Contemporary Art is definitely a big deal. Sometimes it is hard to understand it or even to have access to it. If you go to the theater or if you watch a movie in the cinema, your ticket is as good as your neighbour’s. No difference, a part perhaps the sensitiveness in front of a Comedy, Drama or Adventure. Contemporary Art is different. Between Andy Warrhol post-caricatures, incredible artists showing-of and also the totally opaque and hermetic ones, we are totally lost. And even if the public has now more and more access to public places like MoMa of Guggenheim, the Tate Modern or Palais de Tokyo in Paris, we are still wondering what is all about.
Since Contemporary Art broke the bridges with past classical rules, it has been re-inventing itself since the 50’s. Some people are still wondering if Damian Hirst is a genius or a foul. Is his diamont skull one of the most “accurate representation” of today’s world or just a crazy thing?
Nevertheless, we could see that Designers have been overtaking some ground to contemporary artists by reducing the gap between Art and daily life. That is the case of Konstantin Grcic. It is in deed a hard name to pronounce, so here is a tip: say “Gritchic”.
Konstantin Grcic is a german designer, born in 1965 in Munchen. He had a strong school curriculum with first the Parnham College in the UK and then the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. During his learning path, he met someartists that definitely helped him to find his unique style. We can quote Jasper Morrison or Vico Magistretti. He founded his own studio in Munchen in 1991, the famous KGID. He works for several Design brands like Littala, Magis, Moroso or even industrial brands like Krups or Whirlpool.
Mr Grcic has a functional artistic approach of Design. He describes his own style of current, feasible and realistic. The May-day Lamp is the perfect ambassador of his style. Its design is simple and elegant while meeting a set of needs: it can be transported, placed or attached. The handle is for both cable roll-in and hook. This young designer creations have a radical side, very raw. He goes straight to the point. Some creations are in the collections of the museum and MoMA or Arts décoratifs.He was also awarded with a Golden Compass for the Mayday Lamp in 2001. Here below some of my preferred objects.
Here is an interview of Konstantin Grcic made for Designboom.com :
“what is your best moment of the day?
the morning, from 8 to 9.
what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
a lot of music, i always listen to music, lots of surf-punk, mostly music with electric guitars.
do you listen to the radio?
what books do you have on your bedside table?
right now “the yellow pencil” (der gelbe bleistift) by christian kracht.
do you read design magazines?
no, i don’t read them, but i flip through them.
newspapers? where do you get news from?
süddeutsche zeitung, every day.
do you notice how women are dressing? do you have any preferences?
in the summer a woman with a beautiful dress is very noticable.
what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?
for example, I never wear shorts.
do you have any pets?
where do you work on your designs and projects?
in terms of space usually in my studio, and then in my head.
who would you like to design something for?
do you discuss or exchange ideas with other designers?
I have good friends who are designers, and dialogue is very important for me. The person I talk with most is sebastian bergne.
describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.
I would say current, feasible and realistic.
do you think that design is an autonomous cultural expression? do you think it’s a form of art?
I think of design as a cultural expression. It is an autonomous discipline…but not like a cultural expression.
it is closely linked to communication and other fields of art. I don’t like the idea of design being defined “art”. as a source of inspiration, art is very important for me … so is the cinema and music.
which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction? and which do you like the most?
the “mayday” lamp for flos.
do you enjoy your work? what did you want to be when you were a child?
the thing I enjoy the most, since I was a child, is to make things. I still love my work, because I make 3D objects in my studio.
I have become what I wanted to be when I was a child, though I didn’t know the word “design”.
is there any architect or designer from past you appreciate a lot?
there are many. some because of their life’s work, like sottsass or castiglioni, others are very important for me perhaps because of a single design item.
what about colleagues, are there any particular ones you appreciate?
jasper morrison has been and is very important for me, sebastian bergne is a close friend and phillippe starck, alberto meda.
on the news they said that italians are afraid of unemployment, criminality and pollution. what are you afraid of regarding the future?
I’m not afraid of anything, that has made me reflect a lot, in this new millennium, is that our lives are so short and so important to us.”
Next exhibition for this amazing artist: June in Paris at Kleo Gallery, one of the most known galleries for Contemporary art and Design in the world. They got their reputation thanks to a edgy choice of limited editions. More news to come.
I know what I want for next christmas now… 🙂