“I need to be cripplingly overwhelmed by how colorful everything is,” artist Misha Kahn says. Which made the process of moving in with his boyfriend, Interview-magazine editor Nick Haramis, tricky. “My last apartment was very Patrick Bateman on a budget,” Haramis says. “A lot of glass, metal, and black leather.” Kahn, whose current show at Friedman Benda gallery features his finds from scavenging trash along the shoreline of Dead Horse Bay, was also determined to find a “long-lost gem” and dug deep on Craigslist, emerging with lovely apartments — without windows or running water. The compromise: Haramis promised Kahn he could do whatever he wanted with the space, as long as the apartment itself was “nice and normal.” So, Haramis says, “we now live in a Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”
The living room features a Campana brothers – designed furry couch and fish-scale-adorned chest, and the centerpiece of the dining room is a soft-rubber table in the shape of Denmark, designed by Gaetano Pesce. “Eating anything other than soup on it is an adventure,” Kahn says. The floor-through, on the top of a walk-up in Greenpoint, is a rental, and while that usually limits how ambitious tenants get with decorating, Kahn and Haramis didn’t let that stand in the way of their vision. For instance, in the kitchen, all surfaces save for the oven are covered in what looks like a deconstructed Chagall painting, with one wall plastered in bright-yellow Voutsa wallpaper. Kahn says, “It’s the visual equivalent of an alarm that wakes you up to the voices of screaming children.”
*A version of this article appears in the November 13, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.