Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Modern living is a work of art

Artist's installation explores home improvement explosion

Express Staff Writer

Megan Wilson puts the finishing touches on her installation "The Grass Is Always Greener" at The Center in Ketchum. Photo by

The explosion of home décor on mainstream modern living is a thriving industry and an expression of ideals. Artist Megan Wilson's installation "The Grass Is Always Greener" is a comment on how interior decorating has influenced her life and what the idea of home means. Wilson's installation is an extension of a five-year-long project she created within her own home in San Francisco.

"What happens when all this is taken to the extreme?" Wilson asked. "The work forces new vocabulary. It transitions and pushes people into a different experience."

Wilson grew up in Montana. She received her BFA from the University of Oregon in 1992 and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1997. Her work has been exhibited nationally in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and Los Angeles, and internationally in Tokyo, Japan; Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Paris, France; Jaipur, India; and Manila, Philippines. She is a recipient of grant awards from the Gunk Foundation, Artadia, the Asian Art Council, Ford Foundation and San Francisco Foundation.

Wilson's gigantic flowers dispersed on a background of avocado green with the addition of mountaintops and cut-out suede trees with burned-in wood grain tacked to the wall appear whimsical and farcical. But upon closer inspection, it's a comment on the contrast of home décor and nature. Wilson said the addition of mountains to the installation is new for her and fits well with Sun Valley.

"I am inspired by it," she said. "It's more of a '50s mod. Every 20 years there is a new revision within home interior, and it started with modernism."

The addition of carpet samples on the ceiling force a viewer to look up, causing a neck strain, which changes the perspective of the installation from fun to serious. The lifeless, industrial carpet pieces are integral to the exhibition.

"The work is inspired by mother and the bedroom I had growing up," Wilson said. "The home décor craze is out of control, and I want to turn people on their head and upside down. It is metaphorical."

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