How to survive in this age of vertigo?
Updated: Oct 4, 2021
“How to survive in this age of vertigo? We must relearn how to see.”
Camille Paglia, Glittering Images
Decorating one’s home with art is replete with a slew of benefits. In an age of scrolling and instant gratification the skill of slowing down and truly looking needs fostering. Anyone can look, but not everyone takes the time to truly see. And to see, by corollary, is to simply take the time to think.
Art incites thinking through conversation. Good art extends beyond the individual into other realms. It liberates, challenges, offends, displays heaven and hell dancing together. It is at once universal and personal. Extending into the home, such thinking through intimate conversations is far more conducive than would be in a gallery space or museum. Unlike a blockbuster show at the Met or a jaunt through Art Basel, at home one has the luxury of remaining in front of a piece of art or a reproduction of a piece of art for an extended period of time looking, thinking, and conversing.
There are a multitude of ways to foster such conversation by allowing art to exist in the home. Art in the home can be made manifest with a beautifully crafted coffee table book, something sold on Etsy, a piece from an antique shop or art gallery, or, if you’re feeling rather flippant, a piece of fruit duct taped to the wall in the hopes that someone takes on the part of performance artist before it begins to rot and smear your wallpaper with mold spots (though if your wallpaper harkens from the 70s there is a good chance this might actually enhance it). While moldy food is not pleasing to have lying about the house, much less be the center of attention, it will at least harken back to Dutch still lives, memento mori, through to contemporary art, etc.. Even the simple act of nodding towards another piece of art sparks conversation. While no substitute for the original (there really is nothing quite like seeing a work of art in person), placing reproductions of great works of art or pieces from working artists, antique shops, or galleries in one’s home is a pertinent way of incorporating greater meaning into living spaces. A means to making living spaces more alive.
Here are five works of art I quite enjoy:
Fine Art America
I have long been a fan of Manet. I could spend a great deal of time getting lost in his brushstrokes and color choices alone before beginning to delve deeper into an analysis of the subject matter, exploration of the time in which the piece was created, comparisons to other works of art, and a look at the artist himself. “Manet et Manebit.”
A simple study of nature.
Elegant lines and cropping evocative of Japanese prints provide notions of reductionism.
The intrigue of Dutch tulipomania and a classic memento mori.
A classic, two in one, Audubon print.
About Kate Riotte
Kate came to LDD from a career in the curatorial department of a major art museum. Having grown up in an old Greek Revival/Italianate fixer-upper house, and through her study abroad experiences in England, Italy, and Mexico, Kate has been and is continually inspired by architecture and design.
Holding a BA in Museum Studies and Fine Art and a minor in Art History, Kate strives to develop her passions for and knowledge of architecture, design, art history, philosophy, good food, and whiskey neat.