My sister and I visited the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta last year, and it was incredible. Starting as a graffiti artist in the early 1980s, Basquiat parlayed his letters and symbols into art that blends language and image. The childlike simplicity of the images blended with the lyrical elements is interesting and somewhat haunting, given that his work is largely comprised of a social commentary, attacks on power structures, and suggestive dichotomies, such as wealth vs. poverty and integration vs. segregation. One of my favorites, which I have in my living room, is one of his earliest works Cadillac Moon, 1981. I love how spare and linear it is. To me it feels like he’s bringing the outside in[to the world of fine art] with his unfinished lines, quirky symbols and primitive language. He is undoubtedly interesting, whether it’s your taste in art or not. The exhibit of his work felt like a fascinating peek into the short life of a revolutionary artist. To me it is abstract genius – de Kooning meets street graffiti or something. It realky stuck with me and is definitely worth seeing if you get the opportunity.
Side note – Um, fun fact – did you know he dated Madonna ?? Yep, in like 1983 or something, just before her career took off. Bizarre 🤔
I have this inner hoarder that loves to collect unnecessary little items I think are cute. I must have gotten it from my mom, who has tiny little pairs of all kinds of shoes all over her house. Entryway table, by the kitchen sink, in the powder room, on top of a stack of books – all over the place. I always thought it was totally regular and almost unnoticeable until a friend of mine commented on it one day. So I have a thing for all things cute and tiny obviously, but in particular – little bowls and dishes, and small buddhas. I used to save all my issues of Vanity Fair – I like the way the black and white spines look on a book shelf, but then I saw this episode of Hoarders that scared the sh*t out of me and convinced me that’s where I was heading so I threw them all out. I sort of regret it. So the struggle is real for keeping things uncluttered and displaying collections, but it can be done. If you love an object I think you should display it. And if you’ve got a thing for something, build your collection. These items are happy makers. And homes need all the happy makers they can get.
Side Note – For accent bowls, trays, and dishes, Anthropologie is pretty much heaven. Other goldmines I frequent are World Market, Tuesday Morning (I swear they have amazing dishes), West Elm, and various boutiques around Houston. Definitely not into being pretentious with any decor, but particularly my knick knacks – that’s super lame.
So I’m a book lover – big, small, new, and old. I have amassed many over the years, and never plan on stopping. They make me happy, display my interests, and there are so many ways to incorporate them into home design. Not to mention, decorating with books is a super budget friendly way to amp up your decor. Most people probably think in order to be eye catching they must abide by certain rules such as size and color similarity. I disagree. I think they are eye catching no matter what. I do love visual symmetry, but there’s something charming about the imperfect look of all sizes and colors. As you’ll come to find out, I’m sort of afraid of color, so my books serve as that “pop of color” people talk about. I love the way book covers look, and sometimes I take off the paper cover to see if it looks even cooler uncovered. Whichever floats my boat more. From living room shelves, coffee tables, fireplaces, side tables, to brightening up your kitchen, books are the best way to add a personal and stylish touch to any room.
Side note – books can be expensive, I know. That’s why I heavily rely on hand me downs, book gifting, and Half Price Books. Half Price Books is the best unkept secret in the world. If you’ve never been, GO. Like, yesterday. I think I could spend 147 hours there just perusing. I swear I’d work there for free just to hang out if they’d let me.