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7 Creative Ways to Incorporate Art in a Small Space
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7 Creative Ways to Incorporate Art in a Small Space

September 2016


For those of us who call a studio, small apartment, or loft "home," size matters. There are only so many pieces of furniture you can fit into a living room and bedroom. In truly small living areas, you have to take advantage of every inch of space available—including your walls. Create a dynamic interior by adorning your walls with art. Not only does art reflect your style, it can also create drama, tell a story, make moments happen, and give the illusion of something bigger, even in a small area.

Making a statement is easier than you think. Try juxtaposing minimalistic furniture with a dramatic work. In statement pieces, colors are bold, vibrant, and powerful. Choosing art that takes center stage is a great way to divide and frame your apartment into separate areas. Consider incorporating a painting to add texture in addition to bold color. Artists like Anna Valdez, Annelie Vandendael, and Jonni Cheatwood create large, vibrant works that achieve this effect.

Exaggerate the size of small photographs and prints by placing them in thin frames with large borders. This also prevents wall art from looking cluttered, especially in a small setting. Try hanging one or two large pieces front and center to give more depth to your wall.

Tappan founder Chelsea Neman curated a wall at Alfred Tea Room in Los Angeles by doing exactly that. She took small, original works crafted on paper and exaggerated their size by floating them in larger frames. Then she mixed in larger works to create what are called "anchor pieces" to hold the wall. Works by artists Claire Oswalt and Jeff Kraus are great for smaller pieces, while colorful photography like that shot by Eric Chakeen serve as fitting anchor pieces.

If you don't have the budget for a large piece of art quite yet, try exaggerating the size of your wall by incorporating a few smaller pieces with or without large borders. This creates a clean, understated look. Following this mind-set, the less artwork you hang, the more important each piece becomes. Check out artists Heather Day and Dafy Hagai for this look. 

When you live in a small, urban space, thinking about the next getaway can make your space seem even smaller. Instead, bring paradise to your home. Like a window to the forest, desert, or beach, anything with an expansive shot of nature will open up the room. Marc Gabor, Isaac Zoller, and Lani Trock are Los Angeles–based photographers whose works achieve this effect.


Keeping it neutral or monochromatic will make the atmosphere of your space light, bright, and soft. Since these colors blend well with most décor schemes, you have the freedom to redecorate and swap out furniture without having to worry about replacing art.

Stacking artwork vertically can lengthen the height of a wall. When using this trick, envision what your wall can hang from bottom to top. Cheryl Humphreys's works on paper and Jeff Kraus's collages are examples of art that is accentuated when stacked with other pieces.


Regardless of the size of your home, you can add layers of character by placing works in the room's most unassuming spots. Small works can be stacked on a wall. A bold piece can stand alone on your bathroom door. Incorporate small pieces onto your bookshelf. Katy Krantz's ceramics and Ali Beletic's paintings are perfect for this.







Printing on Aluminum
art history

Printing on Aluminum

We have recently started discussing what happens to an image once it's printed on an untraditional surface; what compliments the texture found in film? How can we further emphasize the quality of the work through a unique presentation? 

In planning for our group show Wielding Now this past spring, we discussed this possibility with LA-based artist Isaac Zoller, envisioning how his beautifully composed, seemingly desolate portrayals of landscapes could be heightened if printed on an aluminum surface. 

Printing on aluminum compliments the depth and detail in photographs, emphasizing the perspective and composition of the work. Aluminum prints are created through a dye-sublimation process, which uses heat to transfer dyes directly onto the metal. 

Aluminum prints are lightweight, durable, water and UV resistant, and easy to clean. Luminous yet detailed, all aluminum prints are of archival quality and are a creative alternative to a traditional photography print. 

We currently offer these Isaac's 35mm film photographs on aluminum, 


Cheryl Humphreys | Embossing & Debossing
art history

Cheryl Humphreys | Embossing & Debossing

Thoughtfully curated and cozy, Cheryl Humphreys' studio is decorated with colors and shapes, stencils and mock ups. It bursts with artistic inspiration and energy, and is quietly tucked away in the back of her West Hollywood home. Her flat file is carefully organized, where she stores, like treasure, her illustrious icons ranging from cacti to vibrators, mushrooms to hand-cuffs. While simple in composition, each piece has a kick - there’s no lack of personality in Cheryl Humphreys’ work (or her for that matter).

She’s to the point, she’s decisive, and she’s undeniably meticulous. 

