Finding something to hang on the wall — that isn’t a poster of The Starry Night — can be a daunting task. There are just a lot of options out there. Which is why we asked members of our esteemed art department to suggest one piece (plus, in some cases, a few honorable mentions) that they fully stand behind. Below are the Nicolas Cage Polaroids and Amish quilts that’ll look great above the sofa.
Chris Cristiano, Deputy Art Director
Running Horses by Kevin Russ
Society6 is a great resource for inexpensive prints from hundreds of illustrators and photographers. I particularly like Kevin Russ, a nomadic photographer who travels through the American West. By day, he’s capturing beautiful landscapes and nature with his phone. By night, he camps in his car and uploads his images to Society6 so his followers can immediately purchase his prints. He completely relies on his iPhone photography to earn a living. He’s living the dream and giving us all wanderlust as we follow along.
$20 at society6.com
Roxanne Behr, Senior Photo Editor
The website eBay is a vast and nebulous graveyard for movie props and memorabilia. The collection I’m trying to start is of continuity Polaroids taken on film sets. These wardrobe and makeup tests are now done with digital cameras, but they used to exist as one-of-a-kind Polaroids in thick three-ring production binders. They have candidness and intimacy like family snapshots; you can even arrange them among snapshots of your actual family members. Above is a series of delightful photos of Elisabeth Shue and Nicolas Cage on the set of Leaving Las Vegas. (Others I have my eye on are Judy Greer from The Wedding Planner, Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Julia Stiles from 10 Things I Hate About You.)
Leaving Las Vegas continuity polaroids, $100, on eBay.com
Miranda Dempster, Strategist Art Director
LOVE by Robert Indiana
I grew up in New Zealand in the ‘70s, and my uncle who lived in the U.S. would send me letters with the LOVE stamp on them. To me, the painting looked like what I imagined New York to be as a child. The composition is so compact and efficient. It reminds me of a room inside an apartment, inside an apartment building, inside a city block, inside a city grid. But the O is also hanging out there on top of the E, leaning on the L, about to roll off, breaking out of the grid. It’s a very nonchalant O, like a teenager hanging out on a street corner. The vibration among the orangey red, the kelly green, and blue is like a visual sugar high. I have this on my wall today. It is also, of course, a simple reminder of something pure we all take for granted. It’s good to give thanks for LOVE.
$90 at art.com
Bobby Doherty, Staff Photographer
A photo of the sunset in a T-shirt frame
You can put anything in a T-shirt frame. Just cut your art into a T-shirt shape. It’s easy. I recommend a nice sunset poster.
Sarah Trigg, Tablet/Phone Managing Editor, Writer, Photographer
“Ten Rules” Poster
The rules on this poster need to be emblazoned on a wall for every creative person to see. Anna Stothart, the curator of modern and contemporary art at the San Antonio Museum, who curated the museum’s current exhibition “Corita Kent and the Language of Pop,” told me about the poster during a lively conversation we had about the creative process. Kent was an artist (mostly of brightly colored screen prints), a social activist, and, somewhat surprisingly, also a Catholic nun. This poster hung on the wall of the Immaculate Heart College where Kent taught. I especially love rule No. 10 by John Cage and rule No. 7: Just make the work and it will lead to something.
$15 at corita.myshopify.com
Wendy Goodman, Design Editor
Skeletal Giacometti Sculpture on Parisian Street, by Gordon Parks
I am obsessed with Alberto Giacometti and still mourn the destruction of his studio that I would have given my arm to visit. I just learned that this photograph (that first appeared in Life magazine on November 5, 1951) even existed: two giants in one image. The brilliant Gordon Parks shot this image, in Paris, of a Giacometti sculpture just when that man was passing by in the background.
$65 at allposters.com
Randy Minor, Art Director
Polish movie posters
In the mid-’90s, I came across a poster of my favorite movie at the time, The Piano. The poster bore no resemblance to the movie — which I had seen four times already — but I was so captivated by the design: two loose piano keys falling away to reveal the gaze of a woman. The piece was silk-screened, which was old technology even in the ‘90s, and the store clerk (this was in Chicago at a frame shop) told me that the poster was from Poland. I don’t remember the price, but I didn’t buy it, for some reason. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I went back for it and it was gone. Though I still haven’t been able to find a version of it, I’ve found dozens of other fantastic Polish movie posters, each more surreal than the last — like this interpretation of Wait Until Dark. (Others I love: Working Girl, Oliver!, and Smoky).
Wait Until Dark poster, $225 at ebay.com
Jody Wissner, Photo Intern
“You Should Smile” Broad City Print
Hang this above your kitchen table as a reminder — while sipping coffee and eating brownies at 9 a.m — to fuck the patriarchy. We’ll smile if we feel like it. (But I definitely do when I look at these radical queens.)
$8 at etsy.com
Stevie Remsberg, Art Production Director
I love super-graphic Amish-quilt wall hangings that you can find on Etsy. There are tons under $200 — and some even as low as $25. I’m obsessed with the classic style that has solid, colorful fabric designs on a black or dark field. These are great for high-traffic hallways or homes with rowdy kids because if someone bumps into them they won’t fall and break. I currently have my eye on this Log Cabin quilt, in addition to this $25 one, this $36 one, and this slightly pricier $175 one.
Log Cabin Quilt, $120 at etsy.com
Jay Guillermo, Digital Art Director, Native Apps
Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat Poster
I love this amazing Warhol x Basquiat exhibition poster done in a boxing-match style. It’s a great use of type and nice splash of color.
$25 at etsy.com
Tom Alberty, Design Director
THICK-A-SHAKE by the Head Light Hotel
My wife got me this poster as a housewarming gift when we moved in together. She knows me well: It combines two of my favorite things — ice cream and vernacular hand-painted signage. It’s from Tiny Showcase, a Providence-based outfit that sells silk-screen and letterpress prints by established and up-and-coming artists, with new pieces released every week.
$20 at tinyshowcase.com
Jody Quon, Photo Director
Her Pass By by Andrew Pope
“I love the colors and the very simple and timeless narrative quality of this print. It is part of an edition of 50.”
$200 at exhibitiona.com