living with art

I wanted to post what our living space looks like. We live in a basement, with some french doors facing northeast and that's it. The basement kind of levels off to ground on one side and is under the ground on the other side. The lighting SUCKS. This is the best I felt like doing.

Yesterday I got an email from a friend (artist/blogger) continuing our conversation about art and who buys it, who likes it and why not etc. It was prompted by the economy, a few comments here and there and all the buzz going on about selling art online and our exploring that with philosophical- like musings. (you know who you are and if you want to join in feel free to do so!)

So last night Tod and I were looking around at our walls and talking about my art and who buys it, and who likes it but doesn't buy it and why. I'm trying to think back on my life and the art I owned, most of it was generic. Posters, nick knacks, nothing that I bought personally from an artist. Then when I started changing, reading more, getting into culture a little bit more I would go to some of the art festivals and buy some pottery or whatever. I always felt like they charged way too much and there was still a disconnect with the art as I didn't know the artists from adam and all I could relate to was if it was pretty or not and affordable.

In my thirties I got into an antique kick. I had the lawyers bookcase, the fainting lounge, the drum table. I was getting pretty Victorian if I do say. Somehow I mixed that in with my Arizona Aztec sofa and color schemes but I was always changing things around as if something was off. It wasn't until I befriended a photographer who started making interesting art with calligraphy ink that I got into art in a way that felt personal. I would visit him, hang out for hours in his darkroom with him, sit in his kitchen and listen to music and talk about books while being surrounded by all sorts of strange fucked up cool pieces of art that I realized people could live with art in a completely different way than I had ever imagined. His house was like a gallery (with dog hair and dirty dishes). He didn't have ONE THING in his house that wasn't personal to him. He didn't have the generic shit that I did. He valued art in a way that I wouldn't understand until I myself, (ten or more years later) started living and breathing art.

When I first moved into this apartment with Tod he wasn't really into art, at least not he is now. He was living here alone, care taking an empty house. He had reached a point of blissing out with meditation and gone were the days of striving, needing, wanting, doing. I moved in and was grateful for space that wasn't drafty or moldy (its Vermont after all) but aesthetically it was DULL. He was a guy. He was a geek in his former life. All he needed was his computer, his float tank and yoga mat. I needed less myself. After all, I did leave my 'home' with some things in storage and all I had was what fit in my car and that was camp gear. I had lived a few months in Vermont in a studio apartment and just started collecting RR plates and scrap to make art with. When I moved in I just needed a table and chair to set up my budding art life. I'd let go of needing a home to look or feel like a home, I just assumed I would keep moving on every six or nine months and stuff just bogged me down. So I didn't pay much attention to it all until just very recently.

I've lived here about four years now and it wasn't until this summer that we started making our space inviting (at least to us). I'd never put my art up, I just wanted to make it and sell it. We never did much with the arranging of furniture because it was just furniture and not anything we had chosen ourselves so it didn't feel worth bothering with. Everything was just utilitarian. When I started putting some art up that is when we realized that 'it' didn't go with the decor. You put one piece of art up and you realize you might have to deal with how shitty everything else in the room is! Which leads me to the whole art things and who buys and it and why, which leads to the next post.....


Daphne Enns said...

Hey there. I only have "things" of personal value in my house. I hate prints for the most part although I realize that if someone really loves a certain Picasso then a print is likely the only way of having his work in their house.

I have not committed to hanging my work on my walls. I move them around from place to place. Partly because I like seeing things move around the house where I can see them in a different light and setting. I have two of my photographs up in the living room, but when your beautiful piece arrives at my door I may be chucking my work for yours.

Maybe my point is that sometimes art brings a whole new personality to a home and adding a new personality always makes for new perspectives. It amazed me the first time that someone told me that everytime she looks at a painting of mine (it hangs in her living room) that she feels really happy.

And now I understand that feeling too because that's exactly how I felt when I bought your piece last Friday.

sarala said...

I love how all your art looks arranged on the walls. It all looks great.

self taught artist said...

I like what you say about perspective in the home once you bring new art in. good stuff, hope my art brings that too you when you get it!

thx sarala, its different...its a small space and it seems to work well after we got rid of the horrible large rug and other stuff.

deb said...

your space looks bright and refreshing... ohhh I want to run away from home right now!!

self taught artist said...

bright???? its called contrast settings and editing :)

Liz Curtin said...

Oh to be in Vermont right now, in a clean well lighted space. Your space does indeed look well lit and beautiful with all your incredible work hanging. And that box.... premo!

Kim Hambric said...

About six years ago, I bought a small abstract painting at our local art show. I had been in this woman's booth about 5 times and finally had the nerve to talk to her about her artwork. I told her that I had a physical feeling when I looked at that piece. She smiled like she understood and put her hand over her heart. I told her that I didn't feel it in my heart but in my stomach. She looked a bit offended at first, but I think she got over it. I have purchases three paintings over the years from this woman and I know how I feel when I connect with a piece.

Sometimes this connection fades, sometimes not. It is hard to part with money if you think the feeling is going to fade. I suppose the same thing can be said about relationships. Why should we get involved with another human when that relationship could fail? Why should be purchase artwork (often at high prices) when our feelings toward a purchase might cool?

Purchasing artwork is usually scary. We mot not like the piece in 20 years or even next year. We may fear our friends will think we are strange. We expose ourselves when we purchase "real" art.

I've never understood why someone would pay $5000 for a sofa, but would not part with $1000 for a meaningful work of art.

Your home is definitely you. I love how you have surrounded yourself with original artwork. What a great way to live, whether the artwork is found and free or costs one's life savings.

Ellen said...

I love Kim's comments. For me it's monetary. When I had money, I purchased art, and got on a streak where I craved buying it so much I had to stop myself from spending my mortgage money. There is no way I'd hang a decorative mass print in my house anymore, but I can see how other people wanting nice looking things just want it to coordinate and be in fashion and that's where Ikea art and retail places like that come in. It's just the division of people who care about art and people who are indifferent.

Your pieces look great on your walls. Posting that is great advertising. People can see how well your pieces fit in any environment.

Bob Johnson said...

Your place looks so cool, hey my bsmt, where I spent most of my time, I like to call it "The Den", looks like a Photo Gallery, all my stuff of course,lol.