Humphreys is a designer. A hard worker by nature, she is constantly figuring how to communicate a concept and tell a story through her pieces. This has been evident in her past works, especially her iconography series where a single motif communicates so much, but when paired with another, you cannot help but construct a story between the two. Her attention to detail and simple, affective motifs make these embossed works such a treasure to experience. Each is so personal yet universal simultaneously. 

Using the technique of embossment, Cheryl creates impressions in raised paper, which presses a design into paper from beneath. This technique challenges the idea of two-dimensionality, adding a depth to the paper, and encourages a more intimate experience with the imagery of each piece. Sharing these contemporary and seemingly “edgy” icons through such an ancient form of mark-making beautifully marries these contrasting elements. 

Counter Parts is the beginning of a new series of studies exploring compositions using the “counter parts" [cutouts] from stencils Humphreys has made over the years. Using shapes from varying degrees of her past work, elements of these motifs are now free from the layouts they were initially placed in, re-contextualized and abstracted, seeking to explore a secondary narrative that innately exists within her work. Interestingly, these pieces are created by debossing the paper, meaning the imprinted design causes depressions into the paper, rather than from beneath it. 

Humphreys is noticeably departing from the visual language of common-place iconography she shared with us previously. Appropriating elements from her older series, these works are abstracted, incorporating sinuous lines and imbuing the works with more sophisticated earth tones rather than poppy, vibrant hues. This new series is bold and brings an even higher level of sophistication to her oeuvre. 


What Am I Looking At?: Photography by NYC-based Eric Chakeen
art history

What Am I Looking At?: Photography by NYC-based Eric Chakeen

Our world is flooded with photographic imagery, from our Instagram feeds to our carefully curated coffee table books. Occasionally, an image will resonate. What are we even looking at, and why are we so into it? 

In the case of Eric Chakeen, his snapshots of the everyday reveal the beauty of simplicity and the charm in capturing contemporary life and objects: be it an abstracted street scene in Tokyo, or the corner of a basketball court, where floor and wall converge and create a balance that is satisfying, yet contextually confusing to our eye. Chakeen's work captures both observational and environmental moments while cleverly dissociating his subjects from their larger existence. In this way, the content assumes a sculptural nature, objectified in its compositions. At first glance, Red Tunnel is seemingly flat and bold with color, appearing somewhat like a digital manipulation. “I try to find moments where I can express an alternate vision,” says Chakeen, "this image was taken in Tokyo, I was working there at the time on a project and was jet lagged and walking around." 

Blending his personal aesthetic with his commissioned vision, Chakeen captures subjects through distinguishably candid moments. "The girl's back of head was taken in backyard, I shot this while taking her portrait. And the old lady was in Little Italy. She appeared to me to be one of the last non-fashion or tourist people walking around that neighborhood." 

These works imbue his ability to find beauty and remarkable imagery in the everyday, sometimes creating serendipitous accidents and iconic moments out of the ordinary. "I have a broken Yashica T4 Compact 35mm that makes some really nice accidents. It was late night and I took this photo of 30 foot tall bamboo. I'm drawn to the symmetry of the Japanese bamboo juxtaposed with the close up nude, it's pretty," says Chakeen. Both of these abstract, elongated forms allude to the female figure. 

Eric Chakeen is a New York City-based photographer who has worked under the guise of Ryan McGinley, Dan Martensen and Terry Richardson. These photographs were taken on his Contax G2 and other medium format cameras, "don't really want to say which," he remarks, "trade secrets."

Tappan for MyDomaine
art history

Tappan for MyDomaine

Los Angeles, CA

June 2016 

There has been a trending resurgence of neon art in the contemporary art market, ranging from neon signs to minimalistic installations and even glowing sculptures. In any art collection, a little light can go a long way. These pieces add a distinctive, vibrant glow to anyone's personal space and are a great conversation starter to boot. As when collecting any medium of art, let your intuition guide you—art is, after all, a personal choice. To start you off, we've recommended a visual artist for every type of décor style, with five creative ways to light up your home.

PHOTO: Ngoc Minh Ngo 

When it comes to the minimalist's home, think Robert Irwin and select an installation piece. Irwin began using fluorescent light in the 1970s and is best known for his installation work that focuses on specific sites, like rooms, gardens, parks, and galleries. His groundbreaking exploration of perception, space, and light makes Irwin a pioneer of the light movement. A minimalistic home sets the perfect tone for an experiential piece of neon art. We suggest hanging pieces in entryways and shared spaces to provoke conversation. The linear nature of Irwin's work plays well with modern and clean surroundings. 

