Art with a Mop?

September 8, 2011

As an artist I like watching the design shows on TV.  HGTV has some good ones.  I don’t mean the shows with those young, affuent househunters who whine about having to have granite counter tops and hardwood floors.  I mean the makeover shows where a drab space is transformed by a skilled designer into a bright, modern setting anyone would feel lucky to live in.

But there is one problem I have with these make over a room shows.  While the dsigners do wonders with wall color, fabric, furniture and accessories, what they hang on the walls is often thrown together at the last minute.  The designers seem to believe they can throw together an often large piece they call art with little thought and very little time.  To me, what they come up with is not art.

I saw the worst example ever of this on HGTV within the past few weeks.  The designer wanted to hang a large piece of art on one of the walls.  So he laid a maybe two feet by four feet piece of something, maybe wood painted white, on the floor.  He took a string mop, dipped it in a pail of bright chartreuse paint and made sweeping, “S” curves on the surface with the mop.  He then hung this creation on the wall as art.

“No! No!” I wanted to cry out.  “This is not art.  Art requires thought and feeling and time.”  We hear a lot these days about eating food grown locally.  Why can’t these designers apply the same principle to art?  Why not ask their client if they have a friend or relative whose art they admire and whose painting, ceramics, etc. would be a meaningful addition to their their room?  Or they could visit a local art fair or the studio of a local artist to find just the right piece.   Much local art is quite affordable.  Some artists sell prints of their work that are even less expensive.  So if redesigning a room is something you plan to do, support your local artists.  You’ll both be glad you did.

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