Fifty-one Charles and Ray Eames Wire Chairs reinterpreted by artists will be auctioned in Paris today (14 December) to raise money for La Source, a charitable association created by French artist Gérard Garouste to help children express themselves through art in four French centres.
The chairs were donated by Vitra and reinterpreted by leading artists, interior designers, fashion designers and architects, many of whom also participate in La Source workshops each year. Famous names on this year's list include Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, Philippe Starck, Matali Crasset, Antoine + Manuel, Odile Decq, Christian Louboutin, India Mahdavi, and, of course, Garouste himself.
The designer one-offs come under the hammer of Simon de Pury, chairman of the Philips art auction house. Maître de Pury explains that the charity auction is exceptional in his experience, as artists surpass themselves to transform the object for auction into something unique.
'The Wire Chair's grid seems to have particularly inspired the artists, we're seeing a great deal of invention and a lot of humour,' he says.
5.5 designstudio reinterpreted the chair as a barbeque, Christian Louboutin added a backrest in the form of his signature red leather sole, while Philippe Starck added padlocks in a tribute to the Pont des Art bridge. Most poignantly, Sarah Lavoine and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac created a tribute to Paris following the recent tragic events.
The chairs will be exhibited in the Hôtel de l’Industrie in Paris until today; the auction begins at 8pm French time this evening.