ny.07.#34, by Jennifer Sanchez
The farmhouse walls of my childhood were mostly bare, save for a garish painting made by my mother's cousin Robert that hung above the piano. Against a bright teal background, thick with brush strokes, Robert painted a simple vase, from which protruded the spindly stems of a dozen flowers. The flowers were modeled after a daisy, in colorful shades of red, white and yellow, each oblong petal distinct. At the center of each flower, Robert glued a shiny resin drop - gold, black, or clear - that caught the light and stared back at us, like unseeing eyes.
The painting was so hideous that it was compelling, so ugly that people who walked into the room could scarcely keep their eyes off of it.
It was lucky, I suppose, that we had the painting at all, as my father believed that art was a sign of vaingloriousness at best and the creation of false idols at worst, and thus we were encouraged to decorate the walls with dried flower wreaths instead.
Cousin Robert is no longer with us - bless his heart - and the painting has long since disappeared from the space above the piano. The edict on art at the farmhouse has changed, and now the walls are filled with botanical sketches and family photographs. I asked my mother about Robert's painting when I was home last month, and she vaguely recalled throwing it out at some point. I certainly don't blame her, but I feel an odd longing for another glimpse of its unabashed fugliness.
Which is a very long-winded way of getting to today, and my current obsession with art, and the ways I strive to collect beautiful pieces even though I don't have the cash to become a "real" collector in any sense of the word.
Hemi, by Don Hamerman
Ladies and gentlemen: 20x200, a Jen Bekman Project. Great art for hardly any money. Each week, the project reveals two original prints by an emerging artist: a run of 200 for $20 each, and a run of 20 for $200 each.
20 x 200 isn't news - it has been around since last September - but I wanted to write about it today, because, after following it for months, I love it more than ever. The whole experience - from viewing to purchasing to the pitch-perfect logo - is flawless.
The pieces are fabulous. I don't love them all, thank goodness, but they're always great fun to browse through. The Google Checkout experience is seamless - elegant and more intuitive than PayPal - and makes it easy (too easy?) to buy. Each piece comes packed inside a protective plastic sleeve, in a sturdy envelope, into which is nestled a certificate of authenticity and the edition number.
Every time I purchase one, I feel - well, giddy.
OTHER PLACES I FIND GREAT ART:
Kal Barteski's Tiny Art. I love the way she captures tender thoughts and feelings in these tiny pieces. I bought one a few weeks ago, and what can I say: I love it.
Inkdesigner. You never know what you're going to get when you purchase on Etsy - I've had both good experiences and "meh" ones, but that's part of the fun.
Where do you find art online?