Adaliz Bader. furniture. December 03rd , 2017.
Fluid draping and the fine details of fabrics rendered in marble — these are the hallmarks of classic 16th and 17th century Italian sculptors like Bernini and Michelangelo. Fast forward to 2017 and California designer Sean Knibb is putting a modern spin on the same concept with his Casa Canova collection. Knibb, a well-known landscape designer who has also made his mark with interior designs that “elevate” everyday items, became taken with 18th century sculptor Antonio Canova. Canova was a master of neoclassicism and is often credited with reviving the art of sculpture, which had diminished over time. His dynamic treatment of fabrics and draping was stunning.
All over Italy, visitors stand gaping at the fluidity of the garments in classic statues. Similarly, it’s hard not to be astonished by the detail in these tables that Knibb has designed. You feel as if you will reach out and touch well-worn, soft fabric, yet instead your fingers meet with cool, solid marble. It’s as if opposites have morphed together into a single tactile contradiction.
In his collection named for the Italian master, Knibb has taken the humble but iconic garments of modern society — jeans and t-shirts — and turned them into a work of art in marble. The designer says that at a distance, the table’s surface appears to be the disturbed surface of water. Indeed, when we first saw the pieces at ICFF, we weren’t sure what they were until we got close enough to see that the marble relief was clothing, including the finest of details: Ribbing, frayed hems, buttons and belt loops. It takes two Italian sculptors about about 700 hours to carve one of these tables. In a media interview, Knibb said that the first carver does a rough cut, and then second refines the piece, adding the details. Not only do the pieces look incredibly life-like, wrinkles and all, but you can see the veins of the marble in these amazing works.
Sitting on your human’s lap, on a beautiful Ritchie Sofa and just enjoying being there…this is the life. This cute little Cockapoo may not excel at showing off emotions but deep down we just know she really loves those rainbow buttons. The piranha fish on the pillow…that’s a different story. You just know you’ve chosen the right armchair when you see your cat deep asleep and so comfortable and peaceful you couldn’t possibly disturb it. I guess you could sit on the floor for now. Who cares as long as your cat is happy on the new Ritchie Armchair with candy pink upholstery and rainbow buttons, right?
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