PHOTO: Hervé Goluza 

If your home décor qualifies as traditional, we suggest including a neon sculpture in the vein of Keith Sonnier. Sonnier's works utilized atypical materials, challenging the traditional approach to sculpture pieces. His focus on color, lines, and textures produce works that are expressive and architectural. In particular, Sonnier's Chandelier Series is his answer to outdated light fixtures: Neon tubes and bright hues swirl to create beautiful pieces. We suggest exploring ways to appropriate old light fixtures with unexpected, glowing tones. The juxtaposition of a traditional home with neon accents serves to highlight the unique nature of these trailblazing works.

PHOTO: Björn Wallander

For this type of home, be inspired by artist Tracey Emin and select a piece with meaningful words. Emin has worked across a variety of mediums but garnered attention for her neon works that mimic her handwriting and illustrate emotions ranging from love to disappointment. By combining two trends—neon colors and typographical art—this style of work pushes boundaries by including personal messages in each piece. Adding neon signs to your home is a way to infuse not only a literal vibrancy but also a personal meaningfulness. When deciding where to hang your piece, consider that neon typically looks best on a simple background with high contrast, like a mirrored or brick surface.

PHOTO: Adrian Gaut

The tastemaker's neon hero is Bruce Nauman. Continually searching for new means of expression, Nauman has worked with a broad range of mediums. His early work in neon used a myriad of linguistic plays, like alliteration, anagram, inversion, and rhyme. Recently, his work explores the states of the human condition: sex, death, love, and tragedy. His work needs a little space to breathe, so it is best suited for large, empty walls.

PHOTO: Grey Crawford 

Looking to add a subtle hint of neon into your home? Explore the works of photographer Jung Lee. Lee creates and photographs series of sentimental, text-based light installations in a barren nature. Haunting and beautiful, her work explores the boundaries of language. While it ultimately exists as a photograph, it explores new ways for neon art to be enjoyed and can be styled in a variety of ways. Use a minimalistic frame to let the work speak for itself.

How would you add neon into your home?


How To : Framing in Plexi
art history

How To : Framing in Plexi

JUNE 2016 


The framing of an artwork is an integral part of the the entire art experience. You finally find the perfect piece, but what if you prefer the work, say - without the finite border around it? Or perhaps you just aren’t ready to decide on a float...a mat…or a specific frame color? In these scenarios, or, if you just feeling like trying something a little different, plexiglass is a great solution.

Displaying with plexiglass is generally more affordable than framing, and gives you a sleek, minimal, and affordable way to display your work without the distractions of a frame. Clean and chic, using plexiglass allows for viewers to focus on the piece, and you can ‘dress it up’ minimally with modest hardware, too! There are a few different styles you can chose from, but it ultimately depends on the look you’re going for.

If you’re interested in framing your artwork with a piece of plexiglass that mirrors the dimensions of the piece, you should be sure to double check your measurements before placing your plexiglass order at your local hardware store. With this style, the plexiglass is the exact size of the artwork, which allows you to simply press the work and plexiglass against the wall when you are ready to mount the piece. The best hardware for this hanging method are simple L-hooks, which come in a variety of finishes. Placement for the hooks is personal choice, but we like to see them about an inch in from the corners on the top and bottom of the piece.

When mounting a smaller piece behind plexiglas, we suggest ordering a slightly larger piece of plexiglass to create a clear illusion of a mat. This also looks great if you’re planning to display the piece on a colorful or vibrant wall! When going this route, be sure to ask for four small holes drilled a half and inch or so in from each corner - this is a better method for keeping the plexi pressed against the wall and is necessary for proper pressure so the smaller sized artwork remains secure. Get creative with your nail choice! There are tons of stylish options - we chose copper nail studs in the below example.

Another way to display your art with plexiglass requires two sheets rather than one, but allows you to ‘float’ your work from the wall, creating a dimensional perception. You can simply offset your mount with two sheets of plexiglass and adhere them together using simple stand-off barrels, which you can purchase from your local hardware store. This hardware allows you to sandwich the two sheets of plexiglass together with your artwork secured between them, and floats the piece anywhere from 1-3” from the wall.

Plexiglass is a simple, viable method for creating a clean and creative display system for your work. Give it a try, and take a photo to share with us! We’d love to see what you come up with! #tappancollective. 

