Sunday, February 5, 2012

Colorways/ A Golden moment

Photography: Marcus Hay
Left: Olga De Amaral, "Alqumia X111" Wall Hanging, 1984, at The Met
Right: Recently acquired Italian 1950's wall scone from The Garage Markets

Photography: Marcus Hay
Left: Detail of Holiday window at Saks Fifth Ave Department Store, NYC, Right: The Royal Palace, Sweden  

Photography: Marcus Hay, Left: The Royal Palace, Sweden, Right: A Syroco piece found at The Garage Markets

Photography: Marcus Hay
Left: David with the head of Goliath, Bartolomeo Bellano, C 1470-80, The Met
Right: Shop Installation of sprayed gold twig and net at ABC Carpet & Home

Photography: Marcus Hay, Left: Stencil set found from The Garage Markets, Right: The Royal Palace, Sweden 

Photography: Marcus Hay, Left: Detail at the Chelsea Markets, Right: A Greek Chalice at The Met 

Georges Briard products, Image to left from, right:

Various golden design silhouettes from the Mid Century 

All that glitters is gold according to me, it has me quite transfixed but is gold a color? Not technically, it is really the color of our most treasured metal but regardless in decorating it is a current favorite of mine. I am not one to use it in a garish tacky way of course (which it can), more in a patina-influenced way like faded glory. I love the way gold looks in old European palaces, often used in a detail, in the molding on a wall or in other decorative elements. I particularly like paring it with dusty pastels, dusty butter yellows, aquamarines, pinks and lilacs for example. The Swedish and the French from others eras knew how to use it well in particular.

Gold does surface quite a bit in Mid Century design, In particular in the U.S with the work of Ukranian-born designer Georges Briard who moved to Illinois in 1937 and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Georges Briard is the name he used on his commercial work, but his given name is Jascha Brojdo. His whimsical designs featured gold heavily on such materials as glass, and porcelain in many forms such as vases, plates and other tableware. Gold featured heavily in many products of the period, the fifties after all was a kind of golden age where industry and design flourished. There was often a throwback to other eras in the movement known as Hollywood Regency when designers from Hollywood's Golden Age as early as the 1930’s, like William Haines and Dorothy Draper, encouraged West Coast film luminaries to decorate their home with overtones of glitz and glamour, with this a new design style emerged and has resurfaced as late as just as popular. 

Gold according to Wikipedia has been highly valued in many societies throughout the ages. In keeping with this it has often had a strongly positive symbolic meaning closely connected to the values held in the highest esteem in the society in question. Gold may symbolize power, strength, wealth, warmth, happiness, love, hope, optimism, intelligence, justice, balance, perfection, summer, harvest and the sun. Gold certainly makes me feel enlivened, while some may shy away I am embracing it’s optimistic values and finding while a little can be a lot, I really enjoy using it in my work and at home.  

1 comment:

  1. I think people shy away because it can be garrish and tacky if used in the wrong way. But like you, I like to use it for details. It brings out the best in many of the objects or fabrics that surround it in an interior.