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Monday, 23 March 2020

Madmen Wallpaper

We'll be spending a lot of time looking at walls for the next few weeks so here's a wallpaper post. I don't think I've done one before - a Siskind, Twombly overlap might be nice - but I've looked at a lot of photobooks where wallpaper is a key element, maybe too much of one sometimes. And  Ioana Marinca has her brilliant Yellow Wallpaper project developing.

My wallpaper obsession is the one you see above. I keep on seeing it everywhere and it gets me so excited. The first time I saw this wallpaper was in the Winding House Museum with Jesse Alexander.

But then I saw it again and again, most recently in Madmen the other day (I came late to the series). I saw it and went 'fucking hell, they copied that from the Winding House. !' Which they didn't because the Madmen version probably came first in 2012, but who knows.

It gives me a strange thrill every time I see it whether it's in a museum, in a newspaper, at a student exhibiton, or on TV. It is shorthand in the UK for the 1970s, but in Madmen it's the late 1960s.

So there's a mining museum (Winding House), there's Brian Clough (football manager in drama from the mid-1970s), there's Nigella Lawson (cook), there's Len Goodman (Strictly Come Dancing), and there's a Bristol sofa warehouse - which is using it as a statement block in direct reference to Madmen and so is culturally on the button.

Did anyone ever have this wallpaper in real life? Does anyone have it now? Who designed it? Such are the questions I ask myself as we start the descent into  coronavirus lockdown.

And there we go - it's Trippy Wallpaper, designed by Graham and Brown in the UK (which is why it's in all those places) and it used to cost around £50 a roll but doesn't seem to be available.

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