Looking at this Wallpaper Feels Like Being in a Carnival Mirror House

Miranda Lichtenstein’s marvelous, mind-bending photos are translated to wallpaper by Maharam’s Digital Projects initiative.

As demonstrated by Maharam’s recently released Darning Sampler collection, pieces produced by the American textile company really are works of art. So it made a lot of sense when, in 2010, Maharam introduced its Digital Projects initiative, which begins with artists and translates their work into wall-size installations. Each piece is made by an emerging or established creative—Marilyn Minter, Rob Pruitt, Paul Smith, Sarah Sze, and Rirkrit Tiravanija among them—and is scaled using advanced digital printing techniques. One of the works that caught our eye is by New Yorkbased artist Miranda Lichtenstein, whose photographs taken in Ito, Japan, served as a foundation for her Ito wallpaper. Lichtenstein photographed still-life arrangements against a backdrop of handmade Japanese washi paper and reflective Mylar using a 4×5 camera, which enabled her to create both focused and distorted areas in a single pane. The image’s mesmerizing distortion—including flowers in a warped state that evoke the feeling of being in a carnival mirror house—results in wallpaper that’s charmingly out of the ordinary, and therefore, refreshing. Lichtenstein’s unconventional photography transforms the wallcovering from a mere backdrop to a captivating centerpiece.

(Photo: Courtesy Maharam) 

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