Displaying Art

Sunflower Painting called Fab Five. Work in progress.










Above: Chris Holt, Fab Five (Work in Progress), Oil on wood panel

These days, it seems like guest contributors on television news broadcasts are regularly being interviewed via "Zoom." It's a common occurrence that often reveals a guest contributor speaking from a location inside their home or office. It has become "the norm" to see them in these personal spaces. 

As Covid hit and unfolded, I remember noticing how the backgrounds behind these guest contributors would change over time. How they would morph. For the most part they were improving. Book shelves were tidied. Clutter was removed. And the spaces, places and things behind the speakers became more and more controlled. In some instances the backgrounds became more neutral. In others, more personal and revealing of a person's style, character, likes and dislikes, for example.

Today, it seems like everyone has their latest book that they just wrote on display on the shelf behind them. Congrats. Guest contributors on television are consistently controlling the visual message they portray about themselves and their personal brands.

What is behind me during my zoom calls? A really neat and fairly large painting. Not one that I created (...although it should be!) but one that already existed in the space behind me. How I found out about its impact on my Zoom calls was during one of my first zoom calls. The person I was speaking with asked me about the painting. Was it one of mine? Who's was it? Etc. It turned out to be a really great ice-breaker. Today, it is one of the reasons why I turn on my camera during Zoom calls. Especially with people I'm meeting for the first time. It helps me feel more confident. 

I'm fascinated by this topic. What's behind you when you Zoom?