paola pivi vitra miniature furniture

It sounds a bit silly initially …  OK, it even appears rather awkward at first glance … but light tells only half the story of a lamp – the other half comes in the forms of shadows it casts.

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Miniature dollhouse-scale versions of classic modern furniture from the Vitra Design Museum can be found at their gift shop, but now 80 of these small pieces can also be seen in a set of suspended lanterns re-crafted by Paola Pivi.

paola pivi mini furniture lamp detail

Remarkably recognizable in two dimensions, the shapes in the spaces between direct patches of light reflect a century of contemporary furniture design from famous architects and industrial designers.

From Paolo Pivi: Art with a View by The Bass:

“Paola Pivi’s oeuvre is diverse, surprising, and enigmatic—appearing to be the work of multiple creative minds. With ambitious and spectacular acts, as well as simple gestures, Pivi playfully appropriates cultural symbols, resulting in unexpected visuals that also appear familiar. In each work, subject and materiality are manipulated leading to surprising transformations. The complexity of Pivi’s work is deepened by an intentional openness to interpretation. Each piece is multi-layered, offering the potential of deeply personal readings and mutable meaning based on current affairs.”

paola pivi miniatures lamp

Cool strange light ball (2018) and I am a cool strange light ball too (2