ABOUT ART & DESIGN
The first time I realised I could ‘read’ Art within a more personal context was when I visited the house of a rather eccentric and many times
divorced businessman. As I didn’t know him from Adam, my first impressions of him started taking shape right at the gates, where an enormous black stone sculpture greeted visitors, somewhat threatening in its own crushing nature. The door was opened by his personal assistant, a tall young Italian lady. She welcomed me to the lobby with the grand staircase and some Parnassian scenes, through to his very own Oval Office, on the left side.
The office’s broad stately walls held a sizeable lifelong self-curated art collection. Everything in there was handpicked by a person who had access and means to acquire anything, and yet, had chosen those particular pieces and positioned them suiting his own narrative. The focal point was a large Neo-Classic painting depicting a broken, naked, bald bar a few strands of long greyish auburn hair, female. Equally bared children hung on to her limbs, while she attempted to either hide or cover behind black velvet curtains. Right next to his pedestal desk there were two smaller oil portraits in the same style, the one at the top was of a mad God-like middle-aged man, and the one at the bottom, of a young suffering woman.
The Italian and I became friends. She thanked me many times and years later for helping her to ‘see’ through Mr Bluebeard’s paintings what she was bound to become, had she done what he desired her to. She told me how, on her last day there, she'd swapped the positions of the two small paintings, placing the girl on top of the angry old man, her agony finally seen as ecstasy.
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If Art may offer an insight into both the artist's and the collector's interior landscape, Design presents us with values purposefully and more effectively than words within a business arena. Either by deliberate Design choices or by the unconscious lacking thereof, we all are in a constant state of visual information exchange through the way we present ourselves. It takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person, and only 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about a website. So we better make those milliseconds bloody count.