With Fathers Day this week, I took a look at the subject of men and art. As with most things, men respond differently to artwork than women do. They respond to color, shape and subject that resonate for them personally. I find it very interesting to work with women and men both separately and together as a couple. I selected a few re: artworks that speak to bold color, graphic images and content that tend to be more man-centric. Many of the artworks combine a few of the 6 elements that I have selected.
1. The water. This is pretty universal, the appeal of seascapes and references to water. I find men love the simplicity of the form, the strength of the colors and the reference to a place they find both relaxing and often filled with great memories.
We have installed a series of seascapes in several Park Avenue conference rooms. The serene imagery and colors provide a calming backdrop for the spaces.
2. The color blue. Also universal, but I find the appeal of blue is even more prevelant with men. Many of the artworks included are in varying blues. An abstract work on paper is a reference to the sky and ocean in shades of the "most popular" color.
3. Sports. Surfing, riding, whether it's what someone does or aspires to do, images of leisure, and fun activities are appealing
4. Places. A reference to a place that is familiar or meaningful
This photo taken in Vail, CO has appealed to clients who ski and love the west
5. Graphic images. Strong and colorful contemporary or abstract art appeals to men. I find men are quicker to make a decision, they are more inclined to go with a “gut” feel. This bold large scale painting was first choice for a clients Hamptons home. The wife, more contemplative, wanted something softer. They compromised on a colorful abstract but a bit quieter, that they both loved.
They agreed upon this painting, selected in the artist's studio, was a great compromise with plenty of color and energy to anchor their beautiful Hamptons home.
In a previous blog post, I referenced a book, Why Men Like Straight Line and Women Like Polka Dots, it explores the visual preference of men and women and why they respond differently to art. The author, Dr Gloria Moss talks about their different visual and perceptual skills and how each see color and pattern differently. This is interesting to me, and informs when I work with a couple knowing it is not random why they like different things, they literally see them differently.
I have been a fan of artist James Kennedy’s paintings, particularly the Spatial Collection. I have recently shown his work to two couples. In both projects, the men responded and liked the paintings. The work is more linear, organized, and speaks to a more analytical perspective.
This is recent installation of Kennedy's work in a NYC apartment by Amy Lau Designs
6. Fun or whimsy. A reference to something a guy likes to do or easily relates to. This photo has been a recent favorite with both men and women - there’s something about tequila bottles and great color!
These two photos combine both location and whimsy.
Recently, I was working with interior designer Jenn Mann and her clients, to select individual artworks for both the husband and wife, one that each would love for two different rooms. In a special twist, the wife decided to surprise her husband with the photos he selected. This fabulous diptych was ordered and installed without him knowing. The graphic pair of images silhouetting both a horse and women's back appealed to our client for many of the reasons I suggest men respond to art. It was fun to work with them to find art that was personal and turned into a wonderful surprise and memorable moment for them!
I included this in my last post on men and know personally how true this is. For every theory, there is another opinion. Michael K. Corbin, of The ArtBookGuy 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.”
Father's Day is a day to celebrate the dads in our lives, fathers, grandfathers, husbands, brothers and sons. Art is a fun way to bring something personal into their lives. Romanoff Elements offers a gift certificate, in any amount, that can be used towards the purchase of an artwork that you or they can select.
I look forward to being with my family on Father's Day. Whatever you will be doing, I hope you have a great day!