Thursday, April 26, 2012

Decorative art

I read about Cayce Zavaglia in Elle Decor and was so impressed with her arresting embroidered portraits.

Yes, they are needle point.  The last is a close up.

 I thought about a friend & fellow art student from undergrad days, Chris Bogia, who makes incredible art pieces from meticulously placing yarn to create large scale portraits (among other things).  Here, famously, his album covers of essential idols Joni Mitchell, Nico & Nina Simone  

yarn on wood, glass, walnut, rope, West Elm rug, ceramic

yarn on canvas, fabric, West Elm hardware, wood, mirror, glass, Jonathan Adler ceramic greyhounds, water, dye, dog leashes

yarn on wood, ceramic, wood, George Nelson sconce, West Elm Rug and side table, glass, personal lubricant, cock ring

 Yes, those 2D pieces are made from all yarn.

His pieces are also quite arresting, I mean check out the highlights in yarn!  I love his "meditation on a Jonathan Adler pillow" pieces.  

Meditation on a Jonathan Adler pillow (It Gets Better)
yarn on wood, wood, Jonathan Adler pillow, glass, Jonathan Adler customized rug

Meditation on a Jonathan Adler pillow
yarn on wood, Jonathan Adler pillow, West Elm side table

There is more to Chris and his art installations: shrines to gay culture, for example, but what resonates with me most is his passion for decorative arts.  At a time when we were so young and incredibly earnest and identifying ourselves, Chris had unwavering confidence, skill and chutzpah.  He always had a passion for decorative arts.  What could be considered secondary, even kitsch to our molding sensibility, decoration was an art form to him.  It makes me proud to be a decorator today.  I find creating beautiful spaces to be incredibly important and I think other people understand that when they experience it.  It just took me longer to define my path.

Can't help thinking of Joni's "Blue" playing through our shared apartment all semester while we studied in Florence.

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