Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Secret Life of Living Room Chairs

Ah, suburbia. Land of quietly bloated mortgages, neatly kept lawns, and the tyranny of unspoken codes of conduct. I heard of a subdivision once that banned homeowners from working on their own cars in their own driveways. Sends the wrong message was the company line, thus confirming the presence of weird pseudo-elitists among even the middle class. It takes a real artist to successfully capitalize on the tensions of relationships among average people in average neighborhoods; thankfully, Melissa Bryant is a real artist. Her favorite metaphors? Chairs, imaginary monsters, and intersections. Of the three, the power of the chairs, arranged always with a subtle but deliberate spacing that creates personal energy in the composition, may be the most mystifying. Family Portraits 2 and 3 represent this effect nicely, though each of the chair portraits is effective in its own right. (For a great conversation starter, place a print of Group Therapy in front of your guests and ask each person to identify the chair they think is moderating the discussion.)

Bryant’s creatures of fantasy, however, are no less figurative than the chairs. In Dryer Monster, a familiar snapshot of the ubiquitous “kid-eater” that every child imagines lurking just behind the dryer door, a familiar irony similarly surfaces in the idea that where we hide our unmentionables, other unmentionable things have a tendency to hide as well. And then there are the intersections. As mentioned earlier, suburban streets aren’t typically considered image fodder as powerful, as say, the concrete jungle of Harlem, but then again, none of Melissa Bryant’s art is typical. These are textured illustrations intentionally bereft of a human subject, encouraging society, as the famously de-populated draft of La Grande Jatte did two centuries ago, to seek meaning from the very environment it takes for granted. (And meaning you will certainly find.) Love this stuff yet? If you do, you’ll be thrilled to know the winner of today’s giveaway will receive the Melissa Bryant print ($20 or less) of his or her choice. To enter, visit Melissa's gallery here, then come back here to tell us about your favorite print. Wishing Willow subscribers earn an extra entry; be sure to let us know in a second post if you’re a subscriber. To post without a Google account, just click “anonymous.” Be sure to also leave your email address. The winner will be chosen randomly. Contest ends 10/30/08. Best of Luck!

**We have a winner! Jingle who said, "Okay, I have two that I love! LOL! Circle Time with the red chairs is amazing, but I like the Modern Chair print, too! I love all the reds!"**

150 comments:

Irit said...

My favorite is family portrait 3 - print. The armchairs are great.

iritca [at] gmail.com

Irit said...

I'm a subscriber.

iritca [at] gmail.com

Anonymous said...

48th and vernon - print

Nora
neneelynn@yahoo.com

mrs.mommyy said...

I like the bird, big time and black and white- very adorable..my favorite out of those bird Mrs.Mommyyatgmail.com

Christina said...

Christina - xristya@rock.com - I like Melissa's Black And White And Read, with the beautiful zebra filled with words and the red birds!

grndbaygal said...

i like the balloon print with the penguins.

Jenn S. said...

There are three I really like. One is the curiousity and the fish - print.

zoe hunter said...

I like the:

wingback (pink pattern) - print

Fun, whimsical and cute. love her work. thanks for the contest.

zoe hunter said...

I am a subscriber and have your button on my blog :)

Jess said...

Wow, fantastic giveaway! I love "octo-monster (from the imaginary monster series) - print."

jess^^^4002 [at] gmail [dot] com
(without the ^^^)

Jess said...

I'm a subscriber!

jess^^^4002 [at] gmail [dot] com
(without the ^^^)

Jamie said...

family portrait 5 is definitely my favorite!

jamieATohhowlovelyDOTnet

Jamie said...

Also a subscriber!

jamieATohhowlovelyDOTnet

Shel said...

Love the "Sleepy Tails" print.

shel704[at]aol[dot]com

Croasla0 said...

i like the black and white and read all over print! lovee zebras, too cute.

Lauren
croasla0(at)sewanee.edu

Melissa B. said...

Sleepover is my favorite.

sarah said...

i love the red fence row print!

fertawert AT yahoo DOT com

Allyson Hill said...

I love the nursery school print, I only wish I knew somebody who taught it because this would make a perfect teacher gift! I also like Underwater Library.

Allyson Hill said...

I'm a subscriber!

Kirby McCauley said...

I love Underwater Library!

mar said...

I like the Balloon Print - so cute.

Caligirl said...

I like the intersection.

mommyjen99 said...

I like the big time - print'cute little bird
jen62728@aol.com

mommyjen99 said...

I am a subscriber
jen62728@aol.com

Tanya W. said...

I like "black and white and read all over (mint green) - print"! Thanks for the giveaway.

oneinamil23 said...

i love the red fence glow one - gorgeous!!!

autumn398 (at) yahoo.com

masmola said...

Black and white and Read all over (pale ochre) is my favorite, it's very cute!

janehixon said...

I can't decide between Group Therapy and Nursery School........I love them both!

Erica C. said...

black and white and read all over is neat!

Shannon said...

I like the solitude print

mverno said...

the ocot monster is cute

betty R. said...

enter me please.I really like several but my favorite would be black and white and read all over (pale ochre)..the kids would probably like the dryer monster!

oldplace.betty(at)gmail.com

AmandaK said...

