Help settle a dispute--which is tackier?

While my boyfriend and I were having breakfast in a local cafe, I admired a blue vase that looked something like this–turquoise, about 10-12" high, glazed with a turquoise/aqua type glaze.

He thought I was joking at first, and then started expressing his utter shock and dismay at my poor taste. He thought it was inexpressibly tacky and couldn’t imagine it being part of any nicely decorated house.

That was a few weeks ago. Today, we went to a local Indian restaurant and I whispered to him about how incredibly tacky the wall hangings were, and he said he thought that was pretty rich coming from someone who liked aqua vases. I said that a huge wooden inlay picture of a leopard sitting in a forest was clearly far tackier than a turquoise vase, no matter how bright the color.

We decided it would have to go to the SDMB for a poll. We couldn’t find any carvings online of leopards, but we agreed that these two pieces of artwork–the Last Supper and Lakshmi holding some roses–illustrate the general style of the inlaid picture pretty well.

So–in your humble opinion–which is tackier? A bright blue vase or an inlaid wood leopard wall hanging?

(P.S. I was initially feeling pretty confident that the world would stand behind me, but I’m having some doubts after seeing that the hideous inlaid Last Supper picture is selling for something like $2000, which means someone must be willing, even eager to pay that much for a thing like that.)

My vote is for the vase. But then, coming from me, you should probably take that as a sign of support.

They are different styles, one no tackier than the other.
In a modern setting the simple aqua vase with some yellow iris would be lovely.
The wood inlay is intricate and time consuming to make. Its artistic value is, to me, the same as the jade/semi-precious stone inlays in every chinese restaurant. While not to my taste, they both have value for the time and skill to took to make them.
So, because I don’t like them, the inlays are tackier. :smiley:

Wow. That vase is, um, something else. My head instinctively recoiled away from the monitor when I opened that link. That last supper carving is pretty tacky too though. Most people probably give it a pass because it is foreign and seems exotic. It is really just a foreign version of a black velvet Elvis painting though.

Verdict 28 - 7 Vase

I find them both (vase and pictures) tacky.

[sub] sorry. [/sub]

Strange, I don’t see any of them being especially tacky.

Now tie-dye and hawaain shirts, THOSE are tacky.

Some baroque art is pretty tacky though.

Loved the vase, hated the inlay.

I’m not terribly keen on inlay, so I guess I’d say it’s tackier. I like the shape of the vase, but not the color.

I honestly don’t see anything wrong with the vase. It looks pretty generic to me.

It’s all about context; the vase would be tacky in a modern living room, but not in a cafe. Likewise, the picture of the Leopard in the woods would be perfectly at home in an Indian restaurant, but not in somebody’s house.

Also, I read it as “a leopard shitting in the woods” twice before I realized.

now THAT would be tacky

I don’t know that I’d call either tacky of themselves. Now if the inlay was on red velvet or if the vase was filled with plastic tulips, that’s another story.

But I’ll tell you what tacky is. The wall our bed sits against is covered with 45 gold-veined mirrored tiles. We didn’t install them - we just haven’t gotten around to removing them. But they’re decidedly tacky.

The cuts outs are far more tacky then the vase. The vase would look fine in the proper setting. The cutouts wouldn’t look good anywhere.

But I think FairyChatMom’s house wins.

I love the inlay, but that vase is horrid (IMHO)

Wow. I can’t imagine that vase as tacky. It’s far too generic to be much of anything. In the wrong setting, though, I can see how it would stand out.

The wood carvings could be really nice in the right setting, too. But I’d guess that in the wrong setting they’d look far worse than the vase. So I’m going to say the wood carvings are tackier than the vase, but neither really approaches true tackiness.

True tackiness involves things like those gold-flecked mirrors, paintings on black velvet, and “country-charm” type things.

I can’t see anything wrong with the vase.

The last supper is okayish but I wouldn’t put it up.

Other one is definitely tacky.

Based on the OP, I was going to post and say tacky was all about context, that either one of the two items could be good, as long as it is in the right setting and not trying to come across as more than it is. Not mutton dressed as lamb, so to speak.

But Fairy Chat Mom’s example demonstrated that there is such a thing as inherently tacky. There is no context where those mirrors would work. I am trying to picture one. Not getting any hits.

I am not an interior designer, nor am I known for having particularly good taste, but I could see a few of those mirrored tiles in a bathroom, interspersed with some non-mirrored tiles, with some spacing between them, not all packed flush together. Maybe.

If you paged through the other pictures at the link I provided, you’d see we had equally tacky blue veined mirrored tiles in the dining room, surrounded by a gold frame. Those, thankfully, are long gone. We remodeled all the main living areas of the house, but we haven’t gotten to the bedrooms or bathrooms yet. After the deck goes in, the master bath and bedroom are on the list. We shall soon be tacky-free.

I agree with others here who say that context is everything. The turquoise vase is a classic vase shape, and if the color fits in with the room, it would be a tasteful choice. The inlays are a little trickier, but I imagine that they might work in the right context.