Thursday, October 2, 2008

Everything Matters

Young artists often ask me questions about their artwork that are prefaced with “does it matter if…” My first response is “everything matters.” But that is the abbreviated version.

I ascribe to an idea very like the “Broken Windows Theory,” discussed by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point. An epidemic theory of crime, Broken Windows suggests that the impulse to engage in certain behavior initiates in the environment rather than the person and that the festering epidemic can be reversed by tweaking environmental cues.

The link between environment and culture makes perfect sense when you think about the Greece of Plato and Aristotle, the significance of beauty, and the accomplishments of Greek culture. Beauty was the ideal that was studied and applied in every aspect of life. Each proportion was measured. It all mattered. Then ponder the great scientific advances of the Italian Renaissance, born in surroundings of the Medici aesthetic. Beauty mattered.

Our Boston building, Fenway Studios, hosts an annual Open Studios event. Visitors come to see Art and the artists who create it. I love to chat with people who are interested in what we do. One sentiment that was consistently expressed by many who loved the paintings was the wish that they could afford to buy. I thought about the reality of this—that often, living with art is limited to a certain income level, but shouldn’t be.

Believing that everyone deserves to live with beauty, I partnered with color reproduction expert, Martha DiMeo, to begin producing a small line of affordable prints and note cards. Seven years later, we have launched an online store, expanded the number of images available for prints, cards, and bookmarks, and have created a line of botticino marble tile murals and coaster gift sets.

Living surrounded with aesthetic pleasure may seem like a little thing that doesn’t matter. I would argue that it makes your personal world a better, kinder place and you contribute the same to the whole. That matters. We are doing our part to make beauty a component of everyone’s life. Everyone deserves a pleasing environment.

Shown above: Sunflowers of Dordogne Fine Art Coasters
Melody The Artist Home offerings at

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