“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” -Thomas Merton
Today I’m sharing one of my favorite spaces, our elevator. I know an elevator might not sound so exciting but it’s one of the first things you see as you enter our home and it’s a piece of art that reflects so much of who we are. A little background information first! This is a residential elevator that was installed concurrently as our house was being constructed. The interior of the cab has been white washed and we commissioned the shaft to be painted. Because it goes up directly to our private residence, we were able to customize it to our liking.
After we moved in a few months ago we realized the elevator shaft had been neglected from being properly painted and finished. The inside cab comes ready to go by the elevator company but the shaft is the contractors responsibly. Because the elevator is the last thing to be turned on following all inspections, it’s an easy thing to miss. As we were scheduling someone to come in and finish the job The Husband asked me if I wanted something else in that space besides just paint i.e. wall paper, a mural, something different.
Ever since the inception of construction we both knew we wanted a murti (religious statue) or painting of Lord Ganesha, the elephant God who is known as the remover of obstacles. We even had a spotlight installed in our foyer where we planned to notch out a space for it. Logistically however it didn’t make sense considering the traffic and how tight the area would become, so we nixed the idea for that space.
So when we came across the lemons in the elevator, it was a perfect opportunity for us to make the lemonade we always wanted. I took to Instagram to search for local artists in the area. Support local people! I sent a video of our 25 foot deep elevator shaft and an invitation to come take a look at the space. Initially I got some strange reactions, some curious, some anxious and many worried about the depth and tight work space. We had a few artists stop by but it just seemed as if our visions were different. One of our inspirations was an engagement picture we took in Dumbo, Brooklyn in front of a wall covered with street art of Ganesha. Because this is a space you initially see before entering our home we wanted to be sure we loved it and weren’t settling.
One artist, Goomba struck a chord when he took keen interest in the space and presented us of a mock up of his vision. The first words out of Little Mirchi‘s mouth was “Awww Bappa!” and we knew at first glance, he was definitely the one. Goomba took into consideration everything we wanted and included his artist trademarks as well. He started on the space on a Monday and was finished by that Sunday. Initially we had only planned to have the shaft painted but Goomba offered to paint the doors as well as he wanted a bigger canvas and felt visually it would look more cohesive. We wanted to include the Gayatri Mantra, a highly revered mantra in Hinduism that denotes positivity and devotion so he had us write it out to paint it on the shaft. Because the finishing of the house is modern and minimalistic we wanted the shaft to have pops of color, something unexpected and a touch of street art to represent the modern but urban city we built in, Jersey City.
We are thrilled with the end result! It’s a fun and positive space that adds another story to the construction of our house. Special thanks to Goomba who ensured we were happy with everything, each step of the way! Below is a short video of the elevator ride you experience when you come up to our house.