Architect of Light
Peep these modernist homes transplanted into Thomas Kinkade paintings
@robyniko responded saying he’d start off “easy” with Louis Kahn’s Fisher House, which apparently screams “for the twilight treatment.”
I'm in. Let's start off easy with one of Kahn's beautiful boxes (eg the Fisher house). Tell me this thing isn't *screaming* for the "eerie twilight" treatment. pic.twitter.com/uZlLGcTViM— the "schtick" haver (@robyniko) August 18, 2018
Several other interested viewers chimed in with requests for @robyniko, and the series began to form. He set Philip Johnson’s Glass House within a breathtaking creekside mountain vista, and then put Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye inside a Christmas winter wonderland. He also placed Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House within a meadow and forest landscape.
I have a lot to do and my wife would kill me if she knew I spent time on this, but you don't get to pick when you get the call to be a hero (reposted bc I had* to add the glow around the windows)(* I in no way had to do this) pic.twitter.com/CuiOBRXEOe — the "schtick" haver (@robyniko) August 18, 2018
Ask and ye shall receive. I present to you, Philip Johnson's Glass Cottage: pic.twitter.com/n3icl0DXFp— the "schtick" haver (@robyniko) August 19, 2018
Ok i really have to stop now. Merry Corbsmas: pic.twitter.com/S7sTv54Eod— the "schtick" haver (@robyniko) August 19, 2018
@robyniko’s Twitter bio discloses that he’s a self-proclaimed procrastinator, but this mashup series was undoubtedly encouraged by those scrolling in earnest and tweeting at him: “You definitely had to do this,” from @SWardArch, and, “I hope these end up in your portfolio,” from @ianwrob. The Architect’s Newspaper reached out to @robyniko to get more details on why he decided to pursue the unlikely project. “It was one of those asides that you chuckle about imagining and then move on,” he said, “but I was home for the weekend without my family and decided to indulge my curiosity about how these famous modernist homes would fit into Kinkade’s universe.” @robyniko noted that though he approached the project as a way to distract himself, it ended up conjuring something worthy of discussion. “I think that, given the difference in who typically appreciates Kinkade’s ‘never-was’ nostalgia versus who likes modern architecture,” he said, “it can be part of a conversation about architecture, representation, and how the public responds to both.” And the response was clearly strong. When @robnyiko uploaded his final rendered masterpiece, the oceanside Gehryhaus—a relocation of Frank Gehry’s residence in the Santa Monica suburbs—his followers realized all of these water-adjacent buildings represented in the thread would be likely to flood. In a later tweet, @robnyiko jokingly concluded that Kinkade’s work is a commentary on climate change, a theory he backs up with an attached screenshot of a Google Image search showing row after row of blown-out Kinkade paintings with skies that evoke the smoke and haze of this summer's wildfires.
Ok this might have to be the last one for today. I present to you, the Farnswoods House: pic.twitter.com/qRSE1LpWmE— the "schtick" haver (@robyniko) August 19, 2018
Maybe Kinkade’s work isn’t a nod to global warming, and maybe these modernist homes strictly belong where they were originally built. But this mashup presents a unique perspective on how a piece of architecture can be irrevocably altered when it's transplanted into new surroundings, especially those of Kinkade's somewhat surreal universe. More than that, these world-renowned buildings become nearly unrecognizable in these alternate settings, presenting questions about the relationship between the stark, minimalist designs and the soft, meadowy landscapes. As both Kinkade's work and modernism as a movement can be potentially polarizing forms of art, can these genres combine to form a common ground for people to see them in a new light?
Pack your bags for a rocky seaside getaway at the Gehryhaus! You'll love the *squints at copy* homey chain link fence & softly weathered *checks notes* corrugated steel siding while you eat a homemade breakfast in the soft glow of the *deep sigh* aggressively geometric sun room. pic.twitter.com/Wv6mfHGN1u— the "schtick" haver (@robyniko) August 20, 2018