When we consider all the elements of creating interior living environments – furniture, colour, textures and textiles, accessories, lighting and so on – artwork is probably the most subjective and personal.What defines art, and what does it mean to different people?This can span a wide range, from inexpensive decorative pieces found online or in a home store, all the way up to high-value original art works from top galleries. At DEKORA, we use it all – high and low – and for every kind of purpose, from the most basic décor accessorizing with manufactured pieces to selecting high-value original artwork that really speaks to us, and truly elevates the spaces where it’s seen and appreciated.
Since art is so personal and subjective, what better way to talk about it than giving our talented Style Team an opportunity to voice their individual thoughts on the topic? Here then are some riffs on art from four DEKORA stylists (and artists) – Shirley Wiebe, Brent Melnychuk, Barry Weiss and Matt Vanderwerff:
Shirley (On having original art in your home)
It's like having someone's presence in your day-to-day life - both the artist who did the work, and the essence of the work. People sometimes make a purchase to commemorate something - a birthday, an award, an anniversary - so the art is a reminder of the event itself. Art can be a reservoir, like a piece of music that evokes strong feelings. One can look at a piece of art in their home, go through a whole set of feelings and memories that seem to be held in place by the materiality of the piece. There's energy in a good piece of art, even though a piece may speak to one person and not another. It's an emotional response, or connection to a piece, that makes someone want to own it.
I always tell clients that if a piece speaks to them for whatever reason, then just go for it. Your home should have select things in it that make you feel amazing when they look at them. And it doesn't always have to be a large piece either; so many small things can create big emotion.
I also think in terms of ''vibrational objects'' which I liken to what Shirl says about energy contained in a piece. For me it's palpable, and I believe it's the reason that a visit to a great art museum can be exhausting! But that principle (vibrational quality) applies to authentic work only, and it exists in all genres. That is my advice to collectors – we all have preferences in our attraction for genre but authenticity is ultimately more important than category. The thing to do is find authenticity within the genre of choice.
I also think as humans we are wired for the tactile, sensual experience of materials, crafted by fellow humans. Digital art and conceptual art can be interesting and beautiful, but it's short-sighted to assume that new media meets the subconscious criteria for what best enhances a living space. Original art, executed with integrity, intention, quality materials and skill adds value to an environment, and sets it apart.
When it comes to choosing art for interiors, too often artwork is treated as an afterthought. When chosen thoughtfully, art has the ability to transform a space and infuse it with personality. But how does this translate for the homeowner with an art collection comprised of maybe some inherited pieces and an original painting or two? While very few of us will be working with the budget of an art buyer we still want to invest our money wisely in pieces we love. Choosing a piece of art that really reflects who you are and what you love takes a bit more work than simply finding something to match your armchairs, but the process will be as inspiring and engaging as the piece you eventually choose. Finding a work that captures the creative expression of another, defines you and your taste, and can tie a room together may seem daunting, but it’s always exciting. The key here is to not go overboard; be subtle, yet deliberate. Find something that speaks to you.