Clowns that turned into lamps, tables that grow legs, chess pawns as large as people, green see-saw chickens, chairs inspired by American hot dogs and cups inspired by New York skyscrapers: these are only some of the creations of designer Jaime Hayon that will be exhibited at Funtastico, an exhibition that opened on November 30 2015 at the Holon Design Museum and will run until the end of April 2016. All pieces were exhibited at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands last year, except for two large pieces prepared especially for the exhibition: a pair of large wall mirrors, continuing the humorous and narrative design line of Hayon, and reminiscent of giant primitive masks.
Hayon calls the masks, which combine mirrors and cloisonné work with Caesarstone, “Mirrors of History.” “I wanted to create a mask that represents characters from my cosmos, one that combines fantasy and a light-hearted playfulness, together with quality and a work of art,” he says. “All cultures, from the ancient peoples of the Mediterranean to the Aztecs in America made use of masks, and every mask tells a story.” At the end of the exhibition the masks will be donated to the permanent collection of the museum.
Hayon, who was recently selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important creators of our time, has learned industrial design in Madrid and Paris, and began working in 1997 as a researcher in “Fabrica”, the Benneton Company’s research group. In 2004 he began an independent career that included mainly the design of furniture and interior design. His work is motivated by the need to create his own world, with amusing, fantastical and narrative elements, created with unusual attention to details and the finish of the piece.
The cloisonné and assembly of the masks was done in Israel by a local marble worker who needed to withstand the challenge of the complex cuts and design of the mirror and the stone surfaces. The assembly work was overseen by architect Gal Gaon, owner and artistic director of the Talents gallery. “Hayon worked in a technique called inlay, reminiscent of work with wood veneer from the 19th century,” Gaon says. “You cut pieces of a material and create a painting with them. Because he comes from the world of graphics and paintings, his approach to the mask is like a painter’s. He created an image into which we cut a palette of colors: the surfaces by Caesarstone are, in this case, his brush, the color palette with which he works.”
“One can see in the mask,” Gaon continues, “a continuation of previous projects created by Caesarstone with leading international designers like Studio Nando, Raw Edges and now also Tom Dixon. In all these projects Caesarstone cooperates with designers creating new pieces, while using the material with contemporary design and contemporary techniques.
“In the Israeli reality,” Gaon says, “the fact that there is an Israeli company – Caesarstone – that supports the creation of new items for an international collection, in an Israeli design museum planned by an Israeli architect and designer (Ron Arad), and the production is done with the cooperation of an Israeli designer – all this helps to build up the muscle of local pride and proves that we can design, produce, exhibit and export items at the forefront of the international world of design.”