John met Yoko in 1966 at her Indica Gallery Show in London. The conceptual piece he was intrigued by required him to climb a step ladder then use a magnifying glass to read a tiny word on the ceiling painting.
Those were different times. The corporate blandness of today’s culture with its numerous liability laws prevents one from participating in the type of dangerous behavior Ms. Ono encouraged.
With that lofty introduction one can almost feel the great art coming on. Or maybe not. Maybe I’m just coming to the end of a two-and-a-half year decorating phase and tying up loose ends.
When The Joy of Man’s Desiring was hung last year (emphasis on the hung), I knew I had to finish it off with a proper setting. I finally got around to it last month. Joy now floats on his blanket above a sea of Vault from the Evans & Brown Treasure Collection. Accent lighting is provided from behind a shield of polyurathene.
This love affair with ceiling medallions has yet to gain acceptance with the Academy of Home Decoration Arts and Sciences. The deco appeal of the geometric shapes just hasn’t translated well when they’re on the wall. When David from Boston was here he looked at the hexagon-split-in-half fixtures and said, “they look like rat traps.”
It’s the type of wicked aside that is so prized in my alternative lifestyle. This was no gratuitous queeniness, however, his message came through loud and clear. I was trying too hard and it wasn’t working.
I decided to make the hexagon whole by gluing it together and then tarted it up a bit. What I really wanted to cover it with was a black chainmail from New York that is $60 a yard. A little pricey for a novice who can’t sew. I settled instead for an electric lime sequinned piece from the discount bin at the fabric outlet. It was $4.83.
Sequins sewn on top of material are too two-dimensional and not really what I wanted. These baby ones are imbedded in netting that form one layer which lies flat. The color and texture are reminiscent of Monet’s moss floating at Giverny. The fabric feels right at home. My apartment often carries the stench of a polluted pond.
There’s a homemade quality to these things I do that makes me squirm. Mom’s got herself a zig-zag and she’s sewed some new rick-rack on her apron, ain’t it purdy? But, as with all my projects, there’s nothing to be gained by a close examination of the workmanship. I’m better at ideas than I am at execution.
To quell this self-doubt I settle myself by asking if the piece has the right impact. If it does, we move on. In this case, at least I’ve solved the problem of confused rodents scurrying around wondering, “hey, what’s this?”
To finish my light fixture I wanted a simple word like Yoko’s that packed some punch. I chose a four letter one that Bill Bryson, in his book The Mother Tongue, has called one of the most elastic in the english language. It can be used as an adverb, adjective, noun, verb or simply as an expletive. When used accurately, it can also describe a situation that is a lot of fun.
I shan’t say more as I’d hate to diminish the sense of discovery you’ll feel when you visit.