Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Be Warned! Posting exposes a dark underbelly.

I mentioned earlier that I am and have been interested in the concept of palimpsest.  I like the idea of manipulating something to create a history.  Seeing the history in an object lends dimension to it.  It begs questions and causes subliminal assumptions. Take a scratch  or a dent on a table leg, for example.  It got there somehow.  It was probably a careless maid wielding a vacuum, or some reckless kid crashing his scooter.  Not that every blemish is considered so thoroughly, of course, but the accumulative effect of these micro stories carry undeniable aesthetic weight.  

In NYC, I loved checking out old apartments and seeing these weird things like a truncated door jamb or a seemingly random piece of trim disappearing into a wall.  Walls that have been painted and patched and repainted and repatched for a hundred years get richer and more interesting the wonkier they become.  The corners of the rooms are actually rounded, having been filled with multiple layers of paint.  Imagine the interior square footage lost to coats of paint on Manhattan Island alone!  At $700/month for a parking space, all that paint could be significant.  And how much does it weigh?? Gads.

I want to try to reproduce that 100 year old tenement look with new construction.  I call it Tenement Chique.I did it with furniture and it looks and feels great.  It would be a lot of work but one could do it.  The tough part is to make the layers of history seem appropriate and natural rather than contrived and forced.  I find inspiration for this stuff everywhere.  As a matter of fact, I took a picture
 of something that I will probably not use but it tells a crazy story.  The picture is of a bathroom door in a house I am helping fix up.  Those two gray spots on the door tell a dark and sordid tale of distilled crapsmanship and laziness.  What I think happened was that the last guy who painted this door just painted around the towels that were hanging there rather than taking them down.  I wish there was another answer but the forensic study I made revealed the cold hard facts.  My homage to history shall be temporarily sidelined, for this palimpsestic aberration should not be preserved and celebrated, nor should it be studied and discussed. As a matter of fact, I am going to deny it ever happened.  I almost fear posting such information.  People don't need to know about these things.  

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