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on the hunt for good art

What Comes First – Art Or A Blank Wall?

August 11th, 2010 · No Comments

Source: Home & Decor via desire to inspire

This question comes up a lot when I’m working with clients. Is it OK to look for art for a particular empty space in your home? Or should you only seek out art that you love regardless of not having a spot for it?

Hardcore art aficionados definitely poo-poo the former strategy. They see the acquisition of art as a thing apart (and above) from trivial matters such as wall space and layouts. But the opinions of the art elite need not apply to the rest of us! I’d argue that both strategies are legitimate; both work for different people in different situations. And to illustrate the point I’ll share a recent purchase with you all.

If you saw our house tour on Apartment Therapy, you probably saw a large, white painting above the couch in our living room. My confession: I bought the painting specifically for that space! Kind of scandalous? Not really.

As you can see in the photo above (via Apartment Therapy), our living room has one very long, exposed brick wall. It brings lots of visual interest and texture to the space but it’s also very dark and kind of busy. We had hung a collection of artwork above the couch but it felt a bit messy, not clean and stream-lined like I had hoped. I ended up moving the artwork to the opposite wall (see below) which has turned out great! As a result the wall space above the couch sat empty like a big hole screaming out for some interesting art.

Artwork (clockwise from right): Charles Tersolo, Shane Neufeld, EMA, Jennifer Davis, Cate Woolner.

Then I thought about the beautiful work of artist Jaclyn Mednicov, which I wrote about back in May, and how well one of her pieces would go above our couch. Her work was the right size, had the right vibe (calming, ethereal) and would be a departure thematically from our other artwork.  Lucky for me, one of my favorite paintings, Stacked Up, was still available and now looks great in our living room!

I’m sharing this story to prove the point that searching for art for a specific space (i.e. behind your couch) does not necessarily spell trouble. As long as you put in the effort to find something you love and remember to be patient, you’re going about it the right way.

See Kate & Cameron’s art collection here.

The Best Kind of Confused

May 18th, 2010 · No Comments

I liked these drawings by Jaclyn Mednicov the minute I saw them. Their simplicity and grace speak for themselves, and the unruly interplay of order and chaos gives them depth. But truthfully I feel a little deceived and confused that I like these drawings.

Why is this? I’m the kind of person who turns squeamish at the thought of a world without human life. I really dislike the subject and avoid it as much as possible. Yet Mednicov’s series is based on this very subject. As Jaclyn states, “I observe as nature crawls its way to the surface of the sidewalks, train tracks, and brick walls that comprise New York City. Inspired by the imagery of my daily life, I create deserted landscapes…(that) serve as a witness to abandoned human activity.”

So here I am, totally digging these drawings, completely oblivious to the works’ subject matter which actually scares the crap out of me! This unsettling experience is at the essence of what good art can and should make us feel. We look at a piece of art and something feels familiar and something feels off. It throws us off-kilter and forces us to reckon that things are not quite how we thought they were. Great art makes us rethink our assumptions about everything, including those assumptions that lie beneath our consciousness.