Packing peanuts, crumpled-up paper, a chic side table tipped on its side — no, it's not your average moving scene of chaos in transit, but rather one of the unexpected, still-life compositions devised by New York–based photographer Joanna McClure. McClure's work often shows up in places like T Magazine or for brands like Loeffler Randall, but her photos walk the line between the commercial and fine art — abstractly subjective, employing everyday materials into thought-provoking scenarios.
When the New York design showroom Colony presented new work by its roster of emerging talents during design week this past May, the furniture wasn't the only highlight — several of the space's carefully styled object vignettes were backdropped by rainbows of hyper-color ombre splatter-paint that we zeroed in on immediately, assuming they were an artful site-specific flourish applied by someone who knew their way around a spray can. Not so: They were actually panels of large-scale, non-repeating wallpaper by Brooklyn's Flat Vernacular, in a new pattern called The Heavens.
In its guise as a flower shop, Saffron Brooklyn had already hosted its share of exhibitions over the years, everything from photography by Youngna Park to ceramics by Katy Krantz. So it makes sense that the sister-owned shop would eventually open a gallery of its own: Sunday Takeout, a tiny spot in Fort Greene next door to Saffron, opened in April of this year. On view now, their second-ever exhibition on view now — by Brooklyn-based Emily Mullin (who goes by the studio name Vachina) — in fact bridges both of those mediums, photography and ceramics. Her show spotlights a series of wall-based, still-life sculptures featuring glazed ceramic vessels on painted sheet metal.
People often refer to the bathroom as the "most overlooked room in the house," but you certainly wouldn't know it judging from our most popular Pinterest board, Interiors: Much to our surprise, some of our most viral Pins ever have been super-designy WCs, from the iridescent-paneled Tom Dixon creation above to an all-pink confection featured recently in our story about Guillermo Santomà's Casa Horta. We pulled 19 of our favorite examples, after the jump.
Reeta Ek is one of those fine artists who studied design for practicality's sake, as a way to ensure she'd actually be able to get a job upon graduation. Yet when it came time for her to start her thesis, she gave herself one last taste of freedom, opting to throw out all of textile design's typical rules and restraints and just create whatever pleased her.
In the category of cities we're seriously dying to visit, Melbourne is right up there with Tokyo, and now we have another reason to make the trek: the recently wrapped Denfair, a design fair now in its second year, which in the past week has introduced us to whole host of new talents, including the German-born, Melbourne-based designer Volker Haug, whose new lighting collection we're featuring today. Made by hand in Haug's Brunswick East studio, the lights represent a more minimalist direction for the designer, whose previous creations were more colorful and organic.
Guillermo Santoma's interior work shows an acute understanding of things like just how much geometry is enough and how interesting cuts in the architecture can lift a just-great renovation into something otherworldly. Over the past few months, Santomá has released a series of chairs that embody many of those same principles.
Most artists and designers start their practices small, then scale up their work as their ambitions, finances, and studio spaces grow. London-based Zuza Mengham has done the opposite: Back in art school, she welded semi-functional steel sculptures so large and unwieldy she sometimes had to destroy them afterwards, while recently she began turning her attention towards resin experiments compact enough to perch on a bookshelf. Both endeavors come from a similar interest in working within the transitional states of materials.
When you first catch sight of the pieces in South Korean artist Jongjin Park's Artistic Stratum ceramic series, it's almost impossible to tell that they're ceramics at all; their textured, layered surfaces call to mind everything from sponges to unsanded wood. But the pieces were in fact made using a technique Park stumbled upon while researching his Master's thesis at Cardiff University in the UK: By painting clay slip onto pieces of paper towel, layering them, applying pigment and then firing them at 1280 degrees, Park creates a masslike trompe l'oeil.
Nearly a year ago, we profiled the Los Angeles jewelry designer Kathleen Whitaker, known for starting the whole staple and dot stud earring trend that went viral a couple years back, and previewed the limited-edition project she was starting in parallel to her base collection — one that would elevate those designs into more rarefied territory by adding semiprecious stones to their simple, minimalist geometries. Earlier this spring, she officially debuted the results in the form of the Stone Collection, and we are coveting every. single. piece.
Our third annual Sight Unseen OFFSITE opens this Friday, and we're thrilled to be sharing with you a few subjects who will be showing with us this coming weekend. First up is Jean-Pascal Gauthier, a Montreal-based designer who we discovered on Instagram only a month and a half ago and quickly snagged for our show. A self-taught designer who counts Alexander Calder and Pierre Guariche among his influences, Gauthier creates mobile-like, geometric lights from raw materials like brass, steel, wood and marble — often mixing plants and bulbs in one creation.