With Fathers Day approaching, I was thinking about appropriate artworks for men. This led to some reading on the differences of men, women, what they like and why there is a difference. The third Sunday of June each year acknowledges and celebrate fathers and fatherhood. I have to add that this day came about after Mothers Day was established, a twist, honoring the women came first! Families celebrate the gifts of fatherhood in many ways, but with our consumer culture, there is focus on what to buy for the dads in your life. Artwork is a great gift, and as I have written before, it’s timeless, personal, and is available at all price ranges. A few picks from RE artists
An interesting new book, Why Men Like Straight Line and Women Like Polka Dots, suggests reasons why men and women often respond differently to artworks and explores the visual preferences between the sexes. The author, Dr Gloria Moss, a management and marketing professor, examines the reasons for the perceptual differences addressing how businesses can target the sexes accordingly. From my perspective, it is evident when I work with clients, that men and women do not see art the same way, they respond to different things. Moss identifies a number of reasons for this, including that the sexes have different visual and perceptual skills and see color and pattern differently. There was an unexpected experiment recently with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They visited an LA inner-city arts center and were asked to sit at easels back to back and paint. Wills painted abstract shapes with straight sides, and Kate painted a bright canvas, with red circles and grass, with a light-hearted feel
Articles and advice geared towards decorating and designing interiors for men are aligned with this thought. Men relate better to crisp color, rich tones, dark or strong color. Shapes tend toward angular and furnishings are larger. This correspond to art as well. In entertainer Adam Levine's LA home, the walls are black, fabrics a deep red, furnishings large and the art are all powerful images; a portrait of Tupac Shakur, painting by Jean Michel Basquiat and an abstract painting
When I work with a couple on selecting art for their home, it is a process, to find a compromise of their sometimes varying visions for their home. This is often after the design process, whether it's building, renovating or decorating, so hopefully the couple has come to find their visual balance. The photo, Before the Split, by RE photographer Kit Kittle, was selected by the husband for the room he spends most of his time in. He loved the image, the water and the unexpected "floating bubbles".There is a clear direction when you think about artwork that suits men, it falls into a few categories. Men may think they don't know or understand art, but they do know what they like. They are attracted to subject matter that relates to their interests. In Adam Levine's bedroom, he has a wall of photographs from music legends, Stevie Wonder, Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley and more.
An iconic photo of Bob Dylan by Jerry Schatzberg is a focal point of this Manhattan apt.
As a fan of the tv show SUITS, I like the decor choices in Harvey Spector's office. He loves music and basketball. The office is designed around his record collection
and an artful display of signed basketballs.
The unique talents of athletes have long been celebrated by artists and photographers. An iconic photo of Muhammed Ali, is very large and in the entry of interior designer Kelly Hoppen's home.
RE photographer Christine Wexler has sold photos of the beach and surfing to both those who love to surf and those who aspire to or are inspired by, the beach life. The Line Up, captures surfers waiting for the morning waves in Montauk, NY, photographed here in a beautifully designed and masculine den.Ralph Lauren created his business based on an aspirational image of the great American lifestyle. In his office he has a wall of black and white photos, including a large horse photograph that captures his brand.
Horse photography continues to be very popular, it appeals to those who ride but also those that enjoy the beauty of nature, the animal itself and the lifestyle it represents. The featured image is Stampede, by RE photographer Barbara Erdmann. This image captures energy, spirit and we love the reference of charging ahead, with whatever it might be.
There is contemporary artwork that reflects pop and street culture that appeals to men who inspired by music and local cultures. I enjoyed walking through a Jean Michel Basquiat exhibit recently and having my son explain the pop references in many of the paintings. In a room designed by S.Michael Groves, the Basquiat hanging asymetrically brings color and depth to the room.
And for every theory, there is another opinion. Michael K. Corbin, ofTheArtBookGuy talks about "Why Real Men Love Art", " One thing I know for sure", he says, "It’s great to be 'one of the guys,' but real men know how to stand alone. Real men know how to follow their bliss even if it seems like an unpopular or “unmanly” thing. For me, that unmanly – yet overwhelming manly – thing is contemporary art. Contemporary art has taught me that when you stop following the crowd, you become the leader of your own life." I have learned as well that men may think they don't like contemporary art, until they start to explore and learn about it."
The modern graphic painting by Kenneth Noland adds color and energy to this NYC apt designed by Joe D'Urso, filled with mid-century furnishingsA recent client spoke to me of his love for tradition, the European masters, their art, techniques, and the classic beauty of their work. This is what he knew and he was interested in representational still lifes and landscapes for his home. We looked for those, along with more abstract and colorful art that his wife was interested to pursue. It adds another dimension to the art buying process when husbands join to look at art, and visit artists at their studio. They are interested to learn about the process, the connection helps them appreciate and understand the artworks in new ways. In this case, my client learned about and came to love abstract contemporary paintings. He now has two, by RE artist Claudia Mengel, and has been enjoying seeing and exploring their depth and how they enhance their more traditional home. Heartthrob 2
Abstract art doeesn't have to be colorful. Paintings make a great statement in black and white, or the elegant white on white sculptural painting that my clients recently installed. The husband was an integral part of the selection process from the design of their beautiful home through art buying decisions. Driven, by Jeffrey Terreson
I look forward to exploring this topic of men and art further, it's layered and interesting. For me, and my experience, there are no rules for what people will respond to in art. I encourage my clients to look, explore and learn about different genres. For the men in your life, consider artworks that you think they'll like for some of the reasons I talked about. Many of the photos posted are from the RE Pinterest board, Living with Art, take a look for more examples of different artworks in living spaces.
The first Fathers Day was celebrated in 1908 in West Virginia, following the first Mothers Day. In1916, President Woodrow Wilson began the process to pass a bill to make it a national holiday. Subsequent presidents continued to try, but it wasn't until 1972, that President Nixon made it a permanent holiday.
Many of us celebrate the day with the various men in our lives, fathers, grandfathers, and sons. I will happily be with my family, whatever you are doing on Father's Day, hope you have a great Sunday!