I just love the black and white and read all over (mint green) - print. It's really cool!!

orchestratenoise0726[at]yahoo[dot]com

windycindy said...

The "Nursery School Print", "Black, White and Red All Over" and "My
Favorite Umbrella are all so adorable to me. Please enter my name in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

windycindy said...

I am subscribed to your blog. Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

lisagee said...

47th and longworth - print is my fav!

Tonya said...

The Shower Monster Print is cute.

judybrittle said...

I just love the Underwater Library print. That is really cute. Thank you!
judybrittle at aol dot com

judybrittle said...

I'm subscribed
judybrittle at aol dot com

ky2here said...

I'm drawn to Red Fence Row. It stands out from the rest of the collection. I see why it's listed at the end of the last page. It's very intriguing and much more abstract. I love it.

Kelly said...

My favorite is underwater library. I have to admit, I might be just a tad biased since I am a librarian :)

wordsmoveme(at)gmail(dot)com

Kelly said...

I am subscribed

wordsmoveme(at)gmail(dot)com

the blubaughs said...

I like family portrait 1

Nicole said...

My favorite is My Favorite Umbrella.

ShaunJoy said...

Love the Underwater Library! Books and animals are both quite popular around our house.

shaunjoy(at)juno(dot)com

Baba said...

I love the Wingback. So comfy looking!

Mia J. said...

I think the Underwater Library is wonderful.

vboackle said...

i like the green dot club chair.

amy said...

I love the imaginary monster series...those are too cute!!!
red fence row is very pretty



lilhottemomma @ yahoo . com please enter me!!!

dcala said...

My fave is the black and white and read all over (pale ochre)

Jingle said...

Okay, I have two that I love! LOL! Circle Time with the red chairs is amazing, but I like the Modern Chair print, too! I love all the reds!

Jingle said...

I am a subscriber!

j.p. said...

I like "black and white and read all over".

PS said...

I'm such a chair nerd that I am in love with her prints! WOW! My favorite, at the moment is family portrait 4. I'm going to have to put these on my christmas list!

Kimberly said...

I really like the one called "Bathroom Monster" because my son is afraid of the bathroom at night by himself (why, I don't know), and he's 9!

The one called "51st and Richardt" is really very pretty too. It's sort of sad and lonely in a way.

Thanks for a great giveaway!

I am a subscriber too!!!!!

HunnyV "at" Optonline "dot" net

AmandaSue said...

I like the balloon print

Abby said...

Can I tell you as a children's librarian myself I really need that underwater library one!

ajcmeyer AT go DOT com

Kathleen said...

Ok, here's to hoping I finally win something from you. You have the coolest art giveaways and I'd like to hang some unique things in my house so my son remembers them fondly after he grow up (and tells all his friends how strange his parents are).

I love the Underwater Library and black and white and read all over (pale ochre. Thanks Wishing Willow!

Kathleen said...

I subscribe at katwalck at hotmail dot com

Rachel said...

My favorite print is underwater library.

megankortepeter said...

Love family portrait 3. Reminds me of my parents.

Barbara said...

Sleepy Tails is my favorite. Thanks for the contest!

3oink63moo484 (at) gmail(.)com

Katie said...

I really like the black and white and read all over (pale ochre) - print. Lovely.
katiekarr at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

'dryer monster' FTW!

KYL3

msrodeobrat said...

i like the autumn landscape

Genevieve P said...

I think my favorite is underwater library--but I also really like the umbrella and balloon prints.

Anonymous said...

Love the Dryer Monster. I alway wondered what happend to the random sock. justphil indy.

Jess V. said...

I like the modern chair 01 (bubble burst)print.

melissad.williams said...

I love "black and white and read all over (mint green)!"

Brimful Curiosities said...

underwater library - print. I love books so much that sometimes I wish I had 8 arms, so that I could be reading and doing other things at the same time. (Books on tape just aren't the same as print!)

Anonymous said...

I love the color of the Red Rence Row. I also love the Underwater Library -- it's raining here and my love of reading matches the Underwater Library. These are unique and beautiful!!

Rasa said...

underwater library

Rasa said...

i'm a subscriber

Roxy said...

i like the sleepover print.

hockiemack@hotmail.com

Jennifer said...

red fence row
thanks

Anonymous said...

I like Melissa's Sleepy Tails and Group Therapy.
She has drawn a picture of my brother and I and it was wonderful. She is a very talented individual.

kenneth.ohare@yahoo.com

Lisa said...

I like the black and white and read all over. angel_2417@yahoo.com

Smooshy said...

the shower monster!

kdkdkd said...

I love the black and white and read all over (mint green) print

Anonymous said...

I love the Underwater library, and I also LOVE the Black and White and Read. I already have one on my wall...would love another one!!!

elaine said...

I like the Black and White Zebra Print-so fun!
Elaine R
emrosser@shaw.ca

Sue Farrell said...

I like the Red Fence Row

farrell@crosslake.net

Sheila said...

I like "Black and White and Read All Over". Thanks.
Sheila
chiliburger@icehouse.net

Mee a Bee said...

