Objet d’art. The literal translation is an object of art. Art in the home (especially paintings) is often seen as a precious item meant to be framed and situated gallery-like on a wall. Like a postage stamp on an envelope, these pieces are meant to be viewed: as a result, a distinct and separate barrier exists between the artwork and the viewer. But what if this “fourth wall” could be broken? What if you could exist in a painting?
Often in our interiors, we use large paintings as an atmospheric device; these become dramatic backdrops to create mood. This takes painting from mere object to stagecraft – think of the elaborate painted flats found in theatre or opera. Once lowered into place, these enormous backgrounds established setting, at once changing a blank stage into an Italian palazzo or an English countryside. Why not pull off the same encompassing theatrics in your house? Suddenly, you can find yourself dining in the Sudan, amidst a contemporary graphic or in a picturesque verdant forrest. One might consider such gigantic paintings overwhelming. On the contrary, I find large scale pieces provide a peaceful mise en scène to the unfolding drama of life.
Acting as benevolent witnesses, grand paintings can transform any room into an etherial shadowbox. It seems that whatever is placed in front of these artistic backgrounds, becomes elevated. Shakespeare was famous for saying “All the world’s a stage.” Give it a great setting.
Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley
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