The Art of Making Sense

1/2/2012 | Cody Derrick

It's important to me that things make sense.  As it so happens, many of the things I love require that some sense be made of them.  When I walked into the home of Art Marketing Director, Mary Fresques and artist, John Bell, art made sense.

Inside Mary and John's home, the passions were at play; modern architecture, connection, people, truth, creativity and community.  A thousand different things about the interior of the home grabbed my attention immediately.  Books by Pollock and Dekooning...sculpture by Frank Kosik (pictured 'bust in green')...the house itself, a mid-century built in 1959 by architect, John Sungden, who studied under famous architect, Mies Van de Rohe.  The structure was an apt backdrop for the perfect energy it held; it started with Miles Davis (the dog), and continued with John, Mary, and every last piece of art and furniture they chose to bare on the walls and floor of their space.

John Bell's art is amazing and in-your-face.  Yet somehow, the space felt consistent and fluid.  Rather than competing with it, the art was supporting it.  The home was designed to be a backdrop for the life going on inside.

John is grounded in his process; it's personal.  With the encouragement of his parents, he grew up painting; his approach to art was authentic.  He's a classically-trained painter with an eye and a love for the abstract.  When John first purchased his home, he started with the renovation.  Painting the ceiling took a couple of weeks, he remembers.  "I watched the sunlight change and dance and cross the beams, day after day."  He says the experience intrigued him, and he began to explore architectural elements and repeating-patterns in his painting.  To me, it sounds so organic and direct the simplicity of the structure inspired the art which now fills it.

This is the only real way that anything can make sense - all the implications of it's makeup have to hold hands on some level.  In John and Mary's home, it was easy; everything around me sparked conversation, thought, insight, ideas.  It became personal for me...and it just made sense.


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