I love them all! modern chair 01 is fantastic just what I need in my living room - the chair and the print.

Mee a Bee said...

I'm a subscriber!
I also love modern chair 2.

Janice Golden said...

Red Fence Row
Jaleigh78[at]aol[dot]com

Sarah Kate said...

I love the family portrait 1. I am a chair person as well. I have a collection of mineatures all over the house. I cannot resist them.

Sarah Z said...

I love the Red Fence Row!

Thanks
Sarah
believedreamcourage (at) gmail.com

Roberta said...

My fave is the My Favourite Umbrella - thank you very much.

rhubbert(at)socal.rr.com

Roberta said...

I subscribe, thank you.

rhubbert(at)socal.rr.com

cathyhall said...

Hi, I love Snack Time, the elephant eating the ice cream. - funny.

cathyhall said...

I subscribe.

David said...

Hi, I liked the Balloon Print. Great give away, yet again, thanks so much.

davidjnorris at ntlworld.com

Heather said...

curiousity and the fish

tiff said...

the red fence row in my fave!

texan_michael(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

DEY said...

I love Sleep Tails and Crowned. Couldn't decide between the two. Thanks for the giveaway!

j.p. said...

I'm a subscriber.

Jeanne said...

I like the Black and White print - very cute with the zebra.

- Marybeth I. said...

red fence row - print

- Marybeth I. said...

i like the red fence print

ms hamy said...

I love the shower monster!!

silverbele said...

Sleep over for me.

Kari said...

curiousity and the fish - because I LOVE cats (we have 5) very cute.

VIVI7729 said...

water friends is my daughter's favorite!

Harry Barbee said...

beechwood dr
Butchbarbee66[at]aol[dot]com

Sunnyvale said...

the cat in the animal prints

Ann said...

I love the black and white and read all over (pale ochre) - print. Thanks for the great giveaway!

ann dot guns at mac dot com

Ann said...

I'm a subscriber.

ann dot guns at mac dot com

littlelatina said...

my fave is black and White and read all over

vmkids said...

Sleepover is my favorite

Heather said...

The underwater library would look really cute in my sons room

jnmacdonald said...

I like nursery school.

rosannepm said...

fitting in

Aunt Cindy said...

The Optic Bloom was gorgeous!

Karen said...

I love the 48th and Vernon print.

ktgonyea at gmail.com

Amy said...

I like black and white and red all over! I remember this joke from when I was a child.

paula h said...

Black and White and Read All Over cracks me up :) I would pick that or My Favorite Umbrella.


hafner611 {AT} gmail {DOT} com

Erma said...

black and white and read all over is cool.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

Kitty said...

I like the red fence row - print

yadgirl said...

I like dino-monster.

rachelfox1981 said...

My favorite is the underwater library - print. I'd love to hang it over my bookshelf! Thanks for the opportunity to win!
rachelfox1981{at}yahoo{dot}com

dwazdip said...

My favorite is "Underwater Library." What a cool bunch of prints! Thanks for introducing us to it!

Lia said...

Sleepy Tails. skyskyaa11(at)gmail(dot)com

Salleefur said...

I simply love the adorable "Curiosity & The Fish" print and "Red Fence Row" print is stunning! ("Sleepy Tails" is very cute, too!)

John said...

I love the whimsy of Underwater Library.

John said...

I subscribe

Emily said...

underwater library please!

Emily said...

& i am a subscriber.

Hanna said...

My favorite print is either button-tufted chair (brown) or circle time.

Hanna said...

I'm a subscriber.

Alorinna said...

My fave is "black and white and read all over"

alorinna@gmail.com

Alorinna said...

I subscribe :)

alorinna@gmail.com

klp1965 said...

i like the the big time - print

Xenia S said...

I can't decide between my two favorites: my favorite umbrella and black and white and read all over. They're both great!

Thanks!
xpsundell(at)gmail(dot)com

djgroz said...

Sleepover

Jennifer said...

I like the underwater library. I'd like to be, under the sea, in an octopus'...library!

seahorses4us said...

Melissa's Black, White and Red is my favorite.

seahorses4us said...

I'm also a subscriber.

purango said...

beechwood dr. is my favorite. garrettsambo@aol.com

sheriamore said...

I like the zebra with the red birds...sheriamore@gmail.com

sheriamore said...

I'm a subscriber

sheriamore@gmail.com

Kathryn said...

I absolutely love black and white and read all over in mint green. So unique!

khowell4115 AT hotmail DOT com

donna444444 said...

I like the black and white and read all over (pale ochre) - print
donna444444@yahoo.com

arvard said...

I like the balloon Print with penguins.

Helen said...

My favorite print is: Modern chair 2 (fuschia stripe).

Rockin' Mama said...

My Favorite Umbrella is my fav

How cool that they're sold in Edinburgh! ( I used to live there!)


jasonncaryn at yahoo dot com

Heather said...

love underwater library. that's perfect for my own little library!

fancyfeet48 said...

Sleepover is my favorite

lilyk said...

I love the shower monster print!

lilyk said...

I subscribed to your blog.