'Ugly' Barbican Arts Center in London Gets Stripe-Clad New Boss
By Farah Nayeri
Nicholas Kenyon brightens his wardrobe in unexpected ways.
The 57-year-old director of London's Barbican Centre – Europe's largest multidisciplinary arts complex – pairs a gray Paul Smith suit with socks bearing a red, green, blue and black grid design.
"I like a flash of color now and again," he says with a chuckle, flipping over his jacket sleeve to reveal similar lining. "I just like not to be totally drab."
Six months into the job, Kenyon is making sure the Barbican isn't totally drab, either. After 11 years running the BBC Proms – the world's largest classical-concert festival, where 272,000 tickets sold last year for as little as 5 pounds ($10) – he hopes to lure a similar broad-based audience to the cavernous Barbican, where conductor Valery Gergiev, musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson and sitar master Ravi Shankar are on the slate.
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