The series Bad Furniture is a continuation of the Sport Nouveau style and theme. The furniture ranges from tables and chairs to benches and toilet stools. The work of AVL is full of paradoxes and ambiguity. On the one hand, it may seem simple and straightforward in terms of design, but, on the other hand, it mixes surrealistic aspects with minimalism, utopia with dark sexual extremities, and decorative craftsmanship with creepiness.
Contemporary design practice increasingly depends upon high tech. Designs are drawn on the computer and made by means of rapid prototyping. Once the prototype is complete, the object is manufactured far away in another country with cheap labour and then comes back. To counter this distant way of designing, AVL created Bad Furniture in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau.
For Bad Furniture, the designer and the producer are one and the same person. Both the steel and the wood have been handcrafted. Love, tools and materials are combined; shape and passion go hand in hand.
Sculptor Joep van Lieshout was born in 1963 in Ravenstein, The Netherlands. He is the progenitor of AVL-ville, a self-sufficient free-state in the port of Rotterdam named after the studio he founded in 1995. For three decades van Lieshout has produced work that straddles art, design, and architecture; sharing recurring themes of systems, power, life, sex, death, and the human individual amidst the greater whole.
AVL gained international recognition for sculptural installations featuring controversial or sinister nuances. Alongside playful perversion, the work conveys disdain for limitation and longing for freedom. Van Lieshout considers the body to be divine architecture with the viewer invited to interact with manufactured interior spaces resembling internal organs, acting out taboos and wish fulfillment. AVL’s projects traverse clean design and non-functional sculptures doubling as habitats, fusing luxury with anarchic independence from conventional living.
Van Lieshout's works have been included in the Gwangju, Venice, Yokohama, Christchurch, Shanghai and São Paulo biennials. AVL is in part of the permanent collections of public and private institutions such as: FNAC, Paris; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Prada Foundation, Milan; Ludwig Forum, Aachen; Folkwang Museum, Essen; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich.