HERE’S MORGENTHAL FREDERICS’ JEFF PRESS WITH THE FOURTH IN OUR 20/20 SERIES OF “COMPLETED SENTENCES” OFFERING AN INTIMATE LOOK INTO THE WORLD THAT INSPIRES THE ARTISTS OF THE FRAME IN LIVES FILLED WITH INSIGHT AND CREATIVE ASPIRATIONS.

–JAMES J. SPINA

THE BEST PHOTO I EVER FRAMED WAS… taken by Chris Chieco, of my daughter Mika, my wife Melissa and me, when Mika was about 4 months old. It hangs over our kitchen table and is the greatest example of how a delightful little being can change your entire view of the world. The picture encapsulates the most significant transition of my life, from whatever I was before, to Mika’s daddy and Isabella’s uncle.

MY FIRST CAR WAS…
a 1981 white Mercury Cougar with burgundy velvet interior. When I dropped it off on the day I traded it in, the passenger side door flew open and my friend John almost flew out. Fortunately, John knew of seatbelts, before seatbelts were cool. Honestly, the car was a piece of junk, but I have never loved any car more. What a gift to be 17 and have a car.

MY FAVORITE GIFT TO GIVE IS…
irrelevant. Nobody wants a gift from me that isn’t eyewear. If I show up with a bottle of wine, I get a seriously dirty look, so glasses it is!

I THINK DREAMS…
must remain a constant, and the driver in all the things we do in life. If the time comes where I settle in and stop pursuing new ambitions, I think that would make for a pretty dull existence.


MY FAVORITE ACTOR IS… Bill Murray. From Carl Spackler to Bob Harris, he can do no wrong on the screen. The Big Lebowski is my favorite movie. You didn’t ask, but I never miss an opportunity to mention Lebowski.

THE ODDEST FOOD I EVER ATE WAS…
Hmmm… I am really into food, and eat pretty much everything. I have eaten some pretty interesting things in Japan, but wouldn’t categorize any of it as truly odd. That might be an insult to the chef, and I don’t want to insult that guy.

MY FAVORITE TIME OF… day is first thing in the morning. I typically wake up full of energy and ready to go. I am pretty sure my morning energy is a little annoying to Melissa, but what can you do? I often wake up with new ideas that I am excited to pursue. Plus, usually my daughter and wife run out to give me a squeeze (maybe my wife doesn’t run out as much), which is my favorite thing of all.

AT LEAST ONCE A DAY I… put on headphones and get lost in music. Whether it’s Radiohead or Sinatra, you need to take some time and appreciate the space. I moved to NY originally to be a musician and was fortunate to find the outlet of design to help fill the creative ambition in me. As I type, I am listening to the Velvet Underground, “White Light, White Heat.” You can’t beat Lou.