Friday, December 03, 2010

How not to hang art

Its interesting how each person's idea of curating art is so different.

I have a number of pieces that I'm framing and have hung some on the walls at home to keep them more out of harm's way than use as decoration.  I had this gyotaku print of starfish framed nicely and was struggling to hang it early one morning. The Other One, who can't bear watching anyone do anything that he believes he could do better, decided he would hang them himself while I was at work.

So when I came home, it was hung.  Just not in a place that even vaguely resembled having connection with other pieces on the wall in either size or position.  The other piece, a similar size and shape was hung on a wall in a corner so inaccessible I'm not even sure how he got it there and it was so high up, you'd need binoculars to see it.

'Hang it' obviously has very different meaning for artists and non artists.  Now I'm not being ungrateful.  Yes, they were hung and yes they were out of harm's way, so technically the task was literally completed.  But in as much as he'd prefer to wield the hammer and hangers, I'd much prefer to prescribe just where they go.


Christiane Kingsley said...

This is so funny, Jeanette. But consider yourself lucky: my husband probably would have ended up making a huge hole in the wall in trying to hammer a nail in:-)
I suppose that we are being a little bit ungrateful:-)

Billie Crain said...

At least your husband tried! LOL Mine wouldn't have even thought to take the initiative. Makes one wonder where the artwork we sell to our buyers winds up, doesn't it?

Casey Klahn said...

I am chuckling. before I learned How To Hang, my wife did my hangings, and she did it very well.

Must be a gal thing.

A Brush with Color said...

This is hilarious. I can totally relate to it, too--Joe is the sweetest man, but I'm always telling him every single picture he's ever hung is ALWAYS tilted. It makes me crazy. And he doesn't exactly have an eye for an attractive grouping.

Your description of this is priceless. Love the works, though!!! They each look great.

Jeanette said...

Christiane, my husband is handy with hammers and all, just a perfectionist. At least in the mechanical left brain side of the world. Perhaps we're well matched, I have no left side, he has no right lol

Good point Billie and another reason why I put that piece about framing art in my last newsletter. It touched on positioning or grouping pieces. I'm sure there's a lot of inconsistent thinking about hanging art out there.

Ahhhh Casey, the females have an eye for order... :) Though all it is are some guiding principles that are pretty straight forward.

Sue, that's cute. No, my husband will get out a level and mark everything off til it makes me insane. However, no tilts. Now I have to do some Hanging 101 with him before he's allowed to put anything else on the wall.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

This will be the hanging strategy by "practical guy" which looks for any hole already made and sticks a pin in and hangs it irrespective of where this is.

I've come across that one before!

I find the other thing you have to watch out for is the size of pin they used for hanging!

RHCarpenter said...

Well, he meant well and good for him to take the initiative - my work doesn't get hung at home unless I do it and gets overrun by all the photographs of his on the walls. I wonder if design is inherent in women - we do seem to know what looks good and what doesn't look good (even if we wear jeans and teeshirts all the time).

Caroline Bray Art said...

This is so spot on. And you know I think how people frame work makes a huge difference as well. I was gallery hopping at Philly's First Fridays art event last night and was horrified by how many times I said to my Other One, 'great piece, I'd have to reframe it though. Dreadful, dreadful frame.' Presentation will catch you the sale, why do so many people not understand that and get it wrong?

Robyn said...

There is no more terrifying sight than a loving and willing husband armed with a hammer!

Nice fish too :)

Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

Y'all are kinda making me uncomfortable :)

Jeanette said...

I've seen that too Katherine then the whole thing comes crashing down. Luckily my little perfectionist doesn't go that route. You could usually hang the QEII on it!

Rhonda, you're going to have to start competing for wall space with your guy. I think women are more aware of their surroundings and what looks good, but not always the case.

Caroline, I've done the same too - seeing a great piece and thinking the frame is crappy. I guess people do try to save money on framing, but in the end it helps sell a piece.

Robyn, the hammer part is ok. Completing the task entirely is the issue with my husband. He starts out with good intentions but gets waylaid. Let's see...he took off the skirting board in the upstairs hall the day we moved into this house 10 years ago. Its still not been replaced.

Ernest, we all know you're just perfection in all you do so need to fear. However, we want to see photos of the art arrangements on the walls of your house now...