Wednesday, May 30

Forgiving Mr. Nelson.

As a child I had a real problem with George Nelson. Mr. Nelson's famous bench was the bane of my young existence. My ever-fashionable parents used ours, as many people still do, as a coffee table. Have you ever tried drawing with your Crayola Crayons on this ridiculous slated bench? It's a childhood nightmare that has indelibly scarred me. I now require (and sometimes just outright demand) only the smoothest of surfaces for any kind of artistic endeavor.

However, later in life, I fell for Mr. Nelson in a big way. I realized (duh) he's done some pretty great design work. I even like his stupid bench now. And recently, at the ATSF Smallest Coolest Contest party at DWR, I swooned over this large format, black & white print of George Nelson and his sad looking little dog. He looks so dashing and cavalier in his convertible, and yet very nice, and normal. Not a mean, menacing furniture man, after all. So, I forgive you Mr. Nelson. For more of Mr. Nelson's work, visit DWR.

4 comments:

Carlene said...

I love his stupid bench, too. But it's his lamps that I covet most.

Yvonne said...

Did you see that Sarah Waters has one of those "keep calm" posters in her writing room? Love! Look here:

http://books.guardian.co.uk/graphic/0,,1999638,00.html

If the link doesn't work, go to the guardian website and search for writer's rooms.

Jon said...

Greetings. I have been designing office furniture for over 20 years. It's always amazed me how you can look at something for decades and not fully understand it. Then we have a event, reading, conversation or some "thing" in our life take place and we suddenly "see" what all the fuss is about.

Nelson, Eames, Johnson, Wright, etc. They all created spaces and objects that initially we might not understand but eventually life's learnings push the pieces into place.

It also happens with song. There have been songs that I loved for decades but suddenly, due to some event or experience, I find a hidden meaning in the lyrics. Like vintage Jackson Browne... and think "wow... how could he have known all that about life at such a young age?".

"The journey is the reward".

susan said...

too funny! my friends in brooklyn have his bench in their guest room - i always loved it and my children always thought it was awful for the same reasons you pointed out here.
perspective and time...
thanks for the chuckle...