In Lathe III Brajkovic twists the familiar seventeenth century chair and conjures up a playful alter reality, where objects themselves can be physically stretched and pulled as if in digital programme. The Lathe II has been pierced by a central axis, and, as though being turned on a giant lathe, the seat and back extend offering up a new, more spacious seating arrangement. With the seat extruded, the arms of the chair look like they might meet in reverse, the whole piece existing in the negative space of a traditional chair.
The Dutch-Croatian-Indonesian designer was born in 1975. Sebastian Brajkovic holds a keen interest in the divide between art and design, and exploring the border between the two has long fueled his practice. He graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2006 and burst onto the art-world scene with his project Lathe. He investigates the notion of perspective and distortion of form through his sculptural furniture pieces.
The Lathe series, expanded for his first solo show at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in 2008, reflects his longstanding fascination with rotation. The Lathe tables at once illustrate and innovate the idea of turned furniture. The spinning motion of a lathe both creates the table and decorates it. The rotation is visible in the table’s exaggerated profile and in the layers of concentric whorls on its surface. Through his in-depth exploration of the theoretical and the technical, Brajkovic creates an aesthetic balance of structure, freedom, and form. The Lathe chairs also employ woodcarving, bronze casting, and embroidery. Each work is sculpted by hand before being molded. At the same time, Brajkovic employs new digital techniques for sculpture, harnessing the power to expand pixels and distort images.
There is a disparity between the delicate look and substantial feel of his works. Often composed of bronze, they are too heavy to be lifted without mechanical assistance. As such, their archetypal function is subverted by their substance.