“Add a pop of color” is design advice that just about everyone has heard. It’s likely that people reach for a throw, a pillow, a colorful rug or accessory when they need a bold accent. But how about adding a brightly hued piece of art for that burst of color? Choosing to use art accomplishes a few things at the same time: It injects some personality into a room, creates a conversation point and, of course, adds the color the space needs. Here are 10 types of artwork that will add just the right colorful element.
If you only think about paintings and drawings when it comes to wall art, think again. get more bang for your buck when you add a colorful wall sculpture that also adds a lot of dimension to the space. Wall sculptures are created from all sorts of colorful materials so the depth of the dimension and the textures involved will vary, but if you want to add more than just a pop of color, opt for a wall sculpture.
Colorful wall art can be composed of different elements and have several pieces that differ in style and meaning. Artist Russell West created this layered piece that has two parts: The larger component that looks as if is a collection of colorful suspended doors and the board underneath that caught the paint drips from all the doors and wires above it. The two pieces work in tandem to bring forth more thought and contemplation about the meaning.
Artworks don’t have to be huge to make a big impact, especially when color is involved. These two red wire sculptures are rather small but their effect is hard to miss, both from the perspective of color as well as the element of shadow play. In fact, the red figures are highlighted to a greater degree by the shadows they cast. This work would have an even great impact used in a room that has a largely neutral décor scheme.
Of course, the bigger the colorful sculpture, the more dominant it will be, as is this one by Yinka Shonebare, a London-born Nigerian artist. Named Clementia, the life-size piece is made from fiberglass and hand-painted with a Batik pattern now also known as a wax print. Shonebare has become well known for “his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalization” as well as his use of these prints, which are considered symbols of African diaspora and identity. The printed textiles and their patterns feature prominently in his works.
Modern Neon Colors
Neon colors may go in and out of favor in fashion, but they’re always a great choice for adding a pop of color to a room. This work by Peter Halley is large and has a bold, energizing feeling that emanates from the piece. It’s ideal for a living space but you’ll want to think twice before adding a bold and vibrant piece like this to a bedroom, where serenity and calm are the goals. Its energy and a fabulous array of colors make it a perfect addition to an entryway or living room.
Super Large Artworks
If you have a large, blank wall, it’s the ideal spot for a super large, colorful work of art. Whatever you install there will be the dominant element in the space and draw a lot of attention. Often, a multi-part piece is the best choice, such as this painting by Antonio Sannino. When a work is composed of three panels, it’s called a triptych; if it has two, it’s a diptych.
Although artist Molly Goldfarb says that her work has a “pop-meets-punk aesthetic” we’d say that the pieces focusing on figures as a bit of a Picasso-esque vibe. The flat, stylized visages are quite colorful and have plenty of dimension to contemplate. Whether you choose a smaller work or a larger one, these have a pop appeal that really attracts attention.
With an Organic Style
If your style tends to be a little more organic, a colorful artwork that has a more natural flow to may appeal to you. Artist Holton Rower is widely known for his poured paint technique and the colorful work he creates really do have an organic feel. Evoking the interior growth rings of a tree, the layers of color almost pulsate and move in your mind’s eye. The technique may sound simple but its execution is anything but, making Rower’s works all the more stounding.
If you prefer your color to come with some bling, pick a really shiny artwork like a sculpture by the famous Jeff Koons. His balloon dog sculpture may be the most widely known, but he created many an everyday object in pop form. His series Inflatables included animals and characters that look like plastic blow-up toys but are actually made from stainless steel. This is his Venus Balloon, crafted from polyurethane resin,.
A Whole Rainbow
We see art installations in museums all the time, but they aren’t something that most people think of when it comes to art for the home. That’s unfortunate because works like this one by Daniele Sigalot add a whole rainbow of colors in a multi-piece wall installation. The Italian-born artist’s work is made up of painted and manipulated pieces of aluminum arranged in a swirling spectrum of color. This type of work would be a fabulous pop of color in a tall entry way or the main element on a large accent wall.
This piece by light artist Chol-Hyun-Anh is an optical illusion. What looks like a deep window that reaches into infinity is actually a masterful construction of mirrors, light and neon plexiglass. The bright pieces inside are highlighted by the illuminated interior and really makes it stand out, especially in a darker room. This piece of art provides more than just the pop of color too. It can make a space look a little larger because of the depth inside.
A large blank wall is ideal for a sizeable collage like this one by Daniele Sigalot. A full rainbow of colors is used in the symmetrical layout that is created from brightly hues pieces of painted aluminum. At the center, the pieces are folded and each successive round expands as it moves outward, adding a feeling of movement. This type of art is ideal for a neutral space or a modern room where all the colors of the rainbow can be the focal point.
Multiple shades of one color can add extra impact when it comes to adding a pop of color. This wall art by David-Rodriguez-Caballero uses two shades of red to create depth and dimension in this sculptural work made from metal. It’s a workable sized piece that can be added to any space that needs an accent.
Quite obviously this portrait includes a range of bright colors, but the depth that comes from the added dimension really makes them pop. Artworks that use multiple media can have an extra impact because not only do they include painted hues, many of the bright colors come with extra texture or depth. Even the plain silver background, highlighted by textural shapes, makes the rest of the image stand out even more.
Besides incorporating bold colors, this work by Kenneth Noland also has an unexpected shape that’s not symmetrical. The unusual outline draws more attention to the piece and the neutrals really make the red and green sections stand out. Noland was known as one of the first practitioners of Color Field painting and a pioneer in using oddly shaped canvases. This style of art adds a huge focal point to a room without overwhelming the space with colors.
Round shapes aren’t just for mirrors. Colorful art pieces can also be found in round shapes, like this one called Fructose by Klari Reis. A floating aluminum panel is embellished with mixed media and an epoxy polymer, which creates a kind of enameled appearance. The colors are predominantly blue and green but are accented with bright citrus hues that are sunny and happy. True to the name of the piece, it makes you think of something fruity.
Adding a pop of color to a space is the perfect time to have some real fun. Artworks that render food in creative ways are a great idea for whimsical decor. Artist Peter Anton plays with color and scale in creating his pieces that are so deliciously sugary looking. His box of “Celebration Donuts” puts these American treats on display, complete with the frosting smudges left behind from already eaten treats.
Cartoon-based art is naturally colorful and can be a real conversation starter. This work by Speedy Graphito combines a cartoon character with pop culture icons rendered in a cartoon-like fashion, including the Jeff Koons balloon dog sculpture and a Rubik’s cube. The piece includes just about every color of the rainbow and will brighten any style of room.
Choosing a bright diptych — a unified artwork that consists of two panels — adds a large dose of color. This painting by Yim On Tse is a good example of wall art that has double the color impact. There’s something about one image being divided into two sections that visually magnifies its power. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the size of the overall piece, so this style of colorful work could be used in any room.
Abstract art pieces take many shapes and forms, but many are vibrant and ideal for adding a pop of color to a room. Some include geometrical elements, like this painting by Zigi Ben-Haim. The large swaths of earthy hues are a perfect base for highlighting the bright red circle and colored shapes. For fans or abstract art, it’s easy to find brightly hued pieces that are appropriate for a particular space.
So, next time a space needs a pop of color, survey the walls and see where a colorful piece of art can be added to totally transform the room.