The Walls Have Eyes

Have you noticed this trend in decorating?

Apparently its cool now to find old portraits, often badly painted ones, at thrift stores and use them as cheap art.  The idea is that its eclectic, quirky, and intriguing.

Personally, I can appreciate it from here, but there is no way I would ever do it in my house.

You know why?  They would all be looking at me.  All the time.  And that really freaks me out.

For example, when I was little I had this painting on my wall.

I know there is nothing inherently creepy about this painting by Fragonard.  But I could have sworn that at night, she would look over at me.  Don’t even get me started on buddhas.  Why are their eyes always closed?!  I expect them to open their eyes and look at me at any moment.  When its just a disembodied head, that creates another level of creepy too.

That could bring me to a whole discussion on mannequin and doll heads in home decor, but I’m out of time.  Hey, if you love it, why not take it home?

So while I can appreciate it in hipster home tours, I am just not cool or brave enough to buy cheap portraits (even classical, well-painted ones like “The Reader”) and hang them in my home.  And no, I won’t be doing any buddhas either, as I believe they would bring me more anxiety than zen.

There are some interesting discussions about these trends here:  Buddhism as Decoration and Strangers’ Portraits in the Home

photos courtesy of apartment therapy, sf girl by bay, and emily henderson

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One thought on “The Walls Have Eyes

  1. I think it’s definitely creepy, but I might consider it if I ever have a large house with a long hallway. (This is highly improbable.) I would probably make sure they were people I knew – like, commission a real person to do stylized old-fashioned portraits of family. It would still be creepy, but in a pleasant, Gothic way. As far as these paintings of strangers go, I know a few psychics who would probably go crazy about bringing the “energy” of an unknown, possibly dead, person into your house. I don’t totally buy that, either, but it’s probably something that would creep me out if I thought about it too much.

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