June 1, 2020

NYTimes: A Panorama of Design

Ravaged Beauty for Your Home

A new wall covering creates an instant look of disaster.

Shuttered businesses, job losses and relationships under duress — the world may seem to be falling apart as a result of the coronavirus. Turns out there’s a wallpaper for that.

The artist Daniel Arsham, a co-founder of the design studio Snarkitecture, has collaborated with Calico Wallpaper on a trompe l’oeil wall covering that will make a room look like its crumbling away.

“Erosions” is based on a mural Mr. Arsham and Calico created for a gallery show in 2018. To achieve it, the artist made castings of eroded surfaces; then the company used a scanning process to digitize the works. Gallery goers loved the one-off piece, and now Calico is printing the design on clay-coated paper for use in residences.

While the wall covering appears to depict wreckage, it may have a hopeful message: The faux gouges contain crystals, “which we associate with growth,” said Mr. Arsham, speaking from his weekend house on Long Island where he has hunkered down with his wife and children.

“There’s an ambiguity,” he added. “Are things falling apart or are they growing to some kind of completion?”

The Erosions Collection in the colorway Selenite is shown in this article