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us at

*a few extra tips*

- Make sure to discuss plexiglass thickness options with your hardware store, as the thicker the plexi sheet, the heavier the sheets are, and the stronger the bracket or hook you'll need to keep it stabilized on your wall.

- Before nailing the plexiglass to the wall, make sure to use acid-free archival tape to secure the artwork to the wall.

- Clean your plexiglass with a plexiglass cleaning solution and a proper cleaning pad. Once the plexi is secured, you do not want to find dust or a lone hair against your artwork!


Shop Prints & Multiples | Shop Collages | Shop Drawings | Perfect for plexi framing!

Five Artists to Know by Chelsea Neman
art history

Five Artists to Know by Chelsea Neman

Five Artists To Know by Chelsea Neman of Tappan Collective

As told by Megan Laber at the Dreslyn

This month we are collaborating with the women behind Tappan Collective to showcase their serious skills in curating, art gifting, spotting emerging talent and creating a whole new business model for the art gallery world. In this week’s feature we asked founder Chelsea Neman to give us her top five artists to have an eye on that are changing the game through their different mediums. Find some new inspiration below, and shop all featured art at Tappan Collective.

Brian Merriam

Brian Merriam was born under a full moon on Halloween night, which may explain some beautiful haunting elements in his imagery. He first picked up a camera to document a cross-country drive with friends, and has not put it down ever since. Lately, his kit has consisted of a Leica M7, a Contax G2 and a Fuiji Klasse. His work seeks to document the forgotten corners, empty roads and nowhere places of America and beyond. Initially, Brian took his photographs and crafted stories around them. As his work has evolved, he starts with an initial concept to dictate his approach and ventures to find the story to share with his audience. His main inspiration points go from west of the Rockies to taking the time to get lost.

Cheryl Humphreys

Cheryl Humphreys’ work tows the line between art and design. Raised in Baltimore, Cheryl was influenced at a young age by her mother's mark making as a hands-on interior designer. She moved to Los Angeles to study at Otis College of Art & Design, where she cultivated her love for printmaking, typography and book design. These mediums, combined with her appreciation for a challenge, offer complex, layered avenues for the application of her visual work. The influence of the dichotomy in her mind – the designer and the artist – is evident in her attention to detail, composition and inherent understanding of geometry and space. A visual exploration – her work calls upon the viewer to get up close and personal. Cheryl’s recent work “I Just Have This Feeling” will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at Paul Loya Gallery in Los Angeles, which opened November 7th.

Dafy Hagai

Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Dafy Hagai is a director and photographer. Drawn to real moments and places that evoke nostalgia, her predilection for a minimalistic, color-oriented and graphic visual language permeates her work. One can similarly feel the simmering notion of female empowerment as she intertwines elements of fashion into her art. Recently, Dafy collaborated with the Swedish brand Eytys on a campaign that features models selected off the street with their own families in the Israeli desert. Undoubtedly powerful, Dafy continues to push the boundaries and shows the world what it looks like through her unique lens.

Lola Rose Thompson

Lola Rose Thompson was born in Studio City, California. She studied sculpture at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and received her BFA from Otis College of Fine Arts. Lola is interested in the idea that objects can receive and transmit information that they may or may not contain; and moreover, that these objects have vast stores of data and figures that may be difficult to see. Using predominantly watercolor or acrylic on paper, she is influenced by nature, politics, tabloid trends, people with power and people’s emotions. She often accompanies her work by lengthy prose or titles – a concept that she continues to use – to show the tension between the text and context of her work. You may be able to find Lola around the city of Los Angeles as she recently began painting portraits in various locations throughout the city.

Sebastian Weiss

A German architectural photographer, Sebastian Weiss is fascinated by the aesthetics of construction and details of shapes. In his eyes, every building has its own architectural language with an individual vocabulary. He currently works for Architectural Digest Germany as a photo columnist. Certainly, Sebastian is heavily influenced by growing up in Germany – where a city like Berlin is marked by wartime destruction and contrasting architectural monuments. An avid user of Instagram (@le_blanc), Sebastian has harnessed components of social media as a way to communicate without talking – honing a modern visual language.

