Like many of the artists whose work I feature and own, I discovered photographer Stefanie Klavens at the School of Museum of Fine Arts sale in Boston. One year I was eyeing the photo of the two double beds (second photo below). It looks to me like a dreary motel room, though it’s titled Guest Room. I was attracted to the colors and the color fields, along with the general downtrodden, or at least severely outdated, decor. My husband very much didn’t want me to buy it. I didn’t.
That’s ok, because the following year I purchased the gold-hued living room photo of Klavens called Henry’s Paintings. I didn’t make the connection between them then, though now looking at them, it’s obvious these two interior photographs were taken by the same photographer. It’s hanging in a grouping of four photographs in our family room over our sofa, in a sort of compositional echo.
My favorite work of this mostly interior photography series that Klavens calls “How We Live,” is the first image here. To me, the pink and green living room interior really stands up. Swap out the art and preferably the shag rug (though a hip inhabitant could make it work) and you’re all set. Anna’s Parlor could work too, with its Jonathan Adler vibe.
Klavens describes the series as “the small-scale drama of everyday life.” She dubs them “portraits of people through the places they inhabit,” depicting “life captured as still life.” Klavens is inspired by “banal” and “mundane” scenes that hide clues about how people live. She says, “The images are empty and uninhabited, yet one senses a human presence just out of reach.”
In addition to this interior photography and similar exteriors of swimming pools, hotels, and the like, Klavins has photographed a series called “Theaters and Drive-Ins.”
Stefanie Klavens studied at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where she received a BFA and was awarded a Traveling Fellowship. Klavens has an upcoming exhibition this summer at the 555 Gallery
in South Boston.
My mother-in-law introduced me to the fanciful marine-inspired art of New York City artist Sarah Lutz when over Thanksgiving 2012 she brought me to the the Miranda Arts Project Space to see the installation Interplay, a collaborative work by Beth Dary and Sarah Lutz. This marine-inspired art installation mapped out the sea levels of Port Chester, New York waterways—past, present, and future—using sculpture, painting, drawing, and collage. I loved it; the overall concept and look, and the close-in details. (You can see my blog post about it here.)
I’ve since met Sarah Lutz on the Cape, where she spends summers, and have been tempted by her pieces at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. Her current exhibition Tales from the Garden . . . And Other Mythologies is currently on display the Mercy Gallery at the Loomis Chaffee School, where Lutz is an alum. The scale of the pieces is much larger, thanks to the freedom she found in her new, larger studio.
Here is a mix of work Sarah Lutz’s show at Loomis Chaffee, as well as the marine-inspired art of hers displayed in my living room.
Origin | Rapture
Fissure (Mint Balls), 2014
Aegean Cluster, 2012
Sidewalk Series No. 2
County Fair, 2012
Hanging Garden Series X, 2013
Cenote Series No. 6
Pan’s Reverie No. 1
Surge Series 2
in collaboration with Beth Dary
Surge Series 10
Sarah Lutz + Beth Dary
Surge Series 1o on the shelf in my living room.
Mercy Gallery at Loomis Chaffee School