Street Art as Design Inspiration
Published: April 20th, 2020
Interior designers are always looking for new inspiration. We may find it in architecture, performance, music, sculpture and of course, exceptional works of art. For me, travel can refresh all of these. Invariably, the rewards are unexpected, like my encounters with mind-blowing street art. I have been fascinated by it since the days of Keith Haring, whose bold work revealed a fresh take on a social or political truth.
Thanks to Haring and others, what once was regarded as graffiti has become a colorful and compelling art form, redefining a space and at times our own place in it. With a designer’s eye, I am strongly drawn to the powerful images and the meanings and emotions they convey, from humor and joy to outrage and even grief.
On a recent visit to Toronto, I encountered some fresh and diverse examples, along with a short title I’ve affectionately given to each.
My favorite discoveries, however, are in San Miguel de Allende, a World Heritage site and artist’s colony in the central Mexican highlands. Over the last several years, the town has provided young artists with a “canvas” of buildings in the neighborhood known as Colonia Guadalupe. The neighborhood now is home to a magnificent array of street art, where I found a number of moving and exquisite examples.
In my home, I awaken every day to a mix of these images and more from my travels, thanks to a Google Chromecast attachment to my kitchen TV. Each is an evocative sense memory of time and place. Through them, I find renewal and inspiration as I traverse these pandemic days.