Category Archives: Design and Innovation

Pink Thing Of The Day: Iridescent Pink Fanny Pack!

iridescent pin fanny pack photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

I’m not sure who is trying to make the Fanny Pack come back into style, but I admit that I was at least a wee bit tempted to snatch up this iridescent Pink version of the reviled fashion accessory when I saw it hanging from a display at the local Lot Less closeout store on 14th Street. Only $4.99 – what a bargain!

iridescent pink fanny pack photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: César Expansion Table

cesar expansion table photo by gail worley
Installation View With Rene Gabriel’s Bridge Armchair (All Photos By Gail)

The celebrated French artist César (born Cesare Baldaccini) was a founding member in 1960 of the Nouveaux Réalistes group. His amorphous bronze and glass Expansion Table (1977) is one of the rare works in which César applied his Expansion technique to a functional object. Whereas he also created a handful of bronze ashtrays, lamps, as well as the console commissioned by Henri Samuel, the Expansion Table is the object in which César philosophy — his belief that life and art are one entity, indivisible —achieves its apex.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

Some background on César’s Expansions: One of the artist’s great breakthroughs in the late 1960s took the form of sculptural spills called Expansions. Realized with liquid polyurethane foam, a novel material at the time, each spill involved actively pouring specifically tinted foam, allowing it to expand, and then leaving it to set in a process that resulted in soft forms several times larger than their original liquid volume.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

César was moved by this material’s freedom and energy — rather than conforming to the matrix of a mold, it actually spread and expanded in what would famously become a critically admired analog for the new spirit of liberation that marked the era. As Pierre Restany noted in 1970, “César’s expansions reveal a new phase in his work, the phase of maturity: the mastering of the technique allied to the freedom of form.”

cesar expansion table installation view photo by gail worley

Photographed at at Demisch Danant, Located at 30 West 12th Street in NYC.

Eye On Design: Jonathan Trayte, MelonMelonTangerine Seating

melon melon tangerine photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Suitable for either indoor or outdoor use, Jonathan Trayte’s MelonMelonTangerine loveseat (2019) brings together different colors, textures and forms supported by a tubular frame of powder-coated steel in a warm, sunshine yellow.

melon melon tangerine seating photo by gail worley
Installation View with Bikini Squash Sculpture

The seat incorporates a variety of natural and man-made fabrics including a  nylon-weave lower ‘shelf,’ black leather seats, cowhide upholstered seatbacks, and leather headrests, with furry wool armrest covering and polished brass accents. A mounted disc of polished marble provides a small table for holding your afternoon cocktails, or whatever you please.

melon melon tangerine seating photo by gail worley

Photographed at Friedman Benda Gallery in NYC as Part of the Exhibit, MelonMelonTangerine.

Hand Carved Ivory Chess Set From India

handcraved ivory chess set photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

19th century Bengali craftspeople found an export market in Britain for decorative chess sets carved from ivory.

handcraved ivory chess set photo by gail worley
handcraved ivory chess set photo by gail worley

The two sides were sometimes carved to represent opposing armies of local soldiers and Europeans. The example seen here, with relatively simple carving is unusual as signs of wear and repair suggest it was used for playing games rather than as a showpiece for display. Hand-carving has produced variation even between pawns of the same side.

Photographed in the British Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

handcraved ivory chess set photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Popworm Bookshelf By Ron Arad

pink popworm bookshelf by kartell photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

The creativity of artist/designer Ron Arad combined with the technological expertise of design company Kartell results in a bookcase design of industrial scale that can rightfully be considered the world’s most daring and revolutionary: behold the Popworm Bookshelf (2015), the flexible bookshelf. A careful analysis of extrusion technology has allowed the creation of a curvy bookcase which assumes any desired shape, without compromising toughness and functionality. The shapes that can be formed are limited only by personal creativity. Available in three different lengths, Popworm is marked by a series of bookend supports. The shelf combines flexibility and superior durability, allowing for a load of approximately 22 lbs for each support. It is advisable to wall-mount the shelf in a curved shape to keep the materials in tension and to increase resistance once loaded. Popworm is available in three sizes (with 7, 11, or 17 bookends) and in three colors, Pink (shown), Light Blue, and Yellow. Visit Kartell’s Website for pricing.

Pink Think of The Day: Pink Space Race Paper Dress By Harry Gordon

harry gordon pink poster dress photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

It may be difficult to discern in the dim museum lighting, but the front of this bright Pink Dress features the scene of a rocket launch, and was created in 1968 by American graphic artist Harry Gordon at the height of the international space race.

poster dress installation view photo by gail worley
Installation View

An identical rocket image adorns the dress’ back. This and other screen-printed paper dress designs by Gordon were manufactured by UK-based company Poster Dress, Ltd. Selling for about $3.00 each and fabricated from tissue, wood pulp and rayon mesh, the dress came with the proclamation: ‘Toughness is woven into the non-woven fabric for long, l-o-n-g wear, and should you tire (which is doubtful), just cut open all the seams and hang it on your wall as a mammoth poster.’

pink poster paper dress photo by gail worley

Photographed in The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Black Dakota Floor Lamp by Jonathan Trayte

black dakota lamp photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

A unique take on the concept of ‘Indoor/Outdoor’ furniture is perhaps unintentionally offered in British artist Jonathan Trayte’s recent exhibit of sculptural art furniture, MelonMelonTangerine, at Freidman Benda Gallery. Intended to transport the viewer to an otherworldly botanical garden, pieces like the Black Dakota Lamp (2019) combine industrial materials such as stainless steel, bronze, polymer compound, and reinforced plastics, and brass leaver, with a base covered in crushed glass, and blown-glass light sconces to create an eclectic light-emitting tree.

black dakota lamp photo by gail worley

This and other works in the collection were inspired by Trayte’s recent 2000-mile road trip through the Western United States. With a keen perception and eye for the obscure, the artist finds the surreal in our everyday surroundings and within the fabric of daily life. Realized while in isolation amidst the current pandemic, he recalls hazy visions of sedimentary rock formations, Joshua trees, lichens, silver cholla cacti and prickly pear fruits to inform this new body of work. We are excited to be featuring more whimsical works from MelonMelonTangerine in the coming weeks!

black dakota lamp photo by gail worley
Installation View With bONZA Chair (2019)