Sit on my Art!

By Zonaira Chaudry

Carl Andre, the post-modernist artist encouraged us to walk on his artwork “144 Pieces of Zinc“. He literally laid down tiles on the floor in an art gallery and asked viewers to walk on them, ideally, the viewer walking on the tiles is what turned it into a piece of art. The melding of a person with a product created, the fusion of the two turned it into a piece of art. Fusion, hybrid, meld whatever word you want to use very much sums up our theme for the month, Hybrid. In Sit on my Art, we look at pieces of furniture that almost stand as artworks in their own right yet also have a practical element to them.

Furniture is a word synonymous with functionality and good design, yet now we are seeing works that take the idea of great design to another level. Combining art and design can breathe life in spaces and bring character into empty interiors.

 Today, the challenging spatial needs, social activities and interactions demand re-thinking of design philosophies. Furnishings also develop a lasting relationship with the space in which they are used. We already know the connotation arising from coffee tables but why limit that piece of furniture to a single functionality when you can use it in more than one way?  

Hybrid trends are underlining the postmodernism era which is free from traditional rules of design. Furniture is designed in a dynamic and functional way blurring out the concept of traditional living.

Image by: Malabar Artistic Furniture

The Fyoo Cher Dining chair, produced in Walnut wood by Malabar Portuguese designers is an apt example of the postmodernist design movement in interiors and architecture. It shows a new notion of visually interesting furniture pieces with vivid patterns and unique forms giving any room an artistic flair of its own. Like a set of art installations sitting proudly yet practically.

Jonathan Trayte, the British artist has designed his latest collection “MelonMelonTangerine” which opened in Friedman Benda gallery in February and was inspired by the artist’s 2000 mile road trip through the Western United States. The isolation period brought by the pandemic has made artists visualise natural materials in their new creations.

Image by :  Blue Medium Inc.

This palm-like swing seat and bench is one of his most anticipated works where he has brought together various colours, textures in a functional form giving ordinary living a stylistic meaning. Trayte has experimented with natural resources and played with bold striking colours in his artistic furniture pieces mimicking a botanical garden literally asking to sit on my art. He believes that colours also play an important role in making artistic decisions and also to convince consumers of their stylistic choices.

Designers are now searching for resourceful alternatives that spatially can be used for working, living and playing. Daily life has shifted to hybrid living where environments have become more open to a fluid definition of crossover of indoor and outdoor living. 

Hybrid furniture offers unique multifunctional art pieces rather than having a room full of useless furniture.  These furnishings are sleek, bold, modern and underline the pinnacle of simplicity and minimalistic living.

In 2011, two visual artists Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen decided to marry their distinctive disciplines of photography and sculpture and produce furnishings embodying minimalistic designs and maximum usability.

Image by: Industry Publicity 

In Installation S, the artists have merged a lounge chair, desk, a shelf and a lamp in one unique furniture unit. The pieces tell tales of intersections by combing materials, shapes and designs into individual functional units thereby writing their own definition of hybrid furniture. The artists’ design philosophy emphasizes the importance of how minimal furniture works in contemporary living and lights the Japanese concept of Ma which is about the emptiness of space where life needs to grow.

This strange time that we are going through is bringing about a period of transition. The contemporary world of architecture and design is evolving with characteristics like multiplicity and hybridity.

Hybrid furniture is the future of design- a design movement that is here to stay with its interesting visual interiors. This hybrid multiform culture truly signifies a shift in the way we think and live.

If you enjoyed reading Sit On My Art you might also like Fusion Cuisine or Smell of Style To find out more about Jonathan Trayte and his art, click here. Credits malabar.com. friedmanbenda.com