It's my belief that individually these pieces are lacking in style and taste, but when placed together in just the right way, they combine Voltron-style into the magnificence that is the Wall of Tackiness.
Most of the items the items that comprise the Wall, and the surrounding decor, is right out of the 1970s. I think the 1970s was my favorite decade in terms of style. Mock it if you will, but there's no denying that 1970s style is recognizable. Can you say the same about any recent decade? What does 1990s style look like? 2000s style? Who knows? Those decades had no style. They're invisible, cipher decades. The 1970s may gave been tacky, but at least they were memorable.
Come, let's take a tour of the Wall, shall we?
I remember seeing lamps like this in other people's homes when I was a kid and thinking they were the ultimate in coolness and sophistication. I still do.
Here's something you don't see every day: a black velvet painting of a Doberman. Now that's art! Bought at a local antique shop.
I love all kinds of Tiki stuff, so naturally it's a big part of the decor. I have a ton of old Tiki mugs, but unfortunately I don't have room to display them all. Some day I'm going to have to build some shelves.
In the meantime, here's a big Tiki head that's hanging on the Wall. It's not an antique, it came from a store in our local mall that sold tropical merchandise. Sadly the store is gone, along with any reason to ever go to the mall.
Oh, we're not nearly done! Read the rest by clicking below.
Up next is another piece that's technically not part of the Wall, but it's in the same room so I'm including it. It's a beautiful portrait that I acquired at one of the finer outdoor flea markets in town. I normally don't like to flaunt my wealth, but I paid a pretty penny for this piece: a full twenty dollars.
Best of all, it appears to be an actual painting and not a print. They had two of them at the flea market; I didn't want to overdo it so I bought the one I liked best. Now of course I kind of wish I'd bought them both.
The painting is signed "Cortes" in the upper left corner. Try as I might, I can't uncover any info on the artist.
Here's some more Tiki themed stuff on the Wall. The Tiki head came from the same store as the one above, and the Voodoo lounge sign came from Big Lots. What, doesn't everyone decorate their home with items from Big Lots?
Here's an interesting tableau in front of the Wall. Sitting on top of a bamboo cabinet is a Tiki mug, some sort of Asian art and two small Tiki figures. Naturally no 1970s theme would be complete without a genuine Lava Lamp.
The Lava Lamp is a repro, not an original. You have no idea how hard it was to find a classic looking lamp and not one that was shaped like a rocket of filled with glitter instead of lava.
Here are a couple of glass net floats. They always seem to pop up in Tiki culture, so I added a couple to the Wall.
Please ignore the layer of dust coating the tops of them.
Here's a pair of those sad-eyed kid paintings that were so popular in the 1970s. Marvel at the innocence contrasted with pathos. Classic, stylish and timeless. These were antique store finds.
The detail! The technique! The theme of man against nature! All add up to make an exquisite statement.
KW Monster. He gave it to me for Xmas one year. It's technically not part of the Wall, but it's in the same room. It's one of my most prized possessions.
I thought it looked a little bare when I hung it up, so I went to Pier One and bought some wooden place mates, tied them together and hung them behind the mask.
Those wooden place mats make good wall decorations, but they would be absolutely worthless on your dining room table, unless you like your glasses to topple over and food to get stuck between the slats.
What's a TV light, I hear you asking? It seems that when TV first appeared back in the 1950s, doctors worried that staring at the bright screen in a darkened living room would cause eyestrain and you would "ruin your eyes."
Oh, how I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase when I was growing up. According to my mom, everything I did as a kid would ruin my eyes, including reading and looking at things. Who knows, maybe she was right. I'm wearing glasses right now...
Anyway, to combat the dreaded scourge of eyestrain, doctors suggested placing some sort of light near the TV set to alleviate the contrast. Thus, the TV light was born. On the back side of the panther is a small light bulb, which shines on the wall behind the TV, eliminating the horrible contrast and saving your eyes. Yeah, people worried about some weird crap back then.
Best of all, it still works!
KW Monster made a frame for it out of real bamboo, which is probably worth more than the print.
The lenticular process results in a stunning 3-D recreation of a pair of astronauts working on the surface of the moon. As you move across the room the angle of the image shifts; you can actually see details behind the two astronauts.
Not only is it breathtaking, but it was also free. I saw it hanging in my dad's garage a while back and when he noticed me admiring it and gave it to me.