J and Nathans IconsObelisk Home
The word “icon” sometimes seems a bit overused and misplaced. Someone recently gave the example of Kim Kardashian being called an icon. Before we go any further, in no way are we trying to use her as a negative example, and their are lots of people who would dissagree, but calling Kim Kardashian an icon is a huge overstatement. Obviously, we must have respect for someone who has been able to market and brand themselves so successfully, but lets not assign the word “iconic” to their name.
Carrying on this discussion, I asked J. Kent Martin and Nathan Taylor who their icons were. But first, lets establish what an icon is. To us, an icon is someone who has made a difference and positive influence that can be measured and scaled. There can be more specific ways to define an icon, such as an icon of music, icon of fashion, icon of sports etc. But for the purpose of my discussion with J. and Nathan, I was just curious who they feel has had a positive influence in their lives and a hand in shaping the people they are today.
J. was quick to answer my question as this is something he’s thought about often. J.’s icons range from artists and musicians to celebrated interior designers – influential people like Pablo Picasso and Elton John join the ranks of people who J. looks to for inspiration. Other icons on his list are the irreverent Willie Nelson, designer Billy Baldwin, Robert Motherwell, and Jean Michel Frank.
Next, I directed the question to Nathan. Most of his icons are designers that he admires and seeks out inspiration from. Renown designers like Alexa Hampton and Mark Hampton top his list along with Thomas O’brien and architectural legend Frank Lloyd Wright. He also noted a few artists, including modernist Marc Chagall.
Both J. and Nathan understood what an icon was, and not a single person on either of their lists can be questioned about their iconic status, because that’s exactly what they are. I admit that this topic is subjective, however there’s something about the notion of putting Kim Kardashian’s name on the same list as Pablo Picasso that seems…unsettling.
Icons are talented individuals who have the ability make a significant, substantive difference in people’s everyday lives. To us, that’s exactly what icons are made of.