'A' for Art

Collecting Art

My quest for new art has gotten me thinking…

The May 07 issue of Elle Decor featured the loft of a “smart, eligible” man with amazing art (“Single Minded”). His home was stunning, but I was also a bit bothered by it all. Every painting, every photo, every objet d’art was by a famous artist. Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Chuck Close, Barbara Kruger, Ellsworth Kelly… I’m sure the list goes on. The furniture was equally recognizable. Barcelona Chairs? Check. Vintage Bertoia? Of course.

Yes, hello young bachelor. We can see that you have a lot of money – how nice for you. Your loft is beautiful. It’s all a bit predictable though, isn’t it?

If you had scads of money at your disposal, would you turn your home into a Modern Art 101 museum? It seems to me that a home like that isn’t for appreciating art, but rather for impressing people. Maybe that’s the point?

I’d rather walk into a home with art that’s there because the person that lives there loves it. Prints from Etsy? Great! A screenprinted gig poster? Love it! A drawing from your niece? Frame it and hang it prominently! And hey, maybe you can afford that Chuck Close portrait… Amazing! But only if it’s there because you love it.

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  • Melissa
    May 9, 2007 at 11:57 am

    “It seems to me that a home like that isn’t for appreciating art, but rather for impressing people.”

    Ding ding ding! That is so indulgent. Is that guy’s taste really THAT generic? Sure, I’d love a Chuck Close painting, but not over my couch. That’s just weird!

  • Anonymous
    May 9, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Oh you are so on point with this one! I felt the same thing when I saw it! Totally predictable. I wouldn’t want to sleep with that guy I’m sure he’s a control freak.

    I could not detect one item that showed individuality.

  • sarah *
    May 9, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Exactly! My walls are more screenprinted poster & art made just for me by friends, than framed “impressive” print… and that’s the way it should be. Decorating isn’t about impressing anyone but yourself, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Anonymous
    May 9, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    I haven’t picked up Elle Decor in a number of years and now I remember why! A lot of these home decorating magazines are filled with people like this. They’re in such a hurry to decorate a place. It took my parents years to decorate our home, but each piece had a story.

    I like that design has become more democratic, but sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

  • K
    May 10, 2007 at 7:25 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I frame and help my clients find art and I can’t tell you how often they want what’s ‘in’… as opposed to what they actually LIKE.

    And then I do have a few who have taken years to accumilate what they have hanging on their walls. And it’s amazing! Each piece has a memory, whether it was a special trip when they first got married, a childs drawing/painting or something from a funny little shop and they paid $10.00 for it. It doesn’t matter, they love it.

    Anyways, I am a bit of a lurker on your blog but I love seeing the transformation of your new home. :) I wish you luck in your search for art above your couch. I have the hardest time finding things for myself and an even harder time framing them. ;)

  • casapinka
    May 15, 2007 at 8:45 am


  • Anonymous
    July 20, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Hi all, (sorry in advance for the mistakes and typos. I’m French)
    I agree that often the spaces displayed in those magazines are not personal. There is a reason why all these spaces look alike : people don’t decorate their houses themselves, they call in a professional interior designer. Plus at some point they probably end up shopping at the same stores.
    I have to disagree with you on one thing though : Having something recognizable in your home (an artwork by a famous artist or classic furniture like the Barcelona Chair) is not necessarily a way of showing off. These are gorgeous pieces and if I could afford them, I sure would buy them for myself. Don’t blame people who have money for not taking the time to shop more “eclectic” at second hand stores or whatever to find the perfect piece of furniture for their dining room. There is a reason why most people buy a $100 sofa at IKEA or a $20 table at thrift stores. Most of the time, it’s not because they want to be eclectif, it’s because they can’t afford the more expensive things that rich people buy.

  • suzanne cabrera
    March 17, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Cheers to this!