From striking photography to abstract designs, a black and white artwork can be a show-stopping piece to add to your collection.
We spoke to interior designer, Peter Staunton, about decorating a modern interior. He noted that ‘as with all good artwork, the right piece can completely transform a living space. In particular monochrome works, as they allow the purity of the artwork to speak.’ In line with this, we explore 10 artworks that can reinvigorate your interior, and share Staunton’s top tips on how to make your monochrome centrepiece the star.
Photographer David Yarrow is famed for his iconic black and white shots. Picturing both animals and models, Yarrow’s ingenious compositions provide vivid narratives that captivate the viewer. The Wolves Of Wall Street II, inspired by the story of the infamous Jordan Belfort, sees Belfort in a busy office, the figures behind being showered in cascading dollar bills. A wolf - the central focus of the piece - stares directly into the lens, cutting through the chaotic scene behind.
Staunton states that when designing a space, ‘monochrome is always good for drawing the eye to a central focus of the room.’ With Yarrow’s imaginative narrative arrangements and striking monochrome palette, his photographs will definitely be a centrepiece to remember.
Yarrow is always an excellent choice as the focal point of a room. However, if his narrative photographs are not versatile enough for your interior, his wildlife photography may be the perfect fit. Bold, iconic, striking: Yarrow’s black and white photographs bring into focus the beauty and wonder of nature. Capturing images in the Savannah and in the Alps alike, Yarrow’s wildlife shots are sure to be a talking point in your home.
This energetic photograph featuring Elton John was taken by Terry O’Neill in the Dodgers Stadium in 1975 - capturing one of the most iconic moments in British musical history. O’Neill never failed to embody the emotions and dynamism of his subjects. This posthumously produced print proves that monochrome artwork is anything but subdued. Staunton affirms the importance of a stimulating artwork. He notes that ‘as humans we tend to get bored eventually with the same surroundings everyday… This is why good art is key to a great interior, as it should stimulate your senses & emotions, hopefully for many years to come.’ Packed with vitality, this Terry O’Neil print is definitely enough to make any room sing.
Born in Poland, Dobrowolski’s paintings are often executed in a monochrome palette. With pure black to ethereal whites - and everything in between - Dobrowolski explores notions of identity and what it means to reflect on the past. The unique canvas, rendered in monochromatic shades, has a dreamlike aesthetic that will ensure an added contemporary element to your home.
Renowned for his bold and intricate mark making, Lefty Out There originally started his career as a street artist and muralist. Always at the forefront of creativity, his aim is to engulf the surfaces of the world with his designs. His confident canvases, with their complex compositions, are guaranteed to bring a modern twist to any living space. When considering how these bold canvases may best be highlighted in your home, Staunton advises to ‘stick to an overall monochrome space’ as it ‘flows much better and naturally draws your eye to the centrepiece.’
It is not only black and white canvases that are considered monochrome masterpieces. Ceramics and sculptures can also be the key to unlocking the true potential of an interior’s aesthetic. Dan Baldwin’s ceramic vase has a muted palette that perfectly balances its elaborate decoration. From flowers to cartoons, Baldwin’s busy creation is adorned in a number of black and white designs. The beautifully crafted ceramic shows that painting does not always have to be the centrepiece of a room.
RETNA, formerly known as Marquis Lewis, started his career as a graffiti artist in Los Angeles, creating his own visual language. When he set out, RETNA wanted his work to be internationally accessible. Today, his unique script has won him global acclaim and his bold black and white designs have become his signature style. His monochrome canvases add a contemporary yet timeless feel with his unique calligraphy.
Monochrome artworks are not all about abstracted designs. Russell Young’s work, with his diamond dusted screen prints, is a great alternative to a bold black and white canvas. Echoing the works of Andy Warhol, Young reinvigorates the screen-print with a modern twist. The diamond dusted surface of his prints add a textural element to his works. A canvas that combines a textural surface with a monochrome palette is a great way to incorporate the classic colour scheme into your home without feeling overpowered by bold designs.
Featuring influential figures from the fashion world, Russell James’ black and white palette highlights the beauty of the human form. In this image, James has captured a certain softness in Kendall Jenner’s beauty, the curving trees mirroring the arch of her back. Far from just a chronicler of the rich and famous, James creates photographs that embody a sensual vulnerability. Perfect for a room with a pared down palette, James’ photographs are a great edition to any space in need of a softening touch.
Massimo Agostinelli’s unique printing process creates monochrome artworks that play with both tone and depth. The process he uses - lenticular printing - creates the illusion of depth within the print, resulting in a layered effect between the typography and the image. Agostinelli’s artworks are sure to add a playful element to a classic interior.