Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hanging Art in the Home

Hanging Art – Without A Machine Gun

Ahhhh, the feeling of finding the perfect painting or print. You’ve searched hard and finally found the
Metamorphosis by Jody Wright

Promised Land – a gallery/artist that makes the exact 2-D work that you have always wanted. Not just an orphan (one work) but several that you could own. After serious deliberation, you finally settle on one artwork, promising yourself to come back for more later.

Now, you’ve arrived home with your purchase and found that the perfect artwork is upsetting the whole Zen of the room that you planned to show it off in. What to do? You
could either call in an interior decorator or take a chance and do it your self.

Hiring Out

If you “hire out” as a friend calls it, interior decorators or designers are a useful and wonderful person to have on tap. They are knowledgeable about a wide range of fabrics, materials, furniture and how to arrange them. They are usually licensed and are very good at what they do. It comes with a good price tag but after the ID is done with the room or rooms – they can look very finished; almost to the point of an airport lounge. The reason is that many ID’s work for corporations that want a vaguely comfortable or inoffensive place to do business.

Homes are different. They are an expression of your personality. Many people want a designer or brand namehouse with all the furnishings. That’s nice, but after you are done all you have is a house that looks like countless others in the same neighborhood. If you wanted that, you would not have shopped at several galleries to get that unique, wonderful piece of art that you now want to display.

Doing it yourself

Now to the scary/wonderful part. You get to introduce the new 2-d art to its new walls. If the painting/print is happy where you hang it all well and fine. If not that is still fine.
First take all the other hanging art down. Place the new art on each of the four walls until you find the “just right” place. After that start reintroducing the former occupants (paintings & prints) into the room. Group them together in a square, a diamond, or a diagonal going up the wall – lots of different ways. It will add interest to the room. Use the adhesive/removable wall hooks, you can find at Lowes or Home Depot, so that you can reposition the art on the walls until it just says I’m Done!
Consider leaving one wall blank – with no paintings or prints. You can even hang two parallel horizontal lines of prints or paintings; mixing different sizes and shapes judiciously. Just hold back from mixing different art styles together. It can look haphazard. Try mightily to avoid the “machine gun” effect. This is the need to put all same sized prints and paintings on the same level on all four walls. Makes a room look boring and predictable – once again a reflection of the owner.

The polar opposite of the “machine gun” approach is the manner paintings were hung in museums in the 1860’s and 1870’s. Every inch of wall space needed to be covered with a painting. With 12’ to 20’ tall ceilings the effectwas a tsunami of different sizes, styles, and colors art. A total bedlam of art that was difficult to understand or comprehend. You can easily come up with a happy medium between the “machine gun” effect and a tsunami of color and style. The final result is that with a little time and thought you can have a beautiful art collection displayed and have enhanced a latent skill that you never knew you had. One more way to make your home totally yours and not a “brand name” home in a brand name neighborhood.

copyright 2007 Carl Wright

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