I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Most of the museum was given over to a retrospective of the work of Maarten Baas, a Dutch artist. Most of the references I found for him online afterwards described him as a furniture designer, but the pieces on display included video and sound and seemed much more like modern art, or at least an interesting intersection between art and design.

These are two pieces from his Smoke series, created when he was still a student. He burned existing pieces of furniture, then restored them with epoxy so they could still be used. It's the kind of concept that sometimes makes me cringe, when cool ideas produce results that are boring or stupid. But these pieces are strangely beautiful. The photos don't really capture the texture of the charred surfaces and I wish I'd taken closeups.

Here's a quote I found from an old newspaper article from 2006:

“I was thinking about why we want things to stay the same,” said Baas. “Why do we buy things and don't touch them? Why do we think symmetry and smoothness are beautiful? And what would happen if we do the opposite of what we ought to do with furniture - if we burnt it?”

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