Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wallpaper Memories

Wallpaper, for me, evokes so many memories. It's probably because I was born the 70's, and my parents' house was filled with crazy wallpaper patterns. Our entryway was lined with a drab brown and beige Toile-esque pattern of farmers, chickens and barns. Our kitchen was overly cheery with a tree motif in bright lime greens, blues and red-oranges. I have to admit, I do kind of miss that wallpaper! My parents' bathroom still has the quintessential 50's peach tiles, but the peachy gold-leaf floral wallpaper is a distant memory. My room was the worst, apple green shag carpeting with coordinating green and white bamboo-patterned wallpaper.

The apple green motif would now be chic in a Palm Springs, Jonathan Adler kind of way. Studying in England in the mid-nineties, I lived in a couple of different homes, renting rooms, etc. The wallpaper trend was definitely prominent there. In one of the places I lived, sickly yellow flowers repeated endlessly on an enormous wall next to my bed. It felt very "mental institution."

In another room I rented, the very home-proud owner boasted daily about her 'William Morris' wallpaper. Needless to say, I've found over the years many of these floral wallpaper patterns to be dizzying, restless, jarring. But, at the same time I'm drawn to them. They conjure up so many memories for me. Lying on my bed as a child, staring into the bamboo, getting lost in it. I've incorporated many wallpaper patterns into my work over the past couple of years:

However, my canvases are now transitioning into a less detailed aesthetic. Yet, I want to keep looking at wallpapers and figure out how their patterns might continue to surface in my paintings. Also, I secretly want a room in my house to be covered with some crazy, over-the-top wallpaper. Just for memory's sake...

*most images were found on flickr (totally addictive!) the Production still is from Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette; and the deer head is from Darr * in Brooklyn, (thanks to *design sponge for the tip on Darr!)


Blogger Nick Sung said...

I once had the good fortune of going into the space between my floor and the ceiling of the store i lived above, a 3 foot high space, and there were all sorts of remnants of the building it used to be. This included many layers of turn of the century wallpaper sandwiched together, samples of which I brought upstairs and separated carefully. Beautiful stuff.

A fun subject and great post. I like your artwork very much, and can see the paper influence. Beautiful aesthetic!

10:15 PM  

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