Eye On Design: Waltraud Cow Bench By Julia Lohmann

waltraud cow bench photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

A headless cow? A bench to sit on? Actually, it’s both! German-born artist Julia Lohmann (b.1977) investigates the contradictions in our relationship to animals using off-cuts of leather, and other meat-industry waste products in her design. The Waltraud Cow-Bench (2004) is an appropriately cow-shaped upholstered leather bench, a “bovine memento mori,” the designer calls it.

waltraud cow bench rear view photo by gail worley

This series of benches are meant to be thought-provoking, humorous, and useful. Lohmann names them all; this one is named after her mother.

waltraud cow bench photo by gail worley

As lyrical and polemical as her work is, it is always intended to be useful: Waltraud is as comfortable as one dreams a reclining cow would be. Lohmann hopes these benches will encourage people to think about how we use and treat animals.

waltraud cow bench installation view photo by gail worley
Installation View With Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen’s Google Maps Pin (2005)

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC

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