For our “Artist Spotlight” blog posts we like to share some of the artists out there whose work we admire, many of whom we like to use in our projects and even (when the price is right) collect for our own homes. If you follow the art world at all, then you’ve probably seen one of American artist Mel Bochner’s outrageously colorful “word paintings.” Bochner has become known for his vibrant blasts of all caps sans serif letters using color to highlight some words while hiding others. His work is at once playful and totally jarring. His color palette is deceiving as it’s not until you get up close (like for example, in the painting below) that you realize the deep existential cynicism of his work. Bochner told Art News recently, “It seems that people like to have their pictures taken in front of my paintings. The paintings seem to touch some universal way of expressing people’s negativity. Maybe having your photo in front of one is a way of taking psychological possession of that negativity.” We say, whatever works!
The design firm Leroy Street used one of Mel Bochner’s “Blah Blah Blah” paintings in a modern East Hampton home, below. Below, “Blah, Blah, Blah” from Bochner’s “Thesaurus” paintings (2003-11).His smaller scale pieces are great too and work well in gallery type walls. A smaller piece like this one, below, would be fun in a home office or even in a kids room.
More of Bochner’s “straight talk,” below. “Chuckle” is one of my personal favorite ones because I love the words.If you live in NYC, we highly recommend a trip to the Jewish Museum to see Bochner’s exhibition “Strong Language” going on right now. Ironically, Bochner’s first job in New York was guarding the halls of the Jewish Museum almost fifty years ago for $1 an hour.