American artist Jasper Johns is 88 – and next year he will have two more major exhibitions, at once at the Whitney, and at the Philidelphia Museum of Art – phew! Recently he was interviewed in the New York Times, which commented,
“Every detail inside the studio seems intentional, as if each object were a clue about the man himself.”
Whilst one would hope that everyone has more to offer than a selection of consumer goods, (Johns clearly does!) what we surround ourselves with, and what we wear, undoubtedly echoes something about ourselves. Just as in Hamlet, where Shakespeare asserts “the apparel oft proclaims the man,” in everyday life, whether we like it or not, our outward appearance, and possessions, can give clues as to our inner state and more.
In old vanitas or memento-mori paintings likewise, wealthy patrons commissioned these still-life works of art to show off their intellect, wealth, worldliness and savoir faire – via the globes, wine, jewelry, books, and objects depicted – all alongside a healthy dose of death – symbolic skulls, extinguished candles and wilted flowers, to remind the viewer of the fragility and shortness of life, and inevitability of passing. A 17th century humble brag if ever I saw one!
Part of my job is to guide your style – be it home, wardrobe, art collection or gifts, to ensure it reconciles with the man within – so you feel empowered to command the trust, authority and respect you deserve.
Does your appearance echo your inner self? Do the things you surround yourself with give clues about the man you are and the man you want to be?