There’s something Duchamp-esque about the latest work of Chris Labrooy. The British artist and designer’s ongoing remix project, Garden of Eames, transforms the classic Eames shell chair, designed in 1950, into surreal fine art that packs an absurdist punch.
Labrooy, who has also worked for brands like Apple, Nike, and Porsche, isn’t shy about pushing the Eames’s timeless design into strange and surprising places. In some pieces, he transforms the original fiber material into colorful fluid shapes that look as if they’re made out of gummy candy. Other reinventions play with repetition; in one, Labrooy mounted several white shells along a single base, making it look like someone applied the Photoshop clone stamp tool. Other seats grow spherical appendixes along the underside of the simple shell, partially obscuring the chair’s wiry legs.
Animals are another theme: There are vibrant stuffed fabric rabbits growing out of some chairs, as if they’re jumping from another dimension into this world. In one of the pieces, a mustard-colored lion cub gets ready to pounce on a shell, deforming it. It’s covered in the same fluffy fur as the cub itself. Another bright yellow chair appears to melt onto the floor, forming a little house for happy puppies. My favorite is the stuffed sheep, half painted in pink paint, with its head coming through the chair’s seat. I wish this was being sold without the head, so I could work sitting on it.