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Does art make the room or does the room make the art?

May 4, 2021

One of the most satisfying aspects of my abstract photography is seeing the transformation of my work in a home setting.  A special example of this is Mabel’s Watercolor, a custom piece, which was installed at a very large scale: 9 feet wide by 6 feet high. It fills the room with color and is a wonderful memory of a dear friend who, along with his wife, had the vision to “go large”, just as he lived life.

Another transformation occurs with, Finding Gibraltar.  This is a powerful image that looks completely at home in a variety of settings, including the one below.  Finding Gibraltar was inspired by two girlfriends who fought cancer, one who is still with us and one who is not.  To me this work represents the strength of women now and throughout history, with their ability to dig deep, to endure, to love, to give and to survive.  There is a hint of the feminine in this abstract piece and the room handles that, and its strength, with grace.

Another image taken from the same object from which Finding Gibraltar was discovered is Genesis, from my Nebulae Series.

Inspired by an astronomical nebula, the series name and aesthetic conjure images of interstellar clouds of gas and dust sometimes visible in the night sky as indistinct bright patches or dark silhouettes. Genesis is simple and calm and I love how, above this bed, it resembles a mysterious evening sky making one want to curl up and dream of the heavens above.

As for our original question, “Does art make the room or does the room make the art?”, it is most definitely both. The right setting, lighting and a room’s color scheme can accentuate a piece of art, while art itself can provide a needed focal point, draw one into a room, create a mood, and become the highlight of conversation. One thing is certain, the artwork each of us selects can reveal an aspect of who we are and what we want to express.

Are you curious where Finding Gibraltar and Genesis came from? One of the things I’ve learned through macro photography is that the subject matter doesn’t always need to be pretty or attractive to create an intriguing image. Even things like this small, black tray damaged with water stains creates interest. It’s the adventure of taking an item out of context and presenting it in a new light that motivates me to keep clicking the shutter. Using this as a metaphor in life experiences, it reminds me that everything and everyone around us has value even if we can’t see it at that particular moment. In the right light, there’s a wonderful discovery to be made.

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