Friday, June 13, 2008
J. Morgan Puett's "Mildred's Lane" Home (NYT Article)
While I was on vacation (sorry for the dearth of posts), the New York Times published this article on "Mildred's Lane", the home of artist J. Morgan Puett in Pennsylvania, which both Mr. Von Slatt and Daniel were so kind to send to me.
A collaborative, handmade home on 96 acres, she considers her home a work of art:
"It's not about nostalgia or re-enacting," she said. "I believe that all of these time periods and histories are pressing in on us at once," contributing to the complexity of our present and future experience. "What I'm really interested in is the future and what it looks like," she said, and "in inventing a future through history and material culture and art."
[I]nterior walls and ceilings are made from blue steel treated with a darkening chemical — “like the kind used in antiquing jewelry,” Ms. Puett said — applied in a drippy, hand-washed style and then sealed with linseed oil. “I’ve always been in love with industrial metal,” she said.
Toward the back, in the kitchen and dining area, there are hand-hammered metal tables and chairs covered with old flour sacks. Cowhides have been stitched together as floor coverings. Stacks of antique white china fill the metal shelves and the floors are made from smoothly polished concrete. High narrow windows on either side of this space make it feel like an old church.
Ms. Puett’s vision reaches even into the refrigerator, which she has transformed into a strange, constantly shifting vignette of fresh food, old textiles and unusual scientific vials. “I buy beautiful and grotesque foods and try to put them in a new context,” she said. A broccoli floret sits on an antique candlestick, a pomegranate and brown eggs in a glass vase, carrots in ceramic pots. All liquids are decanted into glass measuring vessels.
Incredible, isn't it? If you like Puett's aesthetic, you can view more of her work at the Alexander Gray Associates Gallery website. You should also read the article and view the slideshow for many more details.
credit: Photos by Phil Mansfield Photography.