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 I was attracted to the colors and the color fields, along with the general downtrodden, or at least severely outdated, decor.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 Lutzwhen 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.)