c.2007

Introduction

Home Beautiful, is a recent exhibition of photographs by New Zealand photographer Ingrid Boberg.
In Home Beautiful, Boberg seduces the viewer into a fantastical representation of domestic design.

The decorating of one's home to reflect personal style and taste is nothing new.
The collection and display of objects create a space and ambience completely reflective of the owner's personality. However, in the last few decades, this passionate and personal pastime has grown into a full-blown industry of third party advisors. While we still strive for our environment to reflect our individuality, we ironically turn to magazines filled with pages of perfectly designed rooms and impeccably coordinated furniture for inspiration.
We hire interior designers to make these personal decisions for us, and in the midst of it all, a piece of ourselves is lost.

In Home Beautiful, Boberg comments on the peculiar, yet accepted phenomena of the DIY Home Décor industry of third party advisors. Playing on our design-oriented culture, Boberg creates her own domestic interiors, intentionally exaggerating the arrangements we would likely find in a magazine. The retro furniture and cute porcelain animals decorating her environment nod to the perfect, pristine era of the 1950's housewife. Everything is perfectly placed, spaced and coordinated. Nothing is what we would expect to find in a normal home, as Boberg intentionally places these elements in the context of perfection, quietly mocking the formal, contrived spaces we aim to imitate.

Like Gregory Crewdsen's theatrically staged scenes, Boberg's seemingly familiar environments become overwhelmingly disquieting. However, unlike the overtly foreboding Crewdsen environment, Boberg camouflages her interiors with what the artist calls the "cute factor," which takes the viewer outside of reality and into the fantastical. We are quietly seduced by her selection and arrangement of the objects. These interiors are what we desire and wish to mimic in our own homes, but ironically, they are settings of conformity and lack individuality. They seem warm, yet stifled. They seem familiar, yet distant. They seem pleasant, yet disconcerting. But in the end, the beauty of it all is that we still love them.

Shannon Richardson


Trophy&Baby 2005
(Home Beautiful series)

Scotties 2004
(Loving Me Loving You series)