It’s nowhere near as serious as ebola, but it’s an obnoxious sickness nonetheless. Actually, it makes me want to puke.
For some reason, our society is so obsessed with making things “match.”
This is particularly the case when it comes to contemporary art. The interior design industry is mostly responsible for this and they know it. But hey, you can’t blame them for helping people beautify their lives. That’s what they do. Ultimately, it’s all about the money. Isn’t it always?
Years ago, I wrote and published the essay, “Will It Match My Sofa?” which I thought might help address the issue. However, I think the situation may have actually gotten worse. What’s with this preoccupation that people have to buy art that matches their decor?
It’s a sure sign that people who are considering buying art aren’t really taking art seriously. Still, can you blame artists for keeping their mouths shut and hoping like hell that people buy their work anyway? A sale is a sale. Problem is … artists know not to take anyone seriously when their main motivation for buying art is matching it with their sofa or whatever. Ugh.
Look, you can do whatever you wish with your hard-earned money. I am certainly not a dictator or designer. All I’m saying is that matching art with your home – while it may be enjoyable – is a very shallow way to live. Are you THAT insecure that you need to impress others by making things match?
I know. I know. You’re saying, “I’m doing this for ME, not other people!”
Guess what? I don’t buy that for one second. While I don’t have any scientific proof to back this up, I strongly believe that people who need to make things “match” care too much about how others perceive them. Who cares if things don’t match?
Why not take a walk on the wild side? Buy art that challenges you. Buy art that takes your breath away and bravely put it all over your home without the slightest concern that it matches anything else. Things may not match, but they will COMPLEMENT one another. I do this and let me tell you, it works. Do you know why?
It works because YOU are the common link between everything that you own. Things will naturally go together because YOU like them and they work for YOU.
Be BOLD! Conquer doubt! That’s the greatest lesson of artistic expression in the first place. Artists listen to their inner voice when it comes to creating art and you should also follow your bliss when it comes to buying art.
Believe me, if you’re concerned about making things in your life “match,” you’re not truly following your bliss. You’re living out your perception of someone else’s definition of who you ought to be. You’re not being fair to yourself. Set yourself free from this pathology. It’s your life and YOUR house. Do what YOU want. This usually does not include "matching" things.
If you have people in your home and they say that things clash, guess what truly clashes with your home? THOSE people! They’re the ones who are clashing with your home. Politely show them the door. Life is short. Nothing matches everything in your home more than YOU. Let THAT be your guide.
All things go together anyway. Otherwise they wouldn’t exist. Having said that, it’s fine for a few things to match. All I’m saying is don’t obsess over it.
For once, throw caution to the wind. You deserve it. Life is too short. Try NOT matching for once. I guarantee you, you’ll feel like you’ve suddenly taken flight.
Art in your home should be kind of “off” anyway. It should be “not quite right.” It might even be just plain “wrong” to other people. That’s how you KNOW you’re ON to something. This is how you know you’re gaining a true understanding about contemporary art. True art cannot be caged by mere decorative considerations and nor should it be. Art deserves better and so do we.
Live your life. Be free. Don’t match. Matching is for amateurs.
PS ... Hey, if you're fortunate enough to be able to afford an interior designer, put them to the test and REALLY make them earn their keep. How? Well, it's THEIR job to figure out ways to make all of your things work together. Tell them you are NOT interested in making things "match." You'll know that you have a not-so-great designer if they start sweating. Fun.