The origins of Fort Street Studio lay in the adventurous spirit of founders, Janis Provisor and Brad Davis, a married couple of accomplished artists who exhibited at Holly Solomon Gallery throughout the 1970s and 80s. They are represented in museums like the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, Albright Knox Gallery, and international collections both public and private.
After many years of interest in Chinese art and culture, they decided to take a year long journey to China in the early 1990s. Settling in Hangzhou, they traveled, painted and worked on woodblock prints, as well as visited artist’s studios and studied the region’s architecture. A chance meeting with a former manager of a silk carpet factory inspired the couple to collaborate on making a silk carpet for their loft in New York. They had already owned a Chinese Art Deco wool carpet with some small areas of blended tones, so they questioned whether it was possible to make an entire carpet with similar details. Starting with a group of watercolors they quickly painted, then began sampling at a small carpet workshop in an attempt to find a successful interpretation. At year’s end, they had a small 1’x1’ sample that showed some promise.