Following Wallpaper’s coverage on Rick Owens’ Paris fashion store and his newer found passion for furniture design (W* 104) we are pleased to announce the arrival of new sculptural pieces launched this week in London, presented by Oscar Humphries and Rudy Weissenberg at Sebastian + Barquet gallery. First adding his furniture designs as props to his Palais Royal store, then more recently to his London and Tokyo stores where Owens' eerie self-portrait waxworks hold pride of place (his decapitated head in London is “after Salome” he tells me), the furniture side of the business has grown in stature and happily stands as an entity itself.
Gallerists (Kenny Schachter. Libby Sellers), auction houses (representatives from Phillips de Pury), designers (David Collins, Nicky Haslam), other fashion mavericks (including his wife and muse Michele Lamy) - those in the know - gathered for the star-studded launch and ensuing dinner at nearby Bellamy’s restaurant to witness the inimitable designer explain his work.
Fascinated by the living and decay, he tells me, “There is no point wearing great clothes if the body isn’t fit, you have to start with the body” stating with furniture he maintains the same clarity, and imagines where the pieces will sit, equally how the body sits within the hip-formed, and upon the straight lined, seats.
Melding skulls and antlers into oversized sculptural wooden forms, which otherwise avoid extraneous detail, the materials he uses echo the signature rugged, raw luxury his clothes exude, and the natural elements actually embrace the sitter. Marble and bronze pieces, alongside the wood and bone, succeed by their classical proportion as well as form, but most beguiling is the brutal honesty of the work, which it has to be said, unusually for chairs, does not appear to reference. Art furniture? No. Functional poetry – most definitely.