Archive for Abstract art

Playing House

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 9, 2011 by jganolik

The other day I told a friend about my plan to decorate one of the walls in my apartment with painted tiles.

“You have an apartment?” she asked, with an excited gasp, “Since when? Where is it?”

“Oh you know,” I said. “Some days it is in Philadelphia. Other days Washington DC, and every so often in London or Paris.” For an instant I thought I could fool her into thinking that I had invested in seasonal homes.

“Oh,” she said.

“I’ll have it soon,” I said. “In a year or two. I’m in the preliminary planning stage now.”

By “preliminary planning stage,” I meant that I had spent hours flipping through pages of Crate and Barrel catalogues, pacing around the fake bedrooms at Anthropologie, and looking up “artsy coasters” and “kitchen wall decorations” on the web. I think step two may be to hold a hypothetical dinner party at one or more of IKEA’s kitchen tables. But all in good time.

It’s only natural that, since I’ve been spending so much time around people who have their own apartments, I’ve begun to mentally design my future one. The interior of the place changes as often as its location does: sometimes it is Asian themed, with bamboo sticks in vases and framed flower prints or Chinese lettering on the walls, and other times it is filled with prints by Kandinsky, Rothko, or Chagall.

The newest version, the one I tried to explain to my friend, has an elaborate scattered tile collage on one of its walls, inspired by tilework that I saw at an Indian restaurant a couple weeks ago.

The piece that I’m the most excited about is the bookcase. Yes, I know this makes me sound like a huge nerd, but the bookcase is going to be the most prominent piece in the apartment. It will have asymmetrical shelves, some of which will hold books and others which will display various storage bins and chachkes. I just need to figure out where to put it.

I could be conventional and put it against the wall:

I could let it join forces with the TV and be a bookcase slash entertainment center:

Or, if I’m really pressed for space, I could do what any rational decorator would do, and mount the case on the ceiling:

I always make sure that my friends are in the loop about the apartment’s current decor. And either because they are invested in the project, or because they’re tired of listening to me ramble on about this fictional abode, a couple of them have given me real objects that I can use once I move in.

These quirky champagne glasses, for example:

And these snazzy “London” plates:

Of course, the rest of the furniture, kitchen supplies, artwork, and lighting fixtures are stowed away in a folder on my computer desktop titled, “Apartment dreams.” If only I could upload them into life-size forms for free. But hey, you never know, by the time I sit down and sign my lease, there might be an Ap for that.


The Artsy Side of Jersey

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 26, 2009 by jganolik

There is this summer art festival that’s held in Collingswood, a town about twenty minutes away from me, and it’s become a tradition for my family to go every year. Basically the main street gets filled to bursting with tents, in which artists, jewelry makers, handbag designers, etc. display their work, most of which is for sale. Some artists come back every year, but for the most part, there is a good deal of variety. There were a few booths that really caught my eye this year.

One artist constructed animals out of old car and bike parts. This was neat, because some of the animals (dogs and snails, I think) functioned as things such as wine holders, or salt and pepper shakers. There was another jewler who made earrings and neclaces out of recycled iced tea and soda cans, and other recylcled objects. I was particularly drawn to her display of typewriter key earrings. She somehow extracted the letters and symbols from the keys and replaced them with different words. For instance one pair said, “kvetch” and “kvell.” Another said “artist” and “poet.” The pair I bought said “read” and “write.” The paying process took longer than I expected, as the man running the booth gave me this whole schpiel about how I should send him my picture so he could show it to his 23 yr old, jewish, med student son (this was mainly because I understood what the “kvetch” and “kvell” earrings meant), but that’s beside the point.

The most interesting booth at this year’s festival belonged to a man named Paul Laoria and was filled with his mostly abstract oil on canvas paintings. He attended Juliard, and was very insistent about telling the story of every painting. Two of the pieces really stood out to me, and one is hanging in our living room at the moment; it’s called “After the Ball,” and according to Laoria it depicts the view of someone looking up at confetti and streamers at the end of the night, at a ball:

(After the Ball)

That was the painting that my mom ended up buying. The one that I liked the most was called “Rainbow Symphony,” and it was supposed to depict just that– the way a symphony would appear, if it were seen and not heard. The reason why I loved this piece so much was that I thought it captured music so well. It also made me think about how it might be cool to have synaesthesia, and be able to automatically match musical notes with colors:

(Rainbow Symphony)

Anyway, just thought I’d share, and if you’re interested in the festival, it’s in Collingswood, NJ, this year it was at the end of July (not sure when it’ll be next year, or whether there will be one in the middle of this year). If not, it’s a nice, quaint town with funky coffee shops, restaurants, and other crafty stores, so go check it out!