Renowned for its grand installations, Moss & Lam has a new venture: bringing big art to a smaller audience
Go big or go home is an idiom that could be applied very aptly to Moss & Lam. For more than three decades, the Toronto studio, helmed by co-founder and creative director Deborah Moss, has been elevating interiors with large-scale custom murals and installations, each unique and perfectly tailored to the space it occupies.
Moss founded her studio in 1987 with her late husband Edward Lam, fresh out of art school and at a time when sponge-painted effects were the (in retrospect, unfortunate) must-have finishing touch. “We didn’t like them, but we could do them,” Moss recalls. “And of course we took them seriously; it’s a huge responsibility to be working in someone’s home.”
It’s this respect for the client, combined with an innate artistic ability and imaginative spirit, that has seen Moss & Lam move from intimate pieces to larger-than-life multi-media murals for the likes of Yabu Pushelberg, Avenue Road and such leading hotel chains as Four Seasons and W.
Over the years, Moss has learned what it takes to forge a successful partnership: collaboration. “It’s important to listen to the client, to what they are asking, and then filter that information,” says Moss, whose team now numbers 25, nearly all of whom are artists themselves.
While each commission often comes with its own media request – plaster, resin, clay, even painted velvet – it’s paint on canvas that is Moss’s true love. “Paint is what I’ve been in love with since the beginning. It’s elemental; there are so many permutations,” she says.
This long-standing affinity has led to the studio’s most recent initiative, one that aims to bring beautiful custom pieces to a wider audience. Launched last year, the inaugural series of Canvas – hand-painted, seamless (“I don’t like seeing seams in a room”) wallcoverings – comprises seven patterns, each of which can cover up to 90 linear metres of space. But as each is handmade by different artists, the patterns also have their own “nuances of expression, the accidental things that happen that are actually beautiful.”