Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Art of Being Well Hung

Nothing wounds me more than a home without art.  I am not an art expert, by any means.  I know my history and I know what makes me go tingly all over, but I am in no way an afficianado or remotely highbrow.  Will this stop me form lambasting someones choice?  No, it won't.  But I will always maintain that art is one of the most personal things in your home and what ever you decide to hang on the wall is truly a refection of you.  That being said, if you invested in some Damian Hirst lately, you may want to seek counseling.  And if you splurged on any Thomas Kinkade, you may want to put your money in a trust, to prevent any more questionable spending.

Despite having a strong horizontal line, this arrangement of
'art' looks more like a stamp collection skidmark.  It actually
makes the faux wood paneling look stylish.  I could go on for
days with this room, but for now, lets just focus on the art.

If you are one who is fortunate enough to have filled your life with art, please, for the love of all that is holy, do not go around your house with a hammer and a mayonaise jar full of rusty nails and perforate your walls at random.  There is nothing worse that a sad little piece of art on a huge wall, or a mixed lot random ends forced into submission by a maniac with a hammer.

I always live with a piece for a few days before I hang it.  I move it around, see which wall gets the best light or is the right size, or see what room the piece looks best in.  I also love to hang pieces in groups; artwork can be clustered by subject matter or medium (landscape oils, black and white photos, etc) or even just frame finish (antique gold, metal, wood tone, etc).  The objective is to make an interesting display that is unified and compliments the room and the art.  Don't just slap something on the wall and call it a day.  This is supposed to be something you love, so treat it accordingly.

I recently did an art installation for a client, and amazingly, had the forethought to take photos of the process.  I'm not going to lie, planning it all took twice as long as just swinging a hammer and a whispered prayer, but the end result yielded no remorse, which made it all worthwhile.

- Ian

Step 1: Assess the space to be filled. 
Mine was a staircase wall; tall and expansive.
Note: A collection of art works much better than one
single piece, as the collection can be added to and
manipluated to fit any odd areas.

Step 2: Assess the art.
Lay art out on the floor in a configuration you think
could work.  My common theme is engravings, btw.
Note: Take photos of the winning layout, because you
won't remember when it comes time to hang.
This layout is good.

This layout, not so good.  Kind of boring, too square.

Step 3: Lay it out on the wall.
I made newspaper cut outs the size of each piece of art
and then taped them to the wall to see what it would
really look like.  This way, I can get the spacing right
the first time around, and I can shift the layout around if
it doesn't feel right.

Step 5: Install.
This group has already been added to with
other little treasures we've found along the way.
That's what's so great about an asymmetrical
group like this.  Lots of room for new friends.

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