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Thursday, 9 June 2011

My Still Life Obsession, Part II

Pieter Claesz, Still Life with Fish

I don't really see how you can be into interiors and not be a fan of the still life genre. After all, beautiful things, grouped in an interesting way with a wonderful light pouring onto them, what's not to like? I like them as things to hang on the wall - they are a great way to subtly squeeze more interiors into an interior! And I get a lot of inspiration from them, in terms of materials, styles, mood etc. and, of course, composition. All things that come into play when I put together a room or re-arrange my ornaments for the umpteenth time. Here are a few of my favourite inspirational still life artworks, old and new.

Jack Cole, Brick Lane E1

Willem Claeszoon Heda, Still Life with Gilt Cup

Jack Cole Centrepoint, W1, 

Georges Braque, Still Life with Chair Cane

Pablo Picasso, Still Life of a Pigeon

Pablo Picasso, Still Life painted wood with upholstery fringe

Giorgio Morandi, Natura Morta, 1953

Giorgio Morandi, Natura Morta 73192

Picture copyright Kate Jacobs
a collage of tear-sheets from one of my scrapbooks, 2007-8

A detail from the above image, notice the photograph behind
the pestles  is of the same ensemble - a nice idea that I
have seen a few times and keep meaning to try for myself...

Carolina Wilcke, Still Life
seen in the home of 
Rolf Sachs, picture courtesy of Sophie Ebrard / Luxx magazine / The Times
(clumsy cropping of the image is my own!)

Marian Padina, Dellview

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

MY HOUSE: Still Life Obsession Part I

I've been putting together a post on why I love the still life genre in painting and photography. I'm not quite finished but it prompted me to pop to the fridge, then the lounge and have a bash at doing my own. I already think of this as my Memento Mori table because of the (pre-Hirst!) skull  and Nixie clock so my work was already half done. More still life stuff coming soon...

Picture copyright Kate Jacobs

Saturday, 4 June 2011

INSPIRING SPACES: sculpture and setting...

Picture courtesy of the Grand Palais

I love to see sculpture in a 'proper' building, by which I mean something other than a white box of a gallery. It brings something to the room and something to the sculpture. If I had big money, I'd plonk huge sculptures all over my house and squeeze my life around them. 

Two striking examples of sculpture and setting have caught my eye in the last couple of days. Firstly, the purple-looking (actually red) PVC Leviathan by the ubiquitous Anish Kapoor at the Grand Palais in Paris. I like the way it fills the space and then some, looking like it's about to pop, Hulk-like, out of what is normally an imposing structure. It has a presence that reminds me of the 2001: A Space Odyssey monolith, as though it is humming with some incomprehensible power. Secondly, Jeff Koons' brightly coloured steel Tulips at the Fondazione Prada. It goes without saying that here it's all about the contrast between this shiny Pop piece and the decaying splendour of a Venetian palazzo. 

Picture courtesy of Christian Jungeblodt for The Guardian
Sorry about the quality, I had to resort to photographing
my newspaper when I failed to find this image online

Thursday, 2 June 2011

You can find interiors inspiration in anything, even Seinfeld

In honour of comedian Jerry Seinfeld playing London for the first time in many years tonight, I thought I'd share this picture. I re-watched all the Seinfelds this year and found that it remains my favourite TV comedy. Perhaps unsurprisingly though, interiors inspiration was thin on the ground. All of the main characters' apartments are terrible, although Kramer has some interesting ideas (levels, wood panelling, indoor porches, talk show sets etc). However I spotted this gem along the way. It's one of (my favourite character) George's offices, although I can't remember which - possibly a short-lived job he had in 'The Barber'. It feels like someone else's set that the production team borrowed. 
Anyway, I love the furniture with its clean lines and metal trim and the pictures, in their flat frames - something I'm very into after years of OTT frames and mounts. It's slick but also unassuming and pared-down, which I like. But what makes it really remarkable as a workaday businessman's office is the unusual autumnal colour palette: brown walls, pale yellow furniture, the orange shades within the artworks. It's as stylish as a 'proper' office (and Seinfeld episode) can get.

' I show up. I pretend I have the job, the guy's on vacation. 
If I have the job, it's fine. If I don't have the job, by the time he comes back, I'm ensconced. 
What's the worst thing that could happen?' George Costanza

The New Country style continued...

I’m building up a collection of images that link on my last blog about a new country style, and my current love of leafy, nature-inspired greens. They all look quite trad, but I'd mix this look with a spot of Modernism, preferably the Scandinavian variety - or vintage Ercol daybeds and benchesThey’re unified by a sense of austerity, often contrasted with the abundance of nature (more rampant botanical prints), also raw materials, especially rough hewn wood. All these shots fall into a category of room I have always loved: places to step into and escape the heat on a hot summer day.

Picture courtesy of Colefax & Fowler

I'm drawn to the absolute austerity of the above shot (and the one below for that matter), and the mix of different greens. I get a real buzz out of seeing lots of green shades together at the moment.  

Picture courtesy of Colefax & Fowler

Picture courtesy of Sanderson

 love the raw wood, tarnished silver and lavish botanical wallpaper in the image above. It reminds me of an old Spanish still life painting.

Picture courtesy of Manuel Canovas

I like the old unfinished wood in the above image. It builds up a patina that it's hard to replicate with a new piece and so in a way it's about rejecting 'new new new' disposable goods and choosing things with proven longevity.

Picture courtesy of Sanderson
This shot includes a few of my favourite things: green things, marble, stone, jam jars and two beautiful plants, 'Mind Your Own Business' and a Maidenhair Fern.