 million records. Sting has been performing solo since the mid 1980s, devoting much of his time to charity, human rights activism and expanding his world of creativity. On June 25th, his musical production, “The Last Ship,” about a group of English shipyard workers, opens in Chicago as an out-of-town tryout before heading to Broadway. Sting grew up in the Swan Hunter Shipyard neighborhood on the River Tyne where many of the world’s largest and fastest ships were built.
Sting and his actress-producer wife, Trudie Styler, are serial real estate collectors. Their love of nature led them to Italy in 1999 when they bought a 600-acre estate in Tuscany, Villa II Palagio where they produce and sell wine, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, produce and honey. They own or owned an Elizabethan manor house, a 1578 English historic home called the Lake House, a recently sold New York City apartment, a California beach house, a London apartment on the Mall near Hyde Park, homes in the Caribbean and an 18th century London townhouse that is now on the market. He can afford it with a net worth of $300 million, taking in about $2,000 every day in royalties from “Every Breath You Take”.
Just a half-mile from Buckingham Palace, and enclosed in an historical building in the Birdcage Walk conservation area, the 8,500-square-foot townhouse contains seven bedrooms and six bathrooms in stunning contemporary decor from a 2010 redo. With many venues for entertaining, the home has five living areas, a roof terrace and garden terrace with direct access to Birdcage Walk and St. James Park, said to be the finest of the Royal parks. The home has an elevator and formal entry and staircase. Notable, but not for sale, is Sting’s wonderful art collection with a similar Diego Giacometti table that recently sold at auction for a record-breaking $1.76 million.
Sting’s 18th century London townhouse on the market at an undisclosed price, estimated to be in the $32 to $35 million price range.
TYLER PERRY’S ATLANTA HOME!
Tyler Perry is now living the American Dream – a dream he made happen through perseverance and overcoming some long odds. Trapped for many years in an impoverished and abusive childhood including a suicide attempt, Tyler began writing plays to calm the demons – a method he learned from watching his favorite TV program, the Oprah Winfrey Show. He wrote mostly about himself and his relatives and friends but the plays were such financial disasters that he almost gave up. Tyler continued to plug away, doing his shows primarily for African-American audiences on the East Coast until he finally found some success. His plays eventually led to film where he did everything – writing, acting and directing. After he developed his beloved Madea matriarch character, Tyler became one of Hollywood’s top money makers with his own film studio in 2006. He went from being an Oprah fan to an Oprah partner at the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2012.
Tyler is the first filmmaker in history to have five films open at #1 in five years beating the records of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino. His thirteen most popular films have grossed over $600 million at the box office but cost less than $10 million to make. By being independent with his own studio and filling the major roles himself, Tyler has been able to rake in a larger share of the profits.
With films such as the Madea series, Madea’s Family Reunion and Madea Goes to Jail, and with his new success on Oprah’s network with the blockbuster hit The Haves and Have Nots, his annual income is somewhere between $100 million to $150 million.
During the years of his growing success, Tyler understood the value of real estate and has bought and sold real estate across the country. Currently focusing on the Atlanta area where he lives and found most of his success, Tyler has acquired over 1,000 acres where he plans to build his new home. He recently put his current Atlanta mansion on the market.
The penultimate for the person who has everything but still wants more, Perry’s French provincial mansion is perched atop 17 acres with views over the Chattahoochee River off Paces Ferry Road in the upscale Buckhead community of Atlanta. Palatial in every conceivable aspect, the 34,688-square-foot home has seven bedrooms and fourteen baths, stately formal rooms, a two- story library, resort-style infinity-edge swimming pool, lighted tennis court on top of a two-story parking garage, fully equipped gym, spa, theater, hobby house and an underground ballroom with catering kitchen. There are both formal and informal gardens, an entire estate generator, guard house, caretaker’s suite and presidential-level security system including two gated and secured residential entrances. The home has hosted President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey among other notables.
Tyler Perry’s impeccable Atlanta estate on the banks of the Chattahoochee River with river views on seventeen private wooded acres – host to President Obama – is now for sale. Priced at $25 million.
Raoul Beltrame is one of the few that leaves a life behind of opulence to pursue of a dream of creativity with no guaranteed rewards of immediate prosperity. His relentless desire to go after his heart’s calling, led him to New York and eventually to becoming a sought after photographer in the exhilarating industry of fashion. His story is inspiring as is his charm.
“Ciao Bella!” is the boisterous greeting that you can anticipate along with a warm embrace and a pair of cheek kisses upon entering the Union Square studio of Raoul Beltrame. Beltrame, a native Italian fashion, beauty and portrait photographer, has relocated to the dynamic city of New York to grow his portfolio. Despite only having a few years of semi-professional photography under his belt, Raoul is comfortably cool behind his camera.
Growing up in Verona with his family, Raoul’s initial exposure to the business world involved spending his weekends and summers with his brother helping out in the family’s plastics factory. As Raoul was entering his first year of college at the age of twenty-one, his father died and he and his brother took over the family factory. Without any formal business training, the Beltrame brothers ran the family business, overcame its colossal debt, and turned it into a profitable business. Raoul, still in his early twenties, was living the good life, married with a big house and fancy car, and a booming high-society jam-packed calendar.
By his late twenties, Raoul, now divorced, decided it was time for a change of pace and enrolled himself in a one year course at the National Academy of Cinema in Bologna to pursue his longtime hobby of filmmaking and editing. It was during his time at the Academy that Raoul discovered his passion for photography. At the end of his course, he took a trip to New York City to visit friends and it was during this vacation that he purchased his first camera and underwent some photography and retouching training.
