Archive for the ‘fireplace’ Category

DIY ART & MANTLE-ING

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

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I’ve been trying to figure out a number of creative (aka ‘frugal’) art + framing solutions for a few design projects that have kept things busy busy around here. The whole art thing still remains an ongoing frustration at this house and tends to be a difficult finishing detail to get right at most all design projects. Problem is, poorly installed or wrongly scaled crappy art will ruin a great space almost immediately. Right? Like In the same way how good art can make a blah space seem incredible.

FACT. Art isn’t easy. Framing can be costly. Budgets like to be tight. Details are something something.

As an attempt to work around the art + framing is kind of hard + expensive issue, I’ve been experimenting with a number of DIY art ideas and affordable ways to create large scale pieces that must (and most importantly) avoid looking super DIY or like total crap.

So, an impossible goal pretty much.

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A recent project left me with a stack of scrap paper tests I’d printed out as well as some small frames that, like a hero, I have bravely reused and slapped together into something that is sort of like art. Now these two minimalists framed things are living large in the newly updated and simplified mantel vignette. Bold moves considering these are just some Target frames stuffed with scrap paper I pulled out of the garbage.

So, yes, this is some framed garbage displayed on my mantel. Stylishly.

I’m a fan maybe.

Well, at least this project was easy and cheap and pleases my eyes. Budget art success.

I mean, it’s not like I wouldn’t prefer to hang a bunch of Donald Judd works on paper instead of this DIY solution. I’d also prefer to have the big baller style art collector money required to make that happen. I don’t so that won’t happen. But for now? My kind of funds can make more DIY garbage art happen. Or I can go nuts and splurge and get working on something LARGE SCALE. Bigger is better.

Till then. I guess.

BRUTAL

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Just got back from Alt Summit, where weather and snow are apparently allowed to happen. Not cool, Utah. Not cool.

I’ll spare you any girly bloggy wrap-ups for now, but just you wait. If I had taken more pictures besides a slew of ‘hold on, wait? is this fucking snow? Is it SNOWING? What?! Why don’t I have a scarf’ shots, there would be so much more blogging happening.

But it snowed.

I was offended.

How dare you, weather.

Nothing was so brutal in Utah as this bit of brutalist wall sculpture waiting for me back home in the desert.

Not even frozen rain.

Even Bowie was offended when I relayed the sudden brutal conditions that I suffered through by relaxing in a hot tub and drinking a glass of whiskey. Life is brutal. Well, brutal in Utah where girls must wander to the state run liquor store and cleverly disguise whiskey at the hotel pool.

Fooled you, Salt Lake.

And yes, I still need to address fixing up the fireplace with a wood mantel and new coat of white paint and plant life and so on, but I am exhausted. There was a lot of meeting of folks and great roommates and talking on panels and parties and other amazing things that went down that now my little introverted heart needs sleep.

Glad to come home to this one thing solved. Feels good to finally find something like art for above the mantel.

BOOM.

 

FIREPLACE

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

A little while back Laure and I went through her storage and pulled out a few portfolios filled with large scale photos she had taken during art school. We framed one great landscape for her bedroom and it looked so crazy amazing that she graciously let me borrow this softly colored desk shot so I could have a big ‘ol framed photo as well.

I hung it and looked at it and then texted her a picture of everything installed.

While it’s a great piece, we both agreed that it was being completely overpowered by the fireplace. Off to another spot with you!

The area above the fireplace has been an ongoing struggle, with many unsatisfactory incarnations including these – HEREHERE - HERE.

The problem is scale.

Our ceilings are a standard 8′ tall, but the fireplace rides pretty high on the wall allowing for a mere 37″ of white space above the mantel. Two thin windows flank the fireplace on either side and their top moldings create a weird invisible horizontal line across the wall. When anything hangs near or above this strange visual trickery the ceiling begins to feel really low, while conversely, the art appears to be hung way too high.

Then there’s that mantel.

Blech.

Overly fussy and completely under-scaled, this has been one of those “I’ll get to it projects” that never seemed to be gotten to. All I’ve ever imagined doing was installing a simple but chunkier wood mantel over the top of this thing. Something boxy, something easy to build, something budget friendly.

Excuse my terrible photoshopping, but a solution as simple as this uncomplicated wood box would be better scaled and suited for the fireplace mantle, easily constructed and pretty cheap materials-wise.

Screw it. Why not go all change crazy and paint the brick a lighter color like a soft gray/almost white. Or go slightly less nuttier and paint the thing a true black.

(I’m leaning lighter – if for no other reason than to shake things up)

Over the mantle art-wise is still an issue. I’ve hunted for the perfect long and lean piece to snuggle up into that strangely proportioned spot and have come up with ZERO things after almost four years of searching. Time to DIY.

Surprise surprise. I can’t afford a Stella or a Judd or any blue chippy art. I mean, I wish I could – that would be INCREDIBLE – but I can’t even find an affordable no-name modernist abstract painting or mid century fiber art wall hanging, let alone ANYTHING that’s both famous and super long and lean.

Making some fauxart has long been a noodle in my brain (and something I have done before). Why not. Faking it is fun.

I’ve been mocking up a few different (easily made) options – but SHOCKER – this long/thin composition isn’t widely popular with artists whose work I dig. Or really any artists. ‘Cause it’s weird.

Firstly, a fake Ed Ruscha, well actually it’s from his art book THEN & NOW. I don’t know, it’s not a favorite – I just always liked that project and this typography. Plus this would be so easy to make.

Next idea was a fake Matthew Brannon. I always liked his larger scale installations – like the Whitney limply coiled eel, a reoccurring motif in his work. It’s the right scale and I love an eel.

Otherwise, most of the artist’s work that I love looks awkward as hell squished into a format like this or is too labor intensive for my quick and dirty faker style. I though I could pretty easily pull-off something text based like a Weiner or a Holzer or a Shrigley or a Nauman or even a Baldessari – but nothing felt quite right (even though I love me some Weiner).

I’ll always remember this story a teacher once told me about going to another rather famous artists studio. He was admiring all the Jasper Johns and Warhols (or things equally blue chippy) and asked about the pieces. “Oh those? They’re all fakes – I just made them. Come on, I can’t afford that shit.”

Mantel first, forgery later, methinks.