Eye of the beholder: a quick look at abstract art in design

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Eye of the beholder: a quick look at abstract art in design

When working on a project, there are two schools of thought on the matter of using abstract art in design.

The first train of thought is that like any art piece, the design should stand on its own merit. As to what that merit represents is another question.

However, bold statements and unique perspectives have driven our art appreciation and culture for centuries. So isn’t it about time that interior designs evolve to those standards?

The second school of thought is that the art should reflect its surroundings by harmonizing with the colors of the space you are designing, to provide a cohesive environment. In short, art should sit where it’s placed as the place should equally fit the art it houses.

Now, this does not dictate that all art should match its surroundings, but rather “fit” and/or complement its surroundings.

For example, in the image below you will see an industrial space that we had worked on. On the wall, a motorcycle. Now as far as art pieces go, it may not hold its own against Picasso.

However, the analogous color scheme and symmetry it produces in the space create a bold statement. Which brings us to the most important part of the interior design; Is abstract art in design pleasing to the eye?

– Mirabello’s Bachelor Apartment Interior Design –

Whose eye you ask?

Well, everyone’s. But especially the owner who lives in this space.

An interior designer might want to make a big pop or major statement in space by selecting a piece of abstract art that adds impact, both in size and color.

In this case, you could argue that the motorcycle is simply a pop and awe tactic for space. This can create a kind of subjective reaction between the viewer and the subject matter.

However, speak to any motocross enthusiast and you begin to see the inner workings and beauty that go into a motorcycle design and iconography. Sure, it’s bold; art is bold.

But more than that, it expresses the owners’ appreciation for art, as they see it. Not as society dictates.

Art, abstract or not, should intrigue and challenge the mind to rethink traditional views. Yet, at the same time, the designs should be pleasing in an emotional way to each and every viewer.

There is so much more to modern art than meets the eye. Yes, Matisse, Dali, Warhol, and Picasso often top many critics’ lists, but Buell, BSA, and Luigi Colani are just as revolutionary in their designs and aesthetics.

Modern spaces deserve the best that art and design can offer, so when looking for abstract art, keep in mind there is a purpose and meaning in the pieces you choose.

The question should be, what are we really trying to say?

Luigi Colani’s Recorded Breaking Ferrari Testa D’Oro

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