Are you, like me, a minimalist at heart, and don't like being crowded in by too much stuff?
Where does all this stuff come from? Maybe you have made a conscious decision to downsize. But it's a moving target.
Marie Kondo and her clutter reducing methods are the tip of a growing iceberg. More like an avalanche. You crave simplicity; wish for an empty inbox, a tiny to-do list, not to mention time to read all those classic books on your bucket list...
But how does this apply to art, because you LOVE art? Art is not clutter.
Unless your walls are crammed bumper to bumper and it all starts feeling a bit like like wallpaper, and new purchases are still unwrapped waiting to find a suitable spot. You have an art overpopulation problem.
Clearly, the solutions are not rocket science. You either recycle ie sell some of it, store it, lend it, send it to your office or holiday house, open your own museum, or do nothing and live with it as it is.
I would argue that it's not necessary to live with the same artworks for the rest of your life. It is natural for tastes to change and develop, and that perhaps it is time to let a work go to make the place for a new one. It's not admitting failure or a bad decision. We move on, and perhaps it's time to for some of your artworks to find new homes.
Art is not meant to end up like wallpaper.
Art is supposed to add life, or drama, joy, tranquility - some deep emotion - to your living or working spaces. If the feeling is gone and it becomes like wallpaper, it's time to act. Once a year I rehang most of the art in my home, pulling it down starting from scratch. Works placed next to different works or in other rooms create vital new conversations. It all feels fresh and amazing walking into a room with newly hung artworks.
Having to choose
As an artist who makes predominantly larger pieces, I often hear exasperated collectors asking about smaller pieces, because 'there is no room'. It is true. Once the walls are filled you have to decide. You can't have it all. There is a choice between acquiring one major feature piece for a wall, or going for a salon style hanging of multiple smaller works. There is a place for both.
Newer collectors often mistakenly believe that a small room can't take a larger work. Personally I love the bold, confident choice of a single dramatic artwork in a small room, rather than hedging your bets and displaying multiple smaller pieces.
The artist's idea matters
Finally, from the artist's point of view, the choice of how big or small to make an artwork is integrally tied to the idea behind the piece. We all know that if Jeff Koons' 'Puppy' were made the size of a real dog instead of a giant, it would read totally differently. In my paintings I have deliberately chosen to depict my female character as a heroic giant, larger than human size. So the paintings end up being big.
As an experiment over the past few weeks, I have been making some very small works. Small for me, that is - forty by forty centimetres; just to see what happens when I model my scale on the likes of Vermeer, Metsu and Maes. I am fascinated by the results. It's such a mind shift.
The big theme running through all of my work is about looking at and empowering the overlooked. In the large scale paintings you are forcibly confronted with a giant woman of mythical proportions. In the new small pieces she is still bigger than her surroundings, as the scale is relative, but it is much more quiet and intimate.
Here is a sneak peek, for your eyes only (almost complete but not quite). If you would like to see more, please visit Instagram and find more progress pics at aerfeldt_art.