In a New Series, A Sicilian Still-Life Artist Says Goodbye to Beige
The Sicilian-born, London-based designer Oscar Piccolo has a self-professed obsession. He is compelled to take vases and arrange them just so, manipulating how the light shines through, meticulously moving through tableaux until arriving — ecstatically — at just the right one. This fascination, he admits, “is becoming a bit of a problem.” Yet at the core of this compulsion is a relatively simple proposition: “All in all, my work explores the relation between objects and their positioning.” And while he has traditionally examined this relationship with decidedly tactile materials — bricks, paper, masking tape, glass — he has recently turned to 3D renderings in an attempt to reconcile material sensibility with digital dematerialization, creating images that still evoke a sense of texture and touch.
In his latest digital series, ciaobeigeciao (the first three images in this story), he has continued to grow beyond this fanatical fixation on vases to include his “second obsession,” chairs — here, chunky seating that offset their heavy, rectilinear forms with joyful wiggly cutouts. The series’s title, ciaobeigeciao, is quite literally a lighthearted hello and goodbye to Piccolo’s favored palette of beiges, tans, creams, and warm “sunset tones.” “With this new series, I tried to choose the opposite of what I’d usually go for in terms of colors and materials,” says Piccolo. However, he still sees these blues, lilacs, and greens as “a sort of ode to the color beige without it being used,” rather than a reactionary rejection.
Like with his arrangements of vases, in ciaobeigeciao Piccolo still tries to bring a rawness and tactility to the surface of the digital image. However, here the repeated textures and architectural voids make the chairs feel like surreal thrones in a floating screensaver universe. While not yet existing beyond the screen, the still lives will soon be available as editioned prints and Piccolo says he’s early in the process of exploring the chairs in physical form (to join his already iconic lamp series), so hopefully we’ll get the chance to sit in an IRL ciaobeigeciao chair soon.