The Edit: Zoom Backdrop

While instagram offers a curated peek into our day-to-day lives, zoom showcases – for better or worse – the walls we live with everyday. The cluttered bookshelf and college-era poster may have faded into the background pre-#stayhome but now it’s highlighted in the weekly team wrap-up, displayed back-and-center. Natural, front-facing lighting and a camera tilted down are great tips to look your best, but what about the largest area within your video – the backdrop?

Right: Alex Katz, Summer Flowers, 2018, 42 x 111 inches, Enamel-based silkscreen inks printed on gessoed canvas, Edition: 5/35. Contact Russell Collection Fine Art for price.

Here’s what to consider when curating your Zoom background:

  1. Space – Solid Wall or Static Scene
    Frequent business travel might mean your ‘home office’ is the kitchen counter or dining table – workable for independent tasks but when you hop on a video call make sure to set-up your laptop with a solid wall, or static scene, behind you. Less distraction for your coworkers and no worries about the dog, kids, or partner making an unexpected appearance.
    Left: Alberto Murillo, Wildlife, 2018, Mixed Media on Panel, 48 x 48 inches; Center: David Davis, Somewhere Else, 2018, Brass, sterling silver, and paduak wood, 27 x 18 inches; Right: Fiona Rae, Bewitched, 2001, Screenprint in colors with glitter on wove paper, 33 x 27.5 inches, Artist’s Proof. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art for $11,000, $5,000 and $1,895 respectively.
  2. Content – Art, Books, and Beautiful Things
    Think about what you’re showing off. In a work environment an ironed button down, steamed silk midi, or spotless three-quarter zip speaks to how much you value your job and your colleague’s time. Although you may be wearing sweats instead of slacks, use your backdrop to convey a certain workplace seriousness that’s been lost between shuffles to the kitchen. Add the piece you just discovered through Artsy or showcase that rare find from 1stdibs.
  3. Placement – Assess Composition
    Whether it’s a painting, framed poster or work on paper the general rule suggests hanging at eye-level. Technically speaking – the height of a piece’s midpoint should be leveled with other works at around 60 inches high. For zoom, instead think about the composition of your call. Place items behind you with the whole picture in mind – consider temporarily hanging works lower to create interest points or display your favorite art.
    Left: Blek le Rat, Resist Against the Imposters, 2006, Spray Paint and Acrylic on Canvas, 24 x 19.5 inches, Edition: Unnumbered/85; Right: Rimi Yang, Ceramic Beauty, 2018, Oil on Wood Panel, 12 x 12 inches. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art for $16,000 and $2,000 respectively.