It is hard not to be impressed by the work and experience of New York based artist, designer and Chilean born activist, Sebastian Errazuriz. Just trying to figure out what is hidden in the head of any creator is quite impossible. One can never find the precise word to define thei work, probably because with artists, their vision of reality usually appears to be distorted by their own ego.
However, if there is something that powerfully captivates the attention is his enormous ability to impress with his work, to create controversy or admiration and to be on everyone’s lips. That is exactly what happened when gallery Cristina Grajales presented his first works at the design Trade Fair Miami a couple of years ago.
All kinds of designers and international artists attend this well known festival each year, like the Camapna brothers or the British industrial designer Ross Lovegrove. Artists and creators welcomed by the attendees because they have already sufficiently demonstrated their great expertise in the world of design.
On this occasion, the work of Sebastian Errazuriz (or Sebastian E. as he was introduced by his dealer) was the highlight of the fair. His pieces included a long glass table which base was a large tree trunk with branches, a shelf which branches supported numerous books or a hen lamp where the head had been replaced by a light bulb.
What was this 31 year old young man born in Santiago de Chile trying to accomplish?
Not just to draw attention, but to position himself before a well-established reality and, the best thing is that further to that initial adventure, the line of his subsequent work has not changed in the slightlest. He is still commitment to creating objects, furniture or items that attract attention, either by their enormous formal presence, by merely touching the sensitive line of bad taste or by presenting solutions and ideas that no one had ever before dared to propose. What to say about his work Boat Coffin, a luxurious coffin with keel and outboard engine to wave goodbye to family and friends in style? He comment on it saying: “Life is short and, since I will cease to exist one day, at least do it with some style”. Boat Coffin is one of his favourite works.
Apart from these controversial projects, Errazuriz is a great activist that stirs against injustice and the mediocrity of the human being. It is precisely here, at his most artistic version, where you can enjoy his more compelling exhibitions. It is difcicult to forget his mountains of shreddered dollar bills where he got the help of Thomas McDonell to criticize the lack of investment in culture, or his Jesus Christ wearing a Superman cape ready to fly in search of those in need of help.
Where does art end and design begins in this type of work? Like many critics have pointed out, it is a mix of both. There are those who qualify his work as ironic, sophisticated or even precise, where a few others say that the work of Sebastian sways between the elegance of art and design.
“My work speaks for itself. It’s not me who should judge my work but the public. I am inspired by everyday things and what I try to do is to create ideas with the minimum amount of elements, so they can be understood and serve a certain function”, says Sebastian.
This article is also available in Español