Dark Arts

October 25, 2019

Going to the dark side when choosing art

Halloween is becoming a bigger celebration in Ireland with every year that passes. I suppose it’s a factor of globalization but I’d like to think it’s a return of the tradition started here in Pagan Ireland.


It’s interesting that we throw caution to the wind when it comes to decorating our homes for Halloween. At any other time in the year a ghoulish figure in your front window or on your doorstep would be cause for hysteria. In the setting of Halloween though we let ourselves indulge completely, which is great!

The same can be applied to our choices of artwork for our homes all year round. When buying art you should ALWAYS choose work that speaks to you, that you like, of course, but don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone too. Over the years  I’ve spent working with art buyers and having art buying discussions a recurrent theme I noticed was the idea that artwork added to your home must be bright and light. Granted, a light filled and happy painting will bring cheer no matter how dark the day but don’t be afraid to consider something a little more mysterious or atmospheric.

Marmite Factor or X Factor?

dark art

The painting featured in the cover image for this post is from my own personal art collection. We met while I was on a break from the 2020 stand at the Edinburgh Art Fair a few years ago and instantly fell in love with it. I love her expression and unflinching gaze. I love getting lost in wondering where is she standing? In a room or on a beach? How did she get there? Who is she looking at? The unknown is so fascinating to me. Recently I decided to hang the piece up here at 2020 HQ which has highlighted its Marmite status. People either love it or hate it. It’s an unusual choice, perhaps, to display a contentious artwork over a safe one but I enjoy seeing people’s reactions to it almost as much as I enjoy looking at it every day myself

Have a Dabble

choosing art
source: Pinterest

You don’t have to go full on creepy with a darker artwork, of course. The interior design trend for dark colour palettes has allowed us to rethink deeper hues recently which has given a new avenue for introducing darker themed art to our homes. Dark florals are a great, contemporary choice for this (left ) or why not choose a print of a Dutch Masters’ still life. These abundant displays of fruit, flowers, and food are so pretty to look at and a nice change from a landscape or seascape. Aptly for this time of year they also harbour plenty hidden meaning, symbols and surprises you won’t expect. Find out more HERE

Jan Davidsz de Heem, Still Life with Ham, Lobster and Fruit, c. 1653.

Intrigue is a great theme for the artwork in your home. It creates a talking point and gives food for thought. Don’t be spooked by the addition of something with a darker edge when it comes to choosing artwork for your home. Give it a go!

2020 curates art buying guide e book

Need some guidance for art shopping? Check out the 2020 Curates Art Buying Guide E-Book! Click HERE

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