November 03 2010
For anyone who has ever wanted to decorate a plain wall, a roller blind or a blank canvas with a large-scale image of their choice – from a favourite family photo to Seurat’s famous Bathers at Asnières – Surface View is the company to call. Its bespoke commissions have included a mural of a gigantic flamingo-pink spoonbill (taken from a 19th-century engraving) and – for a bathroom – a print of Japanese flowers from an antique kimono. Courtesy of Surface View, Rick Stein’s restaurant in Falmouth, too, boasts a mural with an image fished out of the National Maritime Museum.
The company will work with even the most informal snaps. “We can use any image a customer provides,” says MD Michael Ayerst. Surface View will create – and install – its large-format, made-to-measure graphics to fit any space; conventionally smooth walls (£72 per square metre), textured walls (from £98 per sq m), ceramic tiles (from £400 per sq m), Formica (from £90 per sq m) or ready-to-roll blinds (from £235) are all suitable for treatment. (Third picture shows Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières reproduced on bathroom tiles.)
The 1970s trend for panoramic photomurals has enjoyed a revival in recent years but, using the latest technology, Surface View has brought the idea bang up to date: it digitally remasters images from a vast pool of pictures culled from such institutions as the Victoria & Albert Museum and Getty Images Gallery, which the company is licensed to reproduce. What’s more, this high-tech process doesn’t sacrifice an image’s age-old patina but reproduces it with pin-sharp accuracy.
Art lovers may fall for Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne (first picture, from the National Gallery), comic-book enthusiasts for Marvel Comics’ superheroes (The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman…), kitsch aficionados for Vargas pin-ups and Tretchikoff portraits (fourth picture), and cartography fans (or megalomaniacs?) for vintage world maps (second picture).