“If you give people the leeway, then they’ll happily wander into a new version of reality.” With these words American designer Misha Kahn (Duluth, Minnesota, 1989) sums up his artistic poetics: pointing people to a new way of seeing the world.
His works, which oscillate between design and sculpture, between functionality and extravagance, have the ability to transport the audience to a wonderland, to another world. The garish colors and alien shapes of his furnishings concur in creating surreal and ethereal settings. Metallic lamps, mirrors with tentacles, soft and curvy sofas, furry chandeliers, all the way to cabinets that appear like spaceships.
Misha Kahn’s imaginative and out-of-the-box approach allows the creation of extra-ordinary objects, both in aesthetics and materials. The designer does not choose to pursue a single technique but rather uses different mediums, driven by curiosity and a desire to experiment, being inspired by the materials themselves and their endless applications. From ceramics to fiberglass, from ash to resin, to using metals such as aluminum and bronze and reclaimed materials such as fabric fibers, banana or cactus leaves, bones, nylon, and feathers.
Precisely because of the variety of techniques and materials used, at first glance Misha Kahn’s pieces are not linked by a stylistic coherence, except in extravagance. The works placed in dialogue in a single room, create a marriage of incongruities and imbalances that acquire a certain visual harmony, accustoming the viewer to color variety and material contrasts. This is evident in the staging of his solo exhibition “Staged,” still running at Friedman Benda in Los Angeles (open until June 2).
Courtesy Misha Kahn, Friedman Benda