Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Inspired By: Alberto Giacometti

It is a fact that Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor, painter and printmaker. His art, however, does not conform so easily to categories. Some contest that his work was formalist, while others believe it’s best described as expressionist. Regardless, Giacometti is best known for being instrumental in Surrealist art.

In an artistic analysis of Giacometti’s art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art commented, “The rough, eroded, heavily worked surfaces of Three Men Walking (II), 1949, typify his technique. Giacometti would rarely deviate from the three themes that preoccupied him—the walking man; the standing, nude woman; and the bust—or all three.”

From what we know, walking man was meant to point out the fragility of life. You may have additional interpretations of his work.

alberto giacometti - sculpture

The original 6-foot-high “Walking Man” broke the record for highest art sale at an auction; it was sold in London in 2010 for $104.3 million.

Sculpture by Alberto Giacometti

“Spoon Woman”

Spoon Woman
Photo Courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center

“Head Skull”

head skull scupture
Image courtesy of Acting Out Politics

Paintings by Alberto Giacometti

“Portait de Jean Genet”

art by alberto giacometti
Photo courtesy of Art Stack

Insights Into His Early Life

Alberto’s talent came as no surprise as his father, Giovanni Giacometti, was a famous post-impressionist painter. He grew up in a household where artistic talent was encouraged, celebrated and refined. His brothers, too, had a similar destiny.

He was born a year after the turn of the century in 1901. By 1922 Giacometti moved to Paris to study and learn from Antoine Bourdelle. It was then that he tested the waters of cubism and surrealism and laid the foundation for his career.

Posted by cynthia at 01:06:57 AM
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Friday, April 15, 2016

Decorating with Neutrals: 6 Expert Tips

Anyone who says that decorating with neutrals is boring hasn’t read this blog yet. We get it though––we’ve all been to those 5 star hotels draped in stark white from floor to ceiling, claiming peace and tranquility, when in reality, you’re tempted to spill your red wine on the bedding just to see a dash of color.

We’ve rounded our top tips on how to decorate with neutrals, but if you take away nothing else, please remember our little secret: The trick is to use texture, different fabrics, dynamic shapes to bring dimension and style to your design.

1.Design your room using a color family. For example, you may choose grey and blue cool tones; wood and tan shades; shades of cream with gradients of coral, and so on.

decorating with neutrals in the bedroom
Image courtesy of Fresh Home

2.Choose no more than two accent colors. A few pops of color go along way. There’s no need to overthink it. Glass, bronze and other metals can act as neutrals, as well. 

decorating your living room with neutrals
Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest


3.Use a focal point, such as fine art, sculptures, patterns or photography to bring your look together. When you have an extraordinary piece of furniture or art, make that the purpose for your design. You don’t want too many competing elements. 

focal point with neutrals
Photo courtesy of Fresh Home

4.Bring nature inside to add freshness. Plants, wood, and flowers act like a palate cleanser. One or two pieces is all you need.

jean-marc antiques: decorating with neutrals
Photo by Jean-Marc Fray

5.Use color contrast to your advantage. Black and navy blue work wonders for this purpose.

Ready to get started? Shop the look at Jean-Marc Fray, offering a selection of antiques and vintage furniture, as well as home goods to complete your decorating project.

neutral home decor

Posted by cynthia at 01:05:36 AM
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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Art Deco Inspiration: René Magritte

You may have seen his work and been influenced by his powerful imagery without even realizing. This artist’s unique perspective and witty humor has been an inspiration to many…and we’d love to share his story with you.

René Magritte was a Belgian-born artist. Early on in his career, Magritte was motivated by Surrealist art, working closely with other renowned Surrealist artists of the 1920s to create unique pieces. He earned an honest living in freelance commercial art, specializing in the advertising industry. Look closely at the images; you’ll notice they have a very distinct style.

Magritte created advertising masterpieces in the Art Deco style from 1924 to 1927. His iconic design and thought-provoking imagery has earned him a place in history. Magritte’s art has been featured globally, in galleries like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


René Magritte Art Poster

René Magritte Art Poster

René Magritte Art Work

He also spent time creating sheet music covers, mostly in the Art Deco style, as well. He enjoyed using watercolor, gouache and colored pencil as his mediums. It didn’t take long for Magritte’s work to become a widespread sensation. He was often commissioned to create posters and prints for celebrities.

(For your information, Art Deco style was created in France just before World War I and became internationally known in the 1920s. It’s influences can be seen through art, architecture, interior design and more.)

René Magritte is best known for taking ordinary things and presenting them in a new context, forcing you to reevaluate your perception of familiar things. And that alone is pretty impressive.

Do you have any favorite Art Deco artists? If so, feel free to share them with us!

Posted by cynthia at 10:09:04 PM
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