I’m just back from an amazing ten-day road trip through Utah, where I spotted this delicate miniature Pink Tea Service in a gift shop on Main Street in Park City. As we move slowly out of the pandemic’s strict lock down guidelines — particularly as they apply to indoor dining — I must say that I’m really looking forward to going to a place like NYC’s Plaza Hotel again to immerse myself in their over-the-top Afternoon Tea experience. Sigh.
Not My Cup of Tea follows Splendour Lender, a cabinet which addresses the Dutch tradition of displaying one’s porcelain in a “Pronkkast” as a symbol of status and happiness.
A coin, inserted into either cabinet, rolls down the porcelain, producing an enjoyable melody. In contrast to Splendour Lender, which holds a collection of porcelain, this cabinet contains identical cups and plates. While the cabinet alone encapsulates abundance, the meaning behind the phrase “Not My Cup of Tea” suggests discrimination. After each usage, the coin is returned, which would usually happen when a product is defective. The repetitious cups and their tunes show the universal cycle of consumption, the financial greed of modern times, regardless of difference in taste.
Created by Designer Jelle Mastenbroek, Eindhoven, Netherlands. Available at Chamber, Located at 515 W. 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
The Porca Miseria! Chandelier is a revolt against the “slickness” of contemporary design and designer Ingo Maurer’s celebration of slow–motion cinematic explosions. Only 10 of these lamps are produced annually, as four builders and must work on each one for almost 5 days, carefully breaking plates with a hammer or dropping them on the floor to determine the arrangement of the final design. The title, a common Italian interjection similar to “damn,” expressing irritation, surprise, annoyance, or incredulity, evokes both the frustration of breaking a dish and the release that comes from breaking many of them.
Porca Miseria! was Photographed while on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, in the Design Gallery.
New Photo Added December 11, 2019
On the way to Jonathan Levine Gallery for this past Saturday’s opening reception, I walked by Elizabeth Dee Gallery and was drawn inside by this stunning creation, which is called Coffee Table Museum, and was created by artist Joel Otterson in 1989. The mixed media installation / sculptures includes a natural wood plank coffee table adorned with perhaps a dozen coffee pots and coffee makers plus cups and what you might call coffee service accessories.
Here is the installation from another angle. I am just in love with this thing.
Note: the Pink Drip Coffee Maker.
Elizabeth Dee Gallery is Located at 545 West 20th Street, Just East of 11th Avenue, in the Chelsea Gallery District. (Note: The Gallery Has Moved from this Location as of 2018)