Art Lately Curatorial Perspectives Featured

What makes a House a Home? These artists show us.

What makes a House a Home? These artists show us.  |  Art Business Journal
Diane Pribojan

In Review, curatorial perspectives on ‘Home.’

We asked our members to show us work inspired by (and demonstrative of) the diversity of human experience circumscribed within the concept of home. Of the many submissions, these artists were selected for their execution and subject matter to be of-note and worth a closer look. 

Sign Unobstructed by Austin Howlett, Harlot's Hut by Emily Pettigrew and Tattered by Paxton Maroney
Sign Unobstructed by Austin Howlett, Harlot’s Hut by Emily Pettigrew and Tattered by Paxton Maroney

What does home mean to you? Is it found at the dining room table, or with a glass of milk, the feeling of being one’s own unmade bed; the totems and talisman that occupy our domestic spaces are both unique to each of us and somehow still familiar to the other. It’s a hard word to define, ‘Home’. Whereas the term is undeniably subjective, there seems a tie that binds many of our human experiences together across space and time. 

If we suppose there is a linguistic difference between a “house” and a “home”, where the word house indicates a structure and its function, and the term home realizes the metaphysical embodiment of the structure, this begs the question: What is home and how can the concept be effectively conveyed through art? 

We asked our members to show us work inspired by (and demonstrative of) the diversity of human experience circumscribed within the concept of home. Of the many submissions, these artists were selected for their execution and subject matter to be of-note and worth a closer look. 

Paxton Maroney offers images of charred domestic spaces like the one seen here entitled “Tattered” reveals the beauty in the broken places all around us. These works serve as a reminder, as the artist has said, that there is “beauty in the broken” while bringing to mind the French phrase “Je me souviens” or “I remember.”  The subject-matter of this captivating photographic-series (seen below) appears almost as a structural embodiment of ancestors of the past, these remnants — with their residue of past lives, call to our attention, pushing us to consider the impossibility of returning home. 

Emily Pettigrew creates largely monochromatic prints that appear at first simple in their composition and formal execution. Yet, there’s a pensive solitude resonating from their simplicity. Take the work seen here; a first-person view of a window looking from the inside out, the view of rolling hills with a neighboring home in the distance beyond a barbed-wire fence feels particularly resonate now, even metaphoric, in this moment of mass social distancing due to COVID 19, where we are all inside looking out upon our neighbors from afar. 

Or ‘Island Hiding’ (above left) offering a contrasting perspective; the shadowy figure of a girl on the side of a 2nd story window. Who is the figure beyond the glass? Is she real or imagined, sheltering, or trapped? The mystery is what makes these works particularly intriguing.  

Austin Howlett creates work that speaks to the whimsical, imaginative aspects of Home. These vivid, complex paintings engage the emotional connection humanity has to nature while further demonstrating the relationship we have to our perceptions of reality. 

The dream state captured in the enchanting series seen here seems all the more powerful as our society collectively endeavors to decide how our future might look on the other side of the pandemic. Perhaps the work resonates so much because the subject matter serves as a reminder that despite what’s happening in the world, there are no limits to the human imagination. 

Natalie Aranda
Natalie Aranda

“Home feels like the tranquility of my parent’s backyard. When you feel safe, it’s easy to look up at the sky and notice the details of how the shadows play across things as the day goes on. Home is where you feel safe.”

– Natalie Aranda has said of her work. 

Honorable Mentions: DIANE PRIBOJAN, KEN CORBETT, NATALIE ARANDA, NOEL FRY further this curatorial interrogation, these reflections, and interpretations resonate with the viewer as both familiar, yet “Uncanny”: the structure of a house so recognizable we must have seen it before, our pets waiting for us at the foot of the stairs, our newborn laying on our chest, the warmth of the sun felt when sitting on our back porch.

Haunted by the confrontation of our own recognitions, the domestic spaces, and objects captured by the artists evoke personal, intimate memories, exposing the diversity of human experience encompassing the concept of home.

Selected from over a hundred submissions, these striking featured works tread the boundary between the importance and the type of domestic structure and those experiences that transform it into a home. What makes a house a home? Is it a physical space or a mental one? These seem impossible questions to answer. Perhaps because so often it’s both.

FA412_NoelFry_CharlotteAndPop (1)
Noel Fry

What artwork do you love that interrogates House vs. Home? What does ‘home’ mean to you? Show us in words or pictures in the comments below!

Artists, make sure you participate in our weekly Curated Open Calls to have your work reviewed with the chance of cash awards and curatorial critique.

 

About the author

Pamela Jean Tinnen

Pamela is a curator, writer, and art dealer who works for a lot of places and does a lot of things. In her spare time, which is on its face an oxymoron, she enjoys playing the drums and writing her forthcoming novel.

She lives in Queens with her husband and their rescue-terrier, who they really thought would have gotten bigger by now.

Artrepreneur Creative Careers Podcast

Listen to industry innovators share their experiences, insights and give advice to help you navigate your creative career.

Podcast Podcast Podcast

Popular Posts

Latest Posts

Latest Posts

Tips to Curate Your Creative Portfolio with Confidence

Hiring managers pay more attention to the contents of your creative portfolio than your work experience. Artrepreneur reviews proven strategies for curating a creative portfolio that lands you that coveted gig.

Must-Do’s for Creating Your Artist Website

Many artist websites fail to capture their audience. Follow these simple tips for creating visually stunning sites that include all the necessary information that will engage others.