A much-maligned craft, the humble mural has been around for centuries and deserves more respect!
There is a lot, these days, that seems to fit under this umbrella. True Chinoiserie calls to mind Pillement, Berain and 19th Century Europe, and I've included examples of that kind of work. But I've also included examples of Chinese painting reproduction and restoration in this section, which is not really Chinoiserie at all. I've even included what you might called Japonerie, or "Japanese style" ornament. As I said, it's a pretty big umbrella!
I've been collecting historical manuscripts, buying ridiculous amounts of books and digging through archives for years. It's kind of an obsessive hobby of mine. I hope you can see from these examples that I absolutely love this kind of work.
We all know what it means at this point. My personal style is to play with shallow relief, trying to create spatial depth by using the subtlest shifts in value. I feel that illusion happens in the mind of the observer, so I try not to whack people over the head with 3D shenanigans. The best trompe l'oeil, in my opinion, is barely there and reveals nothing of the artist's hand.
It's always a challenge, but I love the payoff. When a client cannot tell the difference between my fake version and the real thing, then all that sweat was worth it.
Residential and commercial projects recently completed.
Faux-painted white alabaster columns for Haynes-Roberts via Lillian Heard Studio, photo by Simon Upton published in Architectural Digest, Jan 2016.
Trompe l'oeil panels to match historic finish for Haynes-Roberts via Lillian Heard Studio, photo by Simon Upton published in Architectural Digest, Jan 2016.
Mural of a misty, deciduous forest on Venetian-plastered canvas, commissioned by designer Phillip Sides, for the SouthEastern Designer Showhouse, and published in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, September 2018.
Classic strié finish, published by House & Garden.
Silver-leafed ceiling for a Washington, D.C., piéd-a-terre for designer Mark Huffman, of Huffman & Huffman, Inc.
Faux bois for Robert A. M. Stern project, Grammercy Park, NYC.