Klein Blue 2, Electric Bugaloo

In my last post I extolled the virtues of all things Yves Klein and therefore, by the transitive property A=B and B=C, also all things blue, and also all things crazy but awesome. I'm a little weary of the robin's egg blue that was so popular for the last few years, and I just painted over my tequila blue living room (so I think you can gather how I feel about that), but this blue is all neon excitement -- more sapphire than powder, more sexy than sentimental, and definitely not for the faint of heart.

This girl gets it:

klein lady

Comparing her wardrobe to a swatch of Klein's patented Blue, you can see that she's not entirely on the money, but her claim to wear nothing but IYKB is not without merit. And frankly, I think it does a lot for her complexion. And it's certainly better than the guy who looks like Paul Giamatti but isn't and only wears brown. Really? Brown? Do I even need to go into the associations there? It's too early in the morning.

Of course, this is an interior design blog (for lack of a better category), so I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't shower you with some home decor porn, and you know I live to serve you, my ladyfriends (and gay BFFs??? hellll-ooo? Are you there???).

Without further ado:

kevin suvlasky

Starting it off with a bang are these gorgeous rooms designed by Andrew Suvlasky. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me? I love the gender neutrality of this color. Not so masculine as to say, "I like hunting and tweed" and not so feminine as to say "I like birds and twee pastels, thank you very much." And when it's blue on blue on blue -- par example, the right picture -- it just feels saturated instead of hyperactive. Try that with any other pop color.

And, of course, Klein Blue does work beautifully as an accent color, too:

brown davis

That IS a pornoramic view in this bedroom designed by Brown and Davis, but those seductive pillows and drapes almost outsexify it. Plus whoever photographed this interior did an amazing job. The double gourd lamp in turquoise is a bit strange, though...

Another room that strikes a blue note:

habitually chic

John Demsey's bachelor pad designed by Bibi Monnahan, via Habitually Chic. Check out the whole tour on her site because the guy has a great photography collection (as well as some chairs that Miss Karly would lurve). Again, there is some weird lamp action going on here, but I still think this is such a livable apartment, much more accessible than something done up all in beige like my uptight BF Patrick Bateman and his super sterile bachelor pad.

Of course, if you need some extra stimulation, you could go all the way, like this room designed for the Kip's Bay Showhouse by Christpher Maya:

christopher maya

Yes, it's a little patriotic for my taste, but I like the wall color and blue chair. I think it could lighten up and take itself a little less seriously, though, like this bubbly kitchen spied in Domino's quirky kitchen gallery:

domino kitchen

All those balls make me giggle and the barstools are kind of killing me (anyone else offended by those ubiquitous pseudo-futuristic stools? Probably just me... as usual), but I do like the light 'n' freshness of the entire ensemble.

And finally, after the slew of blue and chrome combos, a reminder that electric blue looks fantastically sultry when paired with gold:

winston roeth

Ok, what would not look good in Italy's amazing Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo? But these modern works by Winston Roeth are spectacular in juxtaposition with cherubic white and gold. (via, once again, Habitually Chic

Funny, those paintings look familar, don't they? After all, Roeth wasn't the first artist to paint a monochrome canvas in what is essentially, ahem, Yves Klein Blue. But I suppose if you're in the business of painting monochromes, then you must be aware that what you're selling is not talent, but a concept, and Klein understood marketing better than anyone. 

Yves Klein was always good at anticipating trends (pretentiously called "movements" in art, but the great cultural critic Walter Benjamin realized early on that art is inevitably bound up in fashion), and he was always good at creating something out of nothing. Witness his "Leap Into the Void," where he markets his greatest product, ever: himself.

klein void

Oh, hell, whatever. Enough art history. I like blue. Not to go Seussian, but take the leap. You might, too.

Yves Klein Blue

Well, friends, today's post comes to you from the depths of Ye Olde Texarkana, located at -- you guessed it -- the funky junction of Texas, Arkansas and Louisisana. To put it mildly, my computer here is a little wonky (AOL???! why not just hook a bicycle up to the computer and pedal to power it like crazy Ed Begley Jr.?), but bear with me for a two-part series on the crazy adventures of Yves Klein and the electric blue zeitgeist that's sweeping the decornation.

When I was in art school, Yves Klein was something of a mystery to me. A conceptualist in the 50's and 60's, a lot of what he did was just paint stuff --any stuff -- blue, but not just any blue; he patented his own lapis lazuli shade which he titled IYKB (International Yves Klein Blue).

yves klein anthopometries

(photos courtesy of the Yves Klein Archives).

Yves loved him some naked ladies, which he employed as paint brushes that wielded his Klein Blue paint during performances where Anthropometries, or visual measurements of the human body, were created.  And so the human paintbrush trend was born...

But he wasn't above stealing readymade forms, like a copy of the torso of Venus or a common globe, and coating them with blue paint, much like Karly covers everything in gold paint. I suppose International Yves Klein Blue has a continental ring to it that International Erin Williamson Puce doesn't really have, but I'm starting to think I should have gotten wise to the whole "just paint stuff" movement a lot sooner.

klein blue

Yves died in 1962 of a heart attack -- dude was only 34! -- but a lot of his works have been in heavy rotation for the last couple of years. Check out that very same bust of Venus in a contemporary posh pad decorated by Brown and Davis:

klein sculpture

Blue and yellow are back together again, for the very first time...

And here's the now familiar globe at the Hotel Verhaegen in Belgium:

klein hotel

In this room, that globe looks like it landed from an alien planet and I LIKE it. I also like the idea of staying at a hotel where an incredibly expensive piece of art is just sitting on the coffee table, waiting for me to stash it in my slightly oversized purse.

The most attainable and decorative of Klein's works are the infamous lucite coffee tables that have been popping up everywhere:

klein yabu

Design superduo Yabu and Pushelberg are practically cooing over their Klein table, which I must say, makes a major statement in their largely monochromatic apartment.

klein tables

And according to Habitually Chic's website, designer David Netto says "You're not living until you have an Yves Klein cofffee table."  I guess I'll keep that in mind, that is if I have a mind, because I must be dead. Oh, and just in case I'm not already sleeping with the fishes, the rest of David Netto's art collection makes me want to choke it's so amazing.

But not quite as amazing as Marianne Boesky's collection, which features a pink Klein table. Surprised you with that one, didn't I? Extra credit if you remembered from an earlier post that he made gold tables, too.

klein boesky

I love the bizarre pop of color these tables give to conservative spaces, and I would KILL someone for those hooded head prints. This may be one of my favorite apartments. Ever.

Back to blue. Focus! So, I can't afford one of the only 300 tables in each color that were made. But I was thinking of buying one of these and working it over:

yves klein tables

The OG table on top, lefty is from Eurway and righty is from Ikea. It would be so easy to paint the tops of either table and have a piece of plexi cut to cover the top, just to protect the finish and add some extra shine.

So move over gold, there's a new color to just paint stuff: Klein Blue, aka, Pantone 72C Pantone 286 mixed with Reflex Blue. Thanks, Anna at Door Sixteen, for alerting me to my faulty color match!

People, I am busy. I am literally (seriously) going fishing tomorrow, and I have buckets of fried okra to eat after that, but I'll be back for Thursday's sure to be poorly written AWESOME post, where I shall overload you with pretty pictures of Klein Blue interiors. Because I heart you.