Live with art, it's good for you!


Living with art is good for you. I myself live surrounded by art made by friends and people I admire, and almost every day I'm happy to discover something new in a work. Having worked in galleries almost the entirety of my working life there is something really exciting about installing an exhibition in a white box and presenting artists' work in interesting ways. Whether it is drawing relationships between works through group exhibitions or giving one artist the space to present an entire body of work, it's always exciting to see the artwork on the crisp white walls. However I have come to learn that it is entirely more exciting to see those same works in the context of a home, 'lived in' per se.


I love walking in to someone's home and having a 'fancy meeting you here' moment with a work I first met in a gallery or museum setting. Context is everything. A work can take on an entirely different meaning or carry a different weight based on where it is placed, how it is hung, and what is hung next to it. Is it in a bedroom, a living room, or a bathroom? Is it the center piece of a room, or one of 25 pieces on a wall? What is its place within a collection? The moment the piece leaves the gallery and enters a home it becomes activated —a museum can activate a work upon its acquisition as well, but in a different way. The home is such a personal space, and what images we choose to bring into them can say a lot about us.


Certain artists and certain works are of such stature that I've gotten used to seeing them only in museums, books, and galleries; I forget there are people who can afford to own them and live with them. When I see a very famous piece in someone's home it's always a very interesting moment, not because it is any better than any other work, but because I've become accustomed to that work existing within an institutional setting. So as I look through blogs, websites and magazines I've been saving great examples of people living with art—mostly photography.