Art as featured below:

1. Brian Merriam "Mist Six" | starts at 12 x 18” photograph $90
2. Brian Merriam "Foreshadowing" | starts at 16 x 24” photograph $200
3. Cheryl Humphreys "From Behind" | 4 x 6” blind embossed monoprint $150
4. Cheryl Humphreys "Shrooms" | 4 x 6” blind embossed monoprint $150
5. Dafy Hagai "Omer" | starts at 10 x 14” photograph $80
6. Dafy Hagai "Pink" | starts at 10 x 14” photograph $80
7. Lola Rose Thompson "Famous Heartbreakers and Other Half People" | 12 x 18” watercolor $375
8. Lola Rose Thompson "People Seeking Novel Ways to Find Oblivion" | 12 x 18” watercolor $300
9. Sebastian Weiss "Lisbon’s Shapes" | starts at 12 x 12” photograph $90
10. Sebastian Weiss "The Dune" | starts at 12 x 12” photograph $90 

The Dreslyn | The New Gallery
art history

The Dreslyn | The New Gallery

The New Gallery: Chelsea Neman of Tappan Collective

The Dreslyn visits Tappan Collective 

The words ‘art world’ do not illicit warm and fuzzy feelings. Personally I envision show openings filled with a crowd of people, primarily in all black schemes toting free chardonnay, which isn’t that far from my experience at said events. Then there are the moments I’ll wander into a gallery on the weekend by accident. I don’t do this by accident because I don’t enjoy looking at art. I would go as far to say that I deeply enjoy it. I consider it an accident because the setting is intimidating, commonly paired with a well-groomed man in a corner, well versed in the prices and methodology of scouting who is there to browse and who is there to buy. The pressure of purchase, as well as the lack of knowledge about most artists’ shows you might stumble upon are quite similar to the reasons we prefer online shopping as opposed to the traditional brick-and-mortar. The online sphere gives you time to learn about what you are buying before putting in your order, with 24 hour convenience. Enter Tappan Collective, an online gallery representing over 50 artists, selling their art, sharing their story and giving them global exposure.

“People spend time reading the interviews we have up on the site and get to see the artist in their space. In a traditional gallery you have the white cube and the work that is supposed to speak for itself. You’re intimidated to ask questions. We want transparency and education. We feature the artist and make them apart of the experience when buying their work, because you’re truly connecting to them when you purchase your piece,” said Chelsea Neman, founder of the online space.

Their concept is unique, as art was one of the last industries to take up commerce space online. While other sites may sell higher-end and more mainstream artists, Neman is looking for new talent when choosing people to curate and collaborate with.

“We focus on emerging artists right out of art school, fresh off their B.A. or M.A. programs. It’s also how we keep our collection very accessible. Aside from price, it’s where they are in their journey as artists. They are a lot more open and willing, and really enjoy the interaction with the clients,” said Neman.

It’s the mix of passionate artists just starting out and the youthful appeal of their business model that is gaining notice from the same group of people tired of mass-produced goods under unfair labor practices. Where past generations were conditioned to trust large-scale business monopolies and brand names, there is now a backpedaling toward artisan goods and small-scale practices when it comes to how we shop. Much like the designers we carry who are making things on a smaller scale to be considered sustainable and top-quality, Neman’s success with collectors, especially the younger buyers, could be highly attributed to the trend.

“I think our generation is so exposed to the quick and dirty that they value unique things and pieces that are set apart. I think millenials are much more experienced based and way less consumer oriented than the generations before. They want less stuff, and we’ve pared down to good quality items. There is an element of identity in what we own now. We don’t just want something for any purpose. We want it to speak to us,” said Neman.

“I think our generation wants to support artisans. Our parents' generation trusted corporations and bigger companies, but we’re more likely to support people pursing their passions and doing something different,” said Taylor Cassidy, Marketing & Digital Strategist at Tappan.

And to pursue those passions, you need someone to believe and invest in your work. Instead of reaching for convenience and the easiest option, people are finding value in items that took longer work hours and creativity. Yet, the Internet age is the era of convenience, if not in what, then in when and whom. Google could be considered a god by definition. The Internet being the saturated space it is allows for mass exposure as well as a place to be submerged and hard to find.

“I think it’s a double-edged sword in that it provides so much accessibility and visibility of product but it also makes you one of the many... Though it’s harder to stand out, you have so much more opportunity. The ability to see more inspiration and have so much more exposure to different cultures allows, for example, someone from the Midwest to be fascinated with Japanese calligraphy. There is this blend and its such an opportunity,” said Neman.