The family business in Italy continued to grow, but the Beltrame brothers decided to split up due to creative and management differences and Raoul sold his part of the company in the spring of 2012. Now Raoul would make his living as a photographer and videographer, taking a second trip to NYC. Moving through the bustling streets of the city, Raoul photographed whatever caught his artistic eye or struck a creative chord.
This was the start to a new and exciting chapter in his life. One of Raoul’s Italian friends made an introduction to Maurizio Bacci, photographer to Manolo Blahnik, whom he had known through weekly soccer games. Bacci offered Raoul a job, and with it Raoul made the permanent move to the United States from Italy. As soon as the move was made, Raoul started taking advanced photography workshops with other top photographers and has since has done advertisements for Missoni and Los Angeles-based designer Joe Polthakorn of Vilaiwan Fine Jewelry.
Bright, enterprising, strikingly beautiful, multi-faceted, and an undeniable talent are all ways Jerrika Hinton can be described. In 2015 Hinton can be seen starring as the ambitious and headstrong “Dr. Stephanie Edwards” on ABC’s long running, award winning series “Grey’s Anatomy.” Joining the cast in season nine  Hinton quickly became one of the most talked about characters on the show.
In addition to “Grey’s Anatomy” Hinton is currently in pre- production on SOLACE, an independent film which she is producing. The film is a dark, coming-of-age story about a young girl sent to live with her estranged family after the death of her father. Loneliness and sadness cause her to strike up a questionable friendship with the girl next door, who further pushes her to spiral out of control.
In 2012 Hinton wrote, produced, and directed the short film THE STRANGELY NORMAL, which received the distinction of being official selections at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, Out In The Desert LGBT Film Festival, and the Atlanta Black Film Festival.
RAINE: Can you talk about the moment when you realized that you wanted to pursue a career as an actress?
HINTON: I’ve been onstage since I was a kid so, career-wise, pursuing an acting career as an adult has never felt like a life-altering consideration. If anything, the decision to actively follow it as a profession came about once I was already in the midst of my career; the choice was more about deliberately choosing this life rather than letting it happen to me. Which is a great lesson to apply to so many things.
RAINE: In 2012 your short film Strangely Normal received the distinction of being an official selection at several nationally recognized film festivals. What was it like to receive that type of recognition?
HINTON: Gratifying. You create these stories in a vacuum and, ifyou’re fortunate, they are received in a meaningful way by the world. That’s really what all that fancy ‘official selection’ talk means: “This resonated with us and we have faith it will resonate with others.” It’s strange and beautiful validation.
RAINE: You’ve worked both in front of and behind the camera. Which do you prefer most and why?
HINTON: Ooh, this is a hard one. It depends on how I’ve come into the process: When it’s a story birthed from my own brain, I 100% prefer to remain behind the scenes where I can better care for its growth. Acting relies on different muscles. Similar instincts but different muscles. In either capacity, what’s paramount for me is finding the best way to serve the story — giving myself permission to get naked (metaphorically) and bolster the emotional intelligence good projects are built on.
RAINE: What words of wisdom do you have for aspiring creative entrepreneurs in your industry?
HINTON: Know and understand yourself first and foremost. You are your most worthwhile commitment.
John DeLuca has always known he wanted to be an entertainer. Raised in the small town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, DeLuca fueled his creative passions through various high school theater productions where he honed his acting technique. When he was cast as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, DeLuca’s love for acting was affirmed and he knew that pursuing a career in the entertainment industry would require him to leave the comfort of his home in Massachusetts.
RAINE: Having been raised in a small town, can you talk about your decision to leave Longmeadow for New York City to pursue your dream?
DELUCA: I went to Fordham University in NYC. I didn’t go in as a declared Theatre major, but I felt drawn to the city because I knew it was a place where I could develop the courage to chase my dream. Nobody I knew was going to study anything in the arts in college, and it just seemed like such a different path to be taking. When you’re younger, doing things differently from what’s considered “normal” is scary. After my first year at school as an undeclared major, I had come to terms with the fact that I really did want to be an actor, and that’s what I wanted to dedicate my education to. It was a scary plunge to take, but I did it and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
RAINE: You received your breakout role in Teen Beach Movie. Looking back in retrospect, did you realize that it was going to be the success it is today?
DELUCA: I knew it was a ton of fun to make and that I had met some wonderful friends along the way, but no, I don’t think any of us knew what was going to come of it all. I remember the moment we all found out how many people had tuned in to watch, how popular the movie was, and just kind of freaking out a little bit because we just had no idea it was going to be what it became. It was just so exciting! Then to be able to go back and do it all a second time was incredible. To this day, I’m still kind of in awe that it all happened…and kind of have to pinch myself to remind me that it’s all real.
RAINE: What was it like working on the movie Staten Island Summer with members from the cast of SNL?
DELUCA: It was so much fun but it was also very intimidating at times. I just went into it all as such a fan of SNL so to be working alongside them took some getting used to. Everybody was so nice and such a blast to work with. It was also a sort of comedy workshop for me getting to watch these brilliant people work every day. I just feel very lucky to have been part of the film.
RAINE: What is one piece of advice that has served you best in your career?
DELUCA: Willem Dafoe came and spoke at Fordham while I was a student there and gave us this advice: “Figure out what it is you want to do in life, get AS CLOSE as you can to it, and if it’s meant to be, something will happen.” That has rung very true for me…choosing to move to NYC. Choosing to be a theatre major. Choosing to move to Los Angeles—I think it was great advice.
RAINE: What are three fun facts about you that your fans do not know?
DELUCA: My father is also named John DeLuca so I’m John DeLuca Jr., which is why my family calls me Johnny. I’m an Eagle Scout. I once played Robin from Batman and Robin at Six Flags New England.