Reinaldo Sanguino

New York,
While Venezuelan-born ceramicist Reinaldo Sanguino’s work is certainly further on the art spectrum than many of our nominees — owing not only to his forms, but to their abstract hand-painted finishes — we know him in the context of his prolific partnership with The Future Perfect, where for years he’s been releasing a steady stream of colorful, one-of-a-kind stools and objects. We’ve always really liked them, but only this year did it click for us that his inclusion on this list was overdue.

What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?

Being a craftsman and artist, when I think of American design, the iconic Love and Hope sculptures of Robert Indiana come to mind. I’m an outsider, but the design world has embraced my work and allowed me to navigate the spheres of craft and art while performing on the design stage, and that opportunity to create objects that function within all these disciplines is very exciting to me.

What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?

In 2022 I’ll be working on collaborations with people including artist friends doing ceramics for first time, ceramicists, a florist, and a textile artist. Some are people that I’ve been friends with for years, while others I’ve never met.

What inspires or informs your work in general?

I draw inspiration from my interactions with my surroundings, whether it’s an urban environment or nature. I’m particularly interested in juxtaposing visual elements to form “material emotions.” I can get inspired by a stain on a wall, a styrofoam cooler, the shapes of trees, or symbols in a construction site.

Using elements of craft, design, and art, I employ the medium of ceramics to create objects that are functional, decorative, or for contemplation.
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