“My only requirement with art is I want it to make me feel something, and CRASH made me feel all the feelings…Even after years with the piece in my home, its power still stuns and inspires me.” -Reba Riley, Author
Originally built in 1790, the base of the home once served as a stable that is now a street-level garage with an elevator that goes to the fourth floor. In 1850, a businessman constructed two townhouses over the stable that were joined at the front with a courtyard in the back. Throughout the years, this space has served many purposes—among them were apartments, a candy factory, and a jail. It came to exist in its present form in the early 1990s, when a creative couple renovated it into a home that was ideal for displaying art—complete with the three-story atrium flanked by windows where CRASH now resides. Spaces such as this usually have unique installation challenges. One full day was spent building scaffolding in the space because it was not possible to get a lift inside, and then two more days were spent assembling components on a web of monofilament.
The unique open layout of the vertical space offers dramatic vantage points from different rooms. Upon entering, viewers see the piece hovering up high, backlit by natural light. The second floor offers an intimate, eye-level view—the piece extending wall-to-wall at a diagonal from the kitchen (where it appears to be beckoning forward) on one side to the study on the other (where its movement travels away). CRASH is also seen from the courtyard, particularly at night when it is lit with indoor spotlights and from the third floor up above, looking down on its jagged and swirling movements. The color gradation adds to different experiences of the piece from room to room, truly transforming it into the beating heart of this gorgeous home. To read more about author Reba Riley and the space, check out this 2015 article by Cincinnati Refined.
Colliding, coiling head-on
Rips away the former personality
As wallpaper from a decrepit home; beauty births beauty.
Searing tears from the peacock flow
Here where she becomes a phoenix, necks entwined
Now separate into crimson, sapphire
Ground and walls—a bouquet—hold them together.