The (first world) problems with creating a Gallery Wall....

The (first world) problems with creating a Gallery Wall....                      I have created a few gallery walls over the years and although the idea seems quite fun and creative, the experiences in reality were not so much fun.  Firstly, where do you find the artwork?  I have trudged through many home ware stores and looked at the selection of “inspirational” artwork and photography and frankly, inspirational is boring.   These stores cater to the masses for guaranteed, convenient  shopping trolley sales.  The wall art is mass produced, offensively mainstream and everyone across the world from Beijing to Barnsley ends up having the same kind stuff hanging on their wall;

  • 3 canvases of a stretched black and white photograph of a wooden bridge on a tranquil lake.
  • An A4 cheap framed poker dotted typography image saying Live, Life, Love.
  • A rustic pallet board with a vintage style cartoon woman from the 50’s saying something about coffee, wine or generally not giving a shit about house-keeping .
  • A shabby chic butterfly on a pebble with a thick whitewash (supposed to be wooden) frame yet is actually a cheap, mass produced plastic frame
  • A large, low quality, thin, glossy poster of a non-offensive, abstract painting from a famous European artist, classically representing the era in question but that has been since printed, sold and hung in the homes of millions.

It’s what I call “full circle” momentum.... a bit like a clown is so “funny” that he becomes “unfunny”;

  • So obviously tasteful that it becomes tasteless.
  • So obviously inspirational that it becomes un-inspirational.
  • So falsely shabby chic that it becomes contemporary.
  • So vibrant that it becomes dull.
  • So desperately ironic that it becomes predictable.
  • So concerned with being high end that it becomes low end.

It’s just one big conventionalist yawn convention.......

So what are the other options for buying art?


An Art Gallery

Well as circumstances had it, I had a few other important things to buy before I started investing a few thousand dollars into art collections...  When the situation changes or when I get to a moment in life where art becomes a priority over a new car or house then I’ll let you know.  


Boutique shops

Yes, an awesome idea but if you’re not living in cool urban city like London, Berlin or Brooklyn then it’s pretty hard to find boutique art shops that have a collection that you love and at the right price.   I guess it’s like shopping for specific antique gems...... It takes serious diligence, time and patience but fair play if you manage it.



Now we are getting somewhere.  This is traditionally the method that I have chosen for the gallery walls I have created in my home but.... it took a long time and wasn’t very easy to navigate and find art that I wanted to buy.  Firstly, there is so much variation; different online stores, random sizes and dimensions, quality of printing and paper, stores not delivering to my country or area, and most confusing and tiring of all, the prices!  Why does one art print cost $10 and another piece cost $200?  Obviously there are loads of variants, the credibility of the artist, the quality of the print, the exclusivity of the art and other variants which make it all a bit daunting and a guaranteed road to a dull headache to be honest.  I care a bit about the artists background and credibility but not quite enough to pay a huge difference in price.  I'm not making an art investment here, I'm creating a gallery wall so the value of the art as investment is quite insignificant.  Also, I don't have the sorts of art appreciating visitors to my house who would notice something on the wall and ask who the artist is. 

In the end my strategy was to use one of the big art websites, narrow down the search by price (under $50) and then spend hours and hours scrolling, scrolling and more scrolling, trying to pick out any art that was vaguely interesting enough to warrant hanging on my wall.   The art was delivered in many separate packages from different locations and suppliers and the quality was vastly different.  Sometimes I opened the tubes but the artwork was instantly ripped or dented because the paper, usually thin, glossy poster paper was so flimsy. Some with no border at all, some with huge borders.  All art prints were a different size and shape; some offensively oblong and some a lot smaller than I expected.  Even though I’m sure the measurements were listed on the sites, I probably ended up being so tired that I was ordering art prints based on price and the need to get the process over with rather than diligently making sure the print would be bigger than a postcard.   



I didn’t know a local framer but even if I did then my guess would be that to frame all of these prints would cost more than I paid for the prints themselves so I wanted a lower cost option.  I proceeded to shop in many different stores, trying to find suitable frames that I liked.  Some people would have measured every print, with their borders (or no borders in many cases), cross checking in the stores and accurately choose the most suitable frames.  But unfortunately I am just not that organised.  It was pretty much guess work.  I’d go into a shop and think that a rectangle frame might fit the size of a couple of prints I have at home and I’d think ‘sod it. let’s buy it and find out’.  I ended up with too many frames, and simultaneously not enough frames to fit the art that I had.  So a section of the spare room is now a warehouse for storing surplus frames and surplus art prints.....  sigh.  Also, the end results were not great.   I know part of the appeal for some gallery walls is the eclectic essence but then when some of the art work is not great quality, so flimsy that it doesn’t even sit well in the frame, some poster prints might even be slightly crumpled at the edges, or marked.  Some I have cut to fit the frame, or glued to a mat board to make it fit to a bigger frame but the process and finished article was certainly not professional.   Pretty much a bodge job, make shift, amateur attempt at “framing” the art work.  Expensive, time consuming, messy and frustrating.


Gallery Wall Design

Then we come to creating the layout of the gallery wall itself... this should be the fun part?  Well actually even if you have one of those brains that can visualise an appealing Tetris style perfect pattern of beautifully framed art on the wall, in practical terms it’s not much fun.  You end up spending 5 hours cutting out brown craft paper and taping it on the floor, not remembering which frame the piece of brown paper was representing then trying desperately with a spirit level that you are sure is broken, dodgy drill, ill fitting screws and them stupid plastic things that are supposed to secure them into the wall, to replicate the layout on the wall only to find out that.... this does not work.   You are left with multiple mistake holes in the wall, and spend too much time trying to cover the holes with carefully hung pictures, which completely overrides the “plan” you had on the floor.


Gallery Wallrus was Born!

If you have ever tried to create a gallery wall at home then I would imagine you have experienced at least some of the problems above.  To combat these painful gallery wall problems (cough cough. First world problems)...... We created Gallery Wallrus:

  • Absolutely no “inspirational” or boring art is allowed on our site.
  • No price confusion. $39 dollars is the price for all artwork (shown in your local currency whilst browsing), with an automated volume discount of 10% when you buy 4 or more prints.
  • No hunting down boutique shops, getting excited when you find somewhere but then not finding any art in the store that you like enough to buy or at the right price.
  • No flitting between various online stores, having to register your personal and payment details.
  • No scrolling through hundreds of random art to find the odd piece that you like and is at the right size, quality and price.
  • No concerns about quality of the printing, paper or packaging.
  • No hassle trying to work out the sizes of the prints.
  • No concerns about availability or price shipping to your country or province.
  • No waiting for many different deliveries from different suppliers.
  • Easier framing process.
  • Easy gallery wall symmetrical grid design process (no floor planning required).

We hoped you enjoyed reading about these first world gallery wall problems and that we save you the time, hassle and expensive headaches by shopping with Gallery Wallrus when planning your gallery wall!    

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