Before Adam and I moved in together, I lived in a studio apartment above the Orbit Room, and beautiful stenciled koi were painted all over the sidewalk below my window. In fact, these beautiful painted fish are on sidewalks all over San Francisco and their simple and elegant images, to me, will always be a striking reminder of my time in this vibrant city.
Imagine my surprise when walking through the cute town of Guernville, CA (where I first wore and photographed my new paisley Anna dress) when I saw a series of the koi stenciled on the sidewalks. I didn’t know much about Guernville or the elusive koi artist at the time, but have since learned that it’s not as incongruous as my initial thoughts. Guernville is actually something of a vacation mecca for queer Bay Area folks and Jeremy Novy is himself an openly queer artist (with a mission to make queer street art and artists more open and accepted).
We followed the fish into the Lifvendahl Fine Art Gallery where we were delighted to find a bunch of Novy’s work hanging on the walls. Adam and I oohed and aahed over many of the works in the gallery.
The owner and namesake, Mark Lifvendahl, was there and we chatted with him for quite a while. He does much of his work on salvaged materials (like the window frames in this picture. He also had works on top of pieces from the thrift store and even on a glass shower door). He encouraged Jeremy Novy to stencil some of his koi onto salvaged window frames.
Adam and I loved the koi in the window frames so much we bought it! ZOMG, we bought a piece of real art! This is a big deal for us because Adam and I love each other madly and share so much of our life. But one thing we do not share is opinions on scents and works of art. He doesn’t like a single perfume that I like. And never, ever do we agree on art for our walls. (Okay once. We bought an original oil painting of a squirrel wearing underpants. But that’s a whole other story). But we agreed! We bought a piece by Jeremy Novy!
His ubiquitous koi are stenciled onto a salvaged white window frame. Right now we have it hanging at the top of our stairs. Of course I didn’t get a picture of it before hanging it and in that position there is not a single point in the day where it gets light but not glare on the glass. I’m not sure that it shows it off to its best potential, but it will certainly suffice for while we still live in a SF apartment.
I love the way the fish barely cast shadows on the wall and I think it will be really interesting to hang it when we have walls that aren’t all white!
We also bought a piece by Mark Lifvendahl. Seriously guys. Two pieces of art! His abstract flowers are the perfect thing to tie together our living room and go beautifully with the carpet we just moved in there. I am so completely happy with that room now!