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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

10.21.2002

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please  
do touch 
how to make a texture art wall
by Yee-Fan Sun
|  1 2 3 4

Donít get me wrong: I adore looking at art. I love touring galleries, and roaming museums, and browsing through big beautiful coffee table art books. But thereís one thing about the typical art experience thatís always bugged me: those foreboding all-cap PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH signs that have an irksome tendency to dot the walls of institutions of fine art. Yes, I understand the terrible impact that thousands and thousands of grubby, germy, oily little fingers might have upon a treasured work of art, but still, itís frustrating. If thereís a canvas thick with layers of paint, a sculpture that sinuously curves around in cool smooth stone, itís human nature isnít it, to want to touch? Thereís as much beauty to be found in the way things feel as in the way things look, if only weíd be given more chances to experience it, to really think about it.

So that, I suppose, is the artsy-fartsy reason why we have a column of everyday things framed and displayed in a little area of wall in our home Ė caulking and fur, astroturf, wax and insulating foam, stuff you could find at any fabric or hardware store, things that are meant to be used, not played with and enjoyed. Itís funny the way the boy and I sometimes feel the need to intellectually rationalize the things we do with our time. Because if Iím being honest, the real explanation for the texture wall's existence is a lot more simple: we came up with this silly idea that it would be neat to find cool textures, to keep them on our walls where we could run our fingers over them whenever we happened to be passing by. We made it because we thought it would be funny, and fun. And because it was a cheap way to do something kind of interesting with some empty wall space. The texture wall has been a hit with friends as well, who seem to know what theyíre supposed to do with our oddball wall art without having to be prompted.

So maybe the museums are right to post their signs, but in my house, at least, you can touch the art to your little heartís content. Want to make your own wall of texture art? Check out the first installment of our two-part how-to guide Ö

don't stop, there's more!

 

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