While I can repeat my observance to the burgeoning art scene of Los Angeles, the stereotype remains that New York is the place you go as a fine artist. Maybe it’s because of the tougher economic landscape that forces you to remain in the grind, or maybe it’s the societal expectation that it’s still the locale for success. Tappan Collective chose it’s base in Downtown Los Angeles because it’s model didn’t fit that scheme.

“The art world in general is an incredible and unique world. In New York, the path to success is a little more traditional. There is more history, limited landscape, and limited galleries. In LA there is a lot more room both mentally and physically to try something new,” said Neman.

Past the location, Neman is observing a newness in the art world that is allowing for different industries and groups of people to enjoy and access are in their preferred or familiar forms.

“I think our generation wants to support artisans. Our parents' generation trusted corporations and bigger companies, but we’re more likely to support people pursing their passions and doing something different ”

“I think how the art scene is opening up. All the industries are integrating art and there is so much more access to people’s work. I like that it’s more a part of the collective consciousness. Because of the Internet it’s not this untouchable super-intimidating place. Because of our pop-ups and interviews people are responding well and want to start collecting younger. It’s a big change,” said Neman.

Those of us that have been intimidates to take a peak behind the perverbial curtain of the “scene” may find that the looking process as well as our ability to become involved is much more at our fingertips. I asked Neman what her tips were for those wanting to build a repertoire with the culture.

“I think joining museums and going to gallery openings are a great start. Getting your feet wet and getting involved in your local art scene is something most people have access to. Online, once you find artists you like, follow their practice and their work. It’s a great way to feel really invested when you finally do buy something it becomes part of the journey,” said Neman.


Friend of a Friend
art history

Friend of a Friend



The art school grad-turned-digital mogul talks starting her own business in college and making art democratic. Plus, how to start your own collection—on a less-than-Gagosian budget. 

When did you start collecting art?

I started early. Art has always been a passion of mine—before Tappan, I worked as an artist for several years. It’s such an energetic way to bring new ideas and inspiration to a space.

What sparked your interest in painting?

I started painting when I was young, and never stopped. It is a huge passion and creative outlet for me. I love the actual process of painting and being in “flow”.

What were some of your favorite artists growing up?

Cy Twombly, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt were the first artists that I obsessed over.

How would you describe your own work? Do you have a signature stroke?

The last types of work I was making before I paused to run Tappan were large abstracts. I like clean and meaningful lines—but also being present and directionless while I paint.

How did Tappan Collective come about?

I founded Tappan in 2012 with Jordan Klein, a fellow Angeleno and University of Michigan alum—Tappan is actually named after the Tappan Fine Arts library at Michigan. We realized a gap in the art market for emerging artists and young collectors. There were so many young, incredibly talented individuals we found who didn’t have a space to show their work. We knew there were collectors for each…it was just about connecting with them.

What do you look for when you’re working with these artists?

There are many factors that go into our decision to work with artists. Most of our artists have graduated top art schools, and are in full pursuit of their career in the arts. We’re looking for artists who are dedicated to their practice.

What should we keep in mind when we’re going to make a first time investment in a piece of art?

As always, do your research. Be comfortable asking questions about the artist and their process. Ask yourself, “Why am I drawn to this piece?” Once you start collecting, you’ll become more comfortable with the process and be able to develop your taste.

What’s one thing we should be cautious of?

Only spend what you’re comfortable with spending—great art can be bought at any price point. And remember that art is personal. Don’t buy a piece because you think you should: Every collection should be unique.

Why did you choose an online platform over opening a brick and mortar gallery?

Traditional galleries are and will always be an important part of the art world. For our market, the internet offers more reach and is much more accessible. Our goal is to make art available to everyone, and an online platform allows us more flexibility in this space.

Where do you see the company going?

Tappan has become a go-to for emerging art and we’re really proud of that. As our online presence and success continues to grow, we’ll be exploring new avenues to support each and every one of our artists.

Do you have any physical shop plans in the near future?

We always have events on the horizon! We recently collaborated with ELLE and Longchamp to celebrate a group of Tappan artists in New York. We’ll be in Miami during Basel and we have a pop-up scheduled to open in Los Angeles early 2016—details yet to be revealed!
Images by Ali Albright

Abstract Photography
art history

Abstract Photography


"All good art is abstract in its structure." - Paul Strand, photographer

Abstract Photography is a rejection of the idea that photography must be documentary or symbolic. Instead, its object is the image itself. The photographer focuses on form, color, and flow, not necessarily detail.

