Chilean born, New York based artist and designer Sebastian Errazuriz is only 28 years old, but already his work has been auctioned at Sotheby’s Important Twentieth Century Design. He was selected as one of I.D. Magazine’s top emerging international designers, he received the title of Chilean Designer of the year in 2010, and his work has been exhibited at the many institutions such as the Cooper Hewitt, the National Museum of Design in New York, The Corning Glass Museum and in 2014 he will show at the Carnegie Museum of Art.
There is a humor to Errazuriz’s work that combines wit with a sense of irreverence. Opera d’ Inferno (Fireplace), for example, is a fireplace turned into a miniature theater set. Or Duck Lamp, which consists of a taxidermy bird whose head has been replaced with a lamp. Personal Registration of Time Passing are a series of previously owned wind up watches that have the hour and minute hands taken out. Rather than indicating the time, they indicate that time is passing, so carpe diem and whatnot.
Errazuriz’s public works of art maintain the same sense of profane humor, but many of them also possess a semi-political tone. Wall Street City, for instance, involved turning median markers into dollar signs. American Kills is a mural, of sorts, depicting side by side the number of American soldiers killed in combat and those who died committing suicide in 2009. In one of his more ambitions projects, Errazuriz rescued a cow from its inevitable death at a slaughterhouse and moved it to a recreated farm on the top of a 10-story building in Santiago, Chile. The Cow became a rural icon existing in an urban environment.
As the most universally impactful works usually are, the affect of Errazuriz’s use of symbols and imagery is generally straightforward, but surprisingly efficient. Blurring the lines between art and design with most of his work, mere objects become thought provoking and insightful. It is exciting to see what an artist so young will do next.