Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Real Estate Art #4

Robert Boyd

For this installment of Real Estate Art, we're going to leave the wealthier precincts behind and look at a more middle-class offering in Mangum Manor, just north of 290. This is one of those houses that looks pretty boring from the outside but is actually quite interesting on the inside. And this is how I think of the suburbs in general: you drive through subdivisions full of houses that from the outside display almost no sense of individuality whatsoever. But sometimes when you get past that front door, you find creative, eccentric, even daring people.

So this house has numerous pieces of decorative wall art, some quite amusing (a framed poster for Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman, for example), but what interest me are two pieces of art that look like they are originals, each showing two faces.

Two woman, one wearing a tiara, clearly having the time of their life. Are they necking? Not sure. This painting doesn't wow me with its execution, but it does impress me with its subject. Usually when I look at the art on peoples walls in the real estate listings in, I find my stereotypes of the kind of art that the owners of such a house would like brutally confirmed. Back in the early 90s, the Russian-American conceptual art team Komar & Melamid conducted a poll to find out what kind of paintings Americans would most like. The results were, of course, absurd (but really funny). The inherent flaw with their approach is that they asked questions. A better way to approach it would be to see what Americans actually like based on what they choose to hang in their homes. That's what you get when you look at a lot of these real estate photos, and after a while, it all starts to look the same.

That's what I like about this house. These two double portraits are so unexpected (and so fun) that I want to meet the people who live (lived?) inside this house that from the outside seems so ordinary. The second portrait appears possibly to be a work in progress. Could this be the home of an artist? Does anyone recognize the work?


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