Tappan artist, Sebastian Weiss, uses photography to transform works of architecture into an image of space and geometric forms. Sebastian is particularly fascinated by the aesthetics of constructions and the details of their shapes. In his eyes, every building has its own architectural language with a totally individual vocabulary. In all of these languages, Sebastian looks for the most beautiful letters and words. He abstracts urban shapes and underlines their clear forms and structures. By breaking the essence of a city down to the substance, he frees buildings from their spatial context and known surroundings. In the end, he is able to model a new uniqueness of shapes with his pictures.


Top 10 Artful Coffee Table Books
art history

Top 10 Artful Coffee Table Books

Top 10 Artful Coffee Table Books  
A coffee table book has the visual depth of a wall of original paintings, without the price tag! Each volume holds a miniature museum.
  1. Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations (Metropolitan Museum of Art) - Although separated by time, Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli—both Italian, both feminists—share striking affinities in terms of their design strategies and fashion manifestoes. It’s a gorgeous survey of fashion as art.
  2. The Life of a Photograph by Sam Abell (National Geographic Books) - Drawing on 40 years of fieldwork, the pages take the reader on assignment and inside the heart of a master photographer to witness the process of making a truly great picture. This exquisite book is organized by the known and unexpected themes of Abell’s work, ranging from his sensitive Portraits, beautiful Land, Sea, Sky and thought-provoking Wild Life to the surprising Just Looking (quirky scenes encountered on assignment). Yours truly was also the photography intern on this gentle piece.
  3. Henri Matisse: Rooms with a View (The Monacelli Press) - Explore in depth, for the first time, the full significance of the window in Matisse’s thinking about interior and exterior space. The colors, the rearranged rooms, the constantly shifting small apartments and even transient living quarters, what does each reinvention of space mean? The answer lies beyond the window.
  4. Fornasetti: Conversation With Philippe Starck (Assouline) - Ever since I first saw the etched face of a woman named Lina Cavalieri dripping in black and white halftones, plastered on the backs of chairs, and resting on pillowcases, I needed to learn more about this obsessive motif. Piero Fornasetti, an Italian sculptor-cum-interiordesigner and renowned Milanese painter, explains the face he found in a 19th century magazine clipping.
  5. Vitamin P2L New Perspectives in Painting (Phaidon) - A dynamic overview of the best new contemporary painting from around the world featuring over 500 images depicting the incredible richness and variety of the medium. Introductionby Barry Schwabsky, London-based writer, Art Critic for The Nation and International Reviews Editor for Artforum.
  6. 28 Chinese (Rubell Family Collection) - The exhibition 28 Chinese at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, Florida was the culmination of six research trips made between 2001 and 2012. Though it is a personal account, it ultimately encompasses multiple generations of artist working through myriad themes offering a survey of the young Chinese contemporary art world.
  7. Los Alamos by Willian Eggleston (Scalo Publishers) - "I had this notion of what I called a democratic way of looking around, that nothing was more or less important," William Eggleston once said. This radical attitude guided his ground-breaking work in color photography, work that has prefigured many recent developments in art and photography. The photographs in Los Alamos were shot in Eggleston's native Memphis and on countless road trips across the American South from 1964 to 1968 and from 1972 to 1974. It contains a blueprint of Eggleston's aesthetics, his subtle use of subdued color hues, and the casual elegance of his trenchant observations of the mysterious mundane.
  8. Shot by Kern by Richard Kern (Taschen) - Shot By Kern presents some 300 photographs, including several photo series, interviewing the real women who dream of being New York Girls, through styling and shooting. As Richard travels the world he's noticed cultural similarities between his models and themes have emerged, from the universality of prescription drugs, to a love of technology, to lying in bed, and peering up skirts. And because Kern has always been fascinated by what women do behind the bathroom door, there is lots of intimate personal grooming. Perhaps this book is for a coffee table in the bedroom…
  9. James Ensor (The Museum of Modern Art) - This striking and slightly creepy volume, published on the occasion of Ensor's major 2009 exhibition in New York, gives the artist the attention he so greatly deserves. It presents approximately 90 works, organized thematically, examining Ensor's Modernity, his innovative and allegorical approach to light, his prominent use of satire, his deep interest in carnival and performance and, finally, his own self-fashioning and use of masking, travesty and role-playing. The book’s essays tackle such topics as Ensor as the painter of a fantasmagoric modern life or an exploration of one’s relationship, as a painter, within art history.
  10. Mies by Detlef Mertins (Phaidon) - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is one of the twentieth century's most influential architects. His most well-known projects include the Barcelona Pavilion in Spain (1929); the Seagram Building in New York (1954-56); the Farnsworth House (1945-50), 860 and 880 Lakeshore Drive (1945-51) and the IIT Campus (1939-58), all in and around Chicago, and the New National Gallery in Berlin (1962-68). These are only a few of Mies's pavilions, houses, skyscrapers and campuses, which all epitomized a radically new structural and spatial clarity. The purity of his Mies's architecture is almost surprising in light the diversity of his interests. This is the most definitive monograph ever published on the modern master of lines.

Fashion Houses & The Bauhaus
art history

Fashion Houses & The Bauhaus

Fashion Houses & The Bauhaus

If you studied art history at all in college, you most likely studied (and actually remembered!) the Bauhaus.  The Bauhaus was a school of thought founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany, around 1919, and its general philosophy was to bring art to the people, to break down the barriers between artist and craftsman, and to let art infiltrate our lives in every way.  The goal was to make people aesthetically pleased and therefore altogether happier.  Art would no longer be something to just look at in a museum; it had to be painted on the walls, printed onto clothes and onto coffee mugs, in the form of crazy prints or just compelling colors. 

Unfortunately and perhaps unsurprisingly, this philosophy was found way too radical by many, and thus the school and its institutions only survived so long.  However, the idea has been carried through the twentieth century and until today in a more manageable form by some of the most revered fashion houses.  Italian house Missoni has an explicitly Bauhaus-like desire for its customers to drown their decorative worlds in its prints. Heir to the brand, Luca Missoni explained in a 2013 Interview Magazine article that the brand is directly inspired by art (and contemporary dance).  Their mission statement is to make people feel happy through aesthetic pleasure, which is why they partner with unlikely companies such as Target, Eataly and even San Pellegrino, to let their signature gorgeous Missoni print infiltrate the mainstream and multiple aspects of our lives.

Magical Finnish brand Marimekko has the same idea.  Along with clothes and home goods, they sell fabric in their retail stores, so that customers can do what they want with the prints and ideally decorate their entire lives with it.  In fact they opened a storefront in Cambridge, Massachusetts a few years ago that was not a store—it could not be entered—but actually just a huge display case to please and inspire its viewers.  They even created an art installation with flowing Marimekko fabric draped over wild grassy fields, completely blurring the line between fashion and landscape.  Their mission statement from their website reads, in part, “We want to taste the authentic flavour of life, thus finding joy and intensity for the working day…. Following fashion and pointless ingratiation should be avoided. Usually, you should just boldly follow your own internal beacon.” 

The literal goals of the Bauhaus may have been too lofty to carry out, but their ideas are alive and well.  Gropius and the Bauhaus ideals seem to have touched on an ultimate human instinct and desire, and they have been incorporated elegantly into a largely consumerist world.  After all, who doesn’t want to be a little bit happier?


7 Tips for kickstarting your own collection
art history

7 Tips for kickstarting your own collection

Tappan's Co-Founder, Chelsea Neman, gives 7 Tips for kickstarting your own collection:

Peggy Guggenheim in 1961 at her home in Venice

Remember that art is personal. As the saying goes, “Buy with your eyes, not with your ears.” When you start looking for works, trust what you’re drawn to. Don’t buy it because you think you should; every collection should be unique.

Start getting involved. Go to gallery openings and fairs. The more you see, the easier it will become to work out what you like.

Feel comfortable asking questions about artists and their work. When it comes to art, there is no wrong interpretation of the work. Spend time learning about the artists you’re investing in. If you’re serious about the work and you can’t find what you’re looking for online, reach out to their gallery and ask to set up a studio visit.

Only spend what you’re comfortable with. One of the founding principles of Tappan was that great art can be bought at any price point.

Document your purchases. The more information you have on the context of your purchase, the better. In years to come, the history of where the work has been, the book from the show it was a part of, or the note the artist wrote you will all increase its value.

Ask yourself, “Why am I drawn to this piece?” Does it make you see life differently? Does it inspire you? Do you like the artist’s technique? As you continue to ask yourself why you’ve purchased the art you have, you will not only learn about yourself, but also become more thoughtful in your future purchases.

Just do it. Once you start buying art, you’ll become more comfortable with the process and then you’ll begin to see what direction you want to take your collection in. Great collections are well thought-out, but first and foremost, you’ve got to develop your taste.


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