Friday, December 02
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Queen of Tiles

Artist Marcie Honerkamp’s home is filled with all things mosaic. There’s the kitchen table whose surface is splattered with hundreds of colorful tiles depicting a faux table cloth, replete with hanging corner folds. Resembling a French provincial tablecloth, the pattern features fronds with berries underneath the place settings.

Every wall in her bathroom is splashed with a fantasia of tiles in shades of blue, iridescent white and gold tiles based on “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” – a depiction of the crest of a giant and very frothy wave executed by Katsushika Hokusai, an artist of the Edo period. Having been reproduced endless times, it is possibly the world’s most iconic wave. Honerkamp’s version mimics the great wave with ripples of water undulating from it.

A tour of her house reveals mosaic coffee tables, side tables, a faux throw pillow (so heavy you wouldn’t want to throw it) and even a beautiful mosaic sculpture of a tuna fish. Let’s not forget the pig nestled alongside the fireplace.

There are also surfboards galore featuring images of a dragon, female figures and a profusion of sea life. Her first board happened when a friend who carves surfboards gave her a slightly misshapen eight-foot board that couldn’t be used on the surf. Honerkamp gave it a watery background with a pair of koi in the foreground. It is a design she has been asked to reproduce, along with that of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.

A serious swimmer, the artist has many a small work depicting women wearing bathing caps. In fact, her favorite board features the images of a handful of these bathing beauties. Her boards sell for from $3,500 to $4,500.

On her walls hangs a diverse assortment of mosaic portraits of celebrities including Sarah Silverman, Amy Winehouse, Maria Callas, Cher, and Elizabeth Taylor.

She gets a lot of commissions for dog portraits, either sculptural or two-dimensional. She’s portrayed breeds from Labradors to poodles with the result being “somewhere between reality and cartoony.”

Honerkamp studied painting at Parsons and produced “playfully figurative” canvases before turning to mosaics. She was influenced by Matisse, especially his cutouts, making her transition seem obvious.

She spent childhood summers in East Hampton visiting her aunt, the painter and sculptor, Adrienne Mim, known for her giant fiberglass sculptures adorning such public spaces as hospitals. Honerkamp moved here permanently in the ‘80s. “I like the quiet.”

With her ex-husband she was a partner in the iconic Amagansett music venue, Stephen Talkhouse, till her divorce in the mid ‘90s. Now her son and ex run the joint where many of Honerkamp’s works are hung – mostly renditions of album covers by the likes of Blind Faith, Jimi Hendrix, and Nirvana.

Other of her works hang locally. In the Bridgehampton office of Town & Country Real Estate a small surfboard depicting a map of Long Island hangs in the lobby, while an address plaque for the firm hangs outside the door. “Many people have seen it and requested one for themselves.”

Her interior design work has included making fanciful mosaic backsplashes depicting such sea creatures as octopuses, starfish and sea horses. In a bar she played with a cocktail motif. She created tables for Michael’s Restaurant in Springs that were later purchased by Cyril for Cyril’s Fish House.

When all is said and done, how would she describe her work? “I think of it as Pop Art.”