Two weeks ago, Sight Unseen celebrated our 5th anniversary with a post full of birthday cards made for us by our favorite designers and readers. But we couldn’t possibly mark such a momentous occasion with a web post alone — we had to throw a party, of course! Last Thursday night, we gathered 200 of our closest friends and clients together at the stunning roof bar of the McCarren Hotel & Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where we sipped Bombay Sapphire cocktails, danced to music spun by DJs Kyle Garner and Jon Santos under a piñata by Confettisystem, tossed around pool-toy dance props crafted by Misha Kahn, and ate adorable hand-shaped cookies and a golden birthday cake baked by Fredericks & Mae. There were even custom zig-zaggy funhouse mirrors by Chiaozza on hand to freak us out once we got tipsy. It was a memorable night for all involved, and we’re grateful to our partners at Bombay Sapphire and Chelsea Hotels for helping to make it happen. It’s definitely going to be hard to top come 2019!
We’ve become quite fond of these late-Friday hits of pure joy, and this one arrived in our inboxes just in the nick of time. Marcello Velho is a United Kingdom–based graphic artist. His abstract compositions have quite justly made the blog rounds in recent months, but we particularly love the new styled photos he sent of his work below, which mix Tumblr-inspired art with modern furniture icons. Velho works across different mediums including publications, posters, and textile design. His prints are currently for sale via the Australian shop Visions, alongside another favorite artist of ours: Kristina Krogh. Happy Friday!
I had a long conversation over email this week with Matthias Kaiser, whose masterful ceramic work was a personal highlight of the show I curated for Sight Unseen OFFSITE earlier this year. The exchange reaffirmed my sometimes-waning faith in ceramics, or in anything that suddenly becomes so widely hyped that it can feel like we’re too busy being professionals to remember what struck us through about the practice in the first place. Kaiser, who now lives in the Austrian countryside having previously apprenticed with Japanese master potters and spent a combined two years
traveling on the Indian subcontinent, speaks with the deep humility that comes with not taking shortcuts — with digging for your own clay, for example, or moving to Isfahan to study Sufi mysticism. He compares himself to “bad clay,” talks about how losses are a part of the game, and makes a joke about beards.
When Egg Collective launched their debut furniture collection at ICFF in 2012 — snagging a Best New Designer award in the process — they seemed to the design world to have come out of nowhere. And in fact, though the three — Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie — met and began collaborating as 18-year-old freshmen at Washington University’s architecture school more than a decade ago, the truth is they had formally joined forces and had begun crafting an ICFF plan only six months earlier. “I remember the three of us sitting outside the Javits Center in our Budget truck, about to move in furniture that we’d been working on with no one having seen for six months,” says Beamer. “I was like, you guys, this is it. People could just walk by us the entire fair. But thankfully we seem to have struck a chord and the work resonated.”
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, it’s almost time to start gifting! We’ve got high and low lights, artist-edition shoes, affordable trays by one of our favorite designers, and a pop-up shop filled with a collector’s curiosities.
One look at Ida Ekblad’s studio and you might wonder how the Norwegian artist manages to do any work in this beautiful seaside spot near Oslo. We’d worry about getting distracted, or worse, growing complacent. But it hasn’t taken the edge off of Ekblad’s output. If anything, having such a large, light-filled space has allowed her to “experiment on a huge scale” with her process and materials. It’s only added to the tension in her quasi-abstract paintings, which are both dreamy and dynamic, combining depths of color and fluid shapes with a kind of graphic clarity and confidence.