Ross, celebrity blogger, interior designer and lifestyle guru is a great friend of Larson-Juhl and has worked on many projects featuring custom framing and the versatility of frames and the impact they can have on home decor. Recently, Eddie Ross hosted an art and framing workshop at Larson-Juhl's Atlanta Support Center for anyone interested in interior design, wall decor and learning more about the art of custom framing. Ross' presentation was caught on camera and is now available for all to see and learn from. Here are links to those video files from the art & framing presentation. Click on the video titles below to learn Eddie's thoughts on how art and custom framing can be used and beautifully displayed throughout a home as well as helpful tips on how to achieve some of these designer looks in your own spaces:
Barry works with the conviction that there are no rules in framing, but to let the art speak. "Go to any great museum," she suggests "and you won’t see white gallery walls. You’ll see the walls painted rich, saturated colors that work with the art being exhibited and that frame the experience of the show." Rather than working with safe and predictable compositions, then, Barry prefers to experiment, often using painted and gessoed frames, or textured fabrics. For a soft, sensual, black-and-white photograph, for example, the simple solution might be a white mat and a black frame. But Barry envisions a silk mat with a bit of texture, then a small warm silver fillet, and then a warm brown matte lacquer on a large frame with a bit of red under rub showing through. "I want to extend the art into the frame," she concludes. "It’s an intuitive process."
Jamie Drake Drake’s single rule, he explains, is “always choose the frame with the artwork.” One’s assumptions and expectations are shaped to be tested. He recalls an eighteenth-century portrait for which he had anticipated using a very simple contemporary frame which would blend well with the furnishings. But, it became visually apparent that a period style was called for, specifically, a carved gilded French frame with a sand finish that matched the softness of the portrait. Customarily, however, Drake’s signature juxtapositions come into play. “Nine Marilyns,” a Warhol Painting, was successfully framed in a Dutch baroque style gold frame with black panels. The painting hung in a traditional room above a nineteenth-century console—where it established a lively and engaging contradiction of styles and periods.
Drake’s view on framed mirrors: “I hate horizontal mirrors. Always go with vertical. It gives a room height. It makes a room stand tall and proud.”
Jan Showers Showers explains that even when decorative periods are mixed, she works with the utmost regard for the art and its period. In specifying frames, she values authenticity and makes it a point to adhere to the style of the painting and its time. "If its a period piece, I like to use the same period frame. It’s also easy to research." She recalls a client who hung a contemporary collage by Robert Rauschenberg over a French, eighteenth-century carved limestone fireplace with a mirror surround. The collage--a medly of images from Los Angeles--rested in a simple black metal frame that had been specified by the artist. And because it was the appropriate frame for the art, it held its own with the decorative quality of the fireplace.
Mark Janson Designer Mark Janson, a partner in the New York design firm of Janson-Goldstein, suggests in choosing a frame, "you have to respond to the overall palette of the project. At the same time, of course, you have to work with the colors and tonality of the artwork. Both of these inform your decision. You can almost always find a way to resolve these." And then if you can’t, he adds, "There is always the option of going for contrast." Even here, however, he advocates a reserved, subtle expression. For example, a black frame that might work for a black-and-white photograph is almost always in contrast to the palette of the project, but it works. Typically, though, Janson prefers to use natural materials, ash or maple that may have been treated with a wash to play with the color. Janson stresses that frames can be used to convey a consistent message not just in one room, but throughout an entire interior.
Matthew Smyth Smyth describes himself as a streamlined traditionalist. As a designer of residential and corporate space both in this country and in Europe, he advocates a variety of styles without any single strong stylistic preference. “When I walk into a room,” he says, “I like to see it in five different ways. I never want to lock myself in.” Still, his rules for selecting frames for fine art and prints are steadfast. Smyth observes two basic principals in specifying frames: “when you are choosing a frame, the art should dictate your choice first. Then you look at the room. Ideally, you come up with something that works for both.”
“The first thing I try to do is pick out an appropriate frame for the artwork. Of course, a funky, heavily carved frame is not going to work with a minimal look for something clean that reflects the spirit of the piece. You never want to overwhelm with the frame. You would rather complement. Of course, when the artwork is really strong and allows it, maybe a strong baroque painting or something really colorful with a powerful presence, then a lavish frame can really beef things up.” Smyth’s second tenet is to choose what is appropriate for the room. “If it’s a large, open space, and there’s room to breathe, then you can pump up the volume of the frame, whether it is in scale, texture or color. But, if it’s a small, intimate space, you don’t want a dark, heavy frame to come down on you.”
Monique Gibson Consistent in all of Monique Gibson’s projects is a strong sense of architecture--scale, proportion, color, a sense of history of design and the decorative arts are Gibson’s fundamental tools. Certainly they are what she uses when specifying fine art frames. "Often, I work with clients who collect serious, important art," she explains. In such cases, she considers not what is right for the client, or the room, but the art. Called upon to frame a painting by Magritte, she recognized "its sense of reserve, its play on proportion. The frame needed to be very discreet; it didn’t need to be another dimension; rather, it was the period at the end of the sentence." On another occasion, a cubist portrait by Picasso called for a stronger, more emphatic frame. Gibson selected a dark wood frame with an almost exaggerated profile. "When it is an extraordinary piece of art, you just do what’s best for it."
Paul Siskin New York designer Paul Siskin, principal of Siskin Valls, uses frames not necessarily as a subtle extension of the piece of art, but fully recognizes that they can be design elements unto themselves. Siskin avows that he is not a "big believer in highly stylized spaces," believing instead that the character of a room comes from art and personal objects. And the frame is part of that; whether it is old or modern isn’t really the point, he says. "I treat frames the way I do furniture. Scale, size, and proportion--these are all much more important than style. Matching periods is not especially important to me. Maybe if you are a really serious collector, you want the period of the frame to be consistent with that of the painting, but from a design point of view, that isn’t so significant."
Siskin states that "I’m always looking for a way to bring a twist to it, to make it more interesting. It’s art. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. But I just can’t help myself." And he remembers working with a client to hang a large contemporary canvas, "The piece itself was horizontal, but it looked really great hung vertically. And so we hung it completely the wrong way. All my client ever said was ‘There will be consequences.’ It’s one of my favorite lines. And I’m still waiting for the consequences."
Inspiration is powerful. Once inspired, magic can happen.