The bathroom is the one place where I find mindfulness overrated. It is a lovely place to read, write, draw…be…an incubator of ideas.

There, the mind loves to be engaged, which is why the usually potent graffiti in road house bathrooms is so satisfying.

Here’s a collection of some favorite bathrooms that weave culture, art, ideas into that intimate space.  At top, the murals Keith Haring drew in 1989 in the bathroom of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center on West 13th Street in downtown Manhattan.

…A prewar bathroom with small library of favorite books, flowers, laptop…

Sally Schneider

 

Pedro Guerrero’s photograph of the toilet at Alexander Calder’s Roxbury home show the many details hand-made by Calder that would consumer attention and spark imagination…

Pedro Guerrero

 

…Spotted at Mondobloggo: a full bookshelf by la toilette, with art on the walls…

Mondobloggo

 

….Zennish illumination, with rocks as toilet paper holder…

Sally Schneider

 

…Wildly painted walls hung with art, mirrors and other interesting things to look at, a stack of magazines waiting on the floor….

 

Karl Lagerfeld’s bathing/sitting room full of art, beauty and cool furniture…

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When they renovated their bathroom, friends thought to created niches within the sheetrock voids for books, beads, whatever…as well as a powersource nearby for computer, and artworks around…

Sally Schneider

A bathroom with murals that boggle the mind and expand the view with, it seems, a book stand over the sink…

Olivier Amsellem

In 1955, Saul Steinberg decorated this bathroom that needs no books… photograph by the great Robert Doisneau…

Estate of Robert Doisneau

Henry Miller’s bathroom, shown in this 35 minute documentary by filmmaker Tom Schiller, is “a voyage of ideas”…

We’re traveling not around the world but around my bathroom which is a little microcosm like the world…that’s one of the beauties about it, that it can take you anywhere. You let your mind roam. As we way, one thing leads to another. If you sit here and you are relaxed, why you’re free to make free associations.

…These side-by-side toilets found in a public restroom in Manhattan’s  East Village pose the strangest of possibilities for what a bathroom experience might be…

Sally Schneider

 

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One thought on “The Bathroom As Incubator of Ideas

  1. Once a long time ago, knowing that my bathroom was soon to be re-drywalled and painted, I took my ex’s love letters, having been scorned and suddenly dropped by him, and pasted them all over the walls, soon to be covered over and hidden forever. Now, 40-some years later, I wish I could read them again.

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