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“I wanted a Titian and all I got was a lump of lard”

What happens when an art lover tiles his bathroom? You may have seen work by graphic designer Christoph Niemann in Wired magazine, the New York Times, or the New Yorker (he’s done a number of covers for that last publication). Like most illustrators, he’s developed a range of styles, one of which involves rendering images […]

What happens when an art lover tiles his bathroom?

You may have seen work by graphic designer Christoph Niemann in Wired magazine, the New York Times, or the New Yorker (he’s done a number of covers for that last publication). Like most illustrators, he’s developed a range of styles, one of which involves rendering images in pixel form.

So in designing a bathroom for their home, Niemann and his wife decided it’d be fun to translate a famous piece of art into pixel form, then render that image using colored ceramic tiles. The hard part, as you’ll see from his post on the process, was deciding which artwork to use (after all, it’s not like they could just take down this “art” if they got tired of it).

Turns out they considered works by a host of artists – Richter, Indiana, Hockney, Rothko, and others – who’ve shown at the Walker, and/or who have works in our permanent collection. The winning work for their shower tiles was this Pop classic from the collection, on view in The Shape of Time through November 16.

For the tub, they translated a more esoteric work, Corner of Fat, by another Walker favorite, Joseph Beuys (his works are also on view in the Friedman Gallery through next summer). Niemann thought it was a “terrifyingly perfect” idea to do a bathroom-tile version of this work, which originally involved several pounds of butter; his wife’s reaction, he reports, was the quote used in this post’s headline. Luckily, she came around and agreed. Bathroom tiles are one of those crucial matrimonial decisions.

  • Kristina says:

    Awesome. Niemann’s other story in his Abstract City blog is about his subway-obsessed children and just about the most adorable thing I’ve ever read too: The Boys and the Subway.