Facing the Blankness
Four homeowners make the most of unusual spaces
Photography Roland Lane
(page 2 of 4)
The Aluminum Heartthrob
When John and Kim Milner added an extension to their mid-Valley home in 2002, it was all about the art. An avid artist and collector for most of his life, John’s collection was as extensive as it was diverse. The additional room for the couple’s riverside home would provide the space not only to celebrate the art in their possession, but also allow for additional pieces to be acquired in the future.
One space in particular, an outdoor nook protected by overhanging eaves, was a challenge the Milners relished. The space was visible from several angles within the home, and the right piece would fill a giant picture window at the end of an entryway gallery. They searched for a specific sculpture: It needed to be weatherproof, to complement the home’s redwood siding, to be active with kinetic motion, and light enough to be carried by human power.
“It would have been very expensive, if not impossible, to crane something over the entire house,” Milner said.
The Milners discovered Oakland, California, metal sculptor Kati Casida on a trip to a San Francisco gallery in 2005. They purchased some small pieces by Casida and, after living with these for a few years, commissioned her for the large, outdoor piece.
Casida first created four studies before the Milners chose their favorite—a monumental, concentric whirl of painted red aluminum called “Heartthrob.” “We wanted art that we would live with,” Milner said. “It was a fairly difficult decision.”
Sitting atop a concrete pedestal that Milner designed and poured himself, the sculpture’s layers of curling metal recall a flower as much as a heart. Whether lit naturally by day or by floodlights at night, the two-hundred-and-fifty-pound “Hearthrob” is a weightless success and a perfect fit in a growing collection.
Milner couldn’t be happier. >>>