When I was a kid, and most of my male peers were outside playing with sports equipment, I was inside watching television shows devoted to home decor. Sure, I went outside from time to time, but it was probably to look for foliage and twigs that I could fashion into wreaths or other nature-derived room accessories. One result from my voracious appetite for daytime design TV, especially because this was the mid-90’s, was a persistent interest in sponge-painting the walls of my bedroom. My mom never let me, but as a consolation prize to both myself and my dad, she bought me four paintings with sponge-painted backgrounds. What was in the foreground of these paintings? A baseball, a basketball, a football, and a soccer ball.
I was delighted at the time because I was re-arranging the drawings and posters I had tacked to the wall on a twice weekly basis; the addition of four framed prints really made my room look
classy like it belonged to a boy. Although the sports paintings never quite looked natural next to the autographed Rockapella poster or the drawing of a swan I reproduced ad nausam until puberty, the sports paintings bounced from wall to wall like actual basketballs. I guess in this way I ended up playing with sports equipment after all – just two dimensional versons of them.
Now, when I think about sponge-painting I think it was almost always a mistake. When I see the room in the short film above, I think it could have easily been a mistake if the folks hadn’t made the simple and brilliant decision to only paint half the room. The sharp line down the middle of the bed, floor, wall, mirror, etc. really makes all the messy mess look like less of a mess. The graffiti becomes less overwhelming as it becomes controlled and on the white side of the room, and there are even framed squares of graffiti behind glass. According to TILT (website NSFW) the man behind the transformation of the room:
“Hotel Au vieux panier asked me to design a room, I first told them that I wasn’t interested doing just decoration in the room but I wanted to create something that will look more like an installation. I thought about it also as a huge canvas where I needed to think about the composition and play with the empty white part of the room to accentuate more the idea of Chaos on the other part.”
To use a sports analogy, I think he and his team of collaborators hit a homerun. I’m pretty sure that’s how basketball works.