Bathrooms become conceptual centres

With work featuring on the cover of The New Yorker, National Geographic, and The New York Times, today’s featured artist isn’t exactly underground. He’s drawn live at the Venice Art Biennale, the London Olympics, and the New York City Marathon (whilst running it), and hand-drew a 360 degree VR animation for The New Yorker. But somehow it’s his… bathrooms that we’re most interested in.

Christoph Niemann‘s creative mind wanders wonderfully into our ceramic centred world with these unusual examples of tiling mania. The first bathroom was designed to ease his childrens’ transition from New York to their new home in Berlin. Inspired by his kids’ love of the subway a mini map was recreated in tile, with colourful lines crossing and connecting over the floor and three of the bathroom’s walls.

For the second bathroom Niemann wanted to take a classic piece of art and turn it into an abstract mosaic. This started with plans for Vecelli’s Sacred and Profane Love but due to colour palette-related issues it was a non-starter. Other great artworks were suggested in its place such as Titian’s Venus of Urbino and Hockney’s We Always See With Memory, but with none meeting their needs, he and his wife struck upon a genius idea – Warhol’s ever iconic Brillo Box. And so the shower was born, an appropriation of an appropriation.

So as to not overwhelm the bathroom with colour and confusion, deciding on the decor for the bath took a touch more thought, until Niemann stumbled across another “terrifyingly perfect idea”. And so was born the tile version of Joseph Beuys’ infamous Fettecke “Fat Corner”.

Christoph Niemann

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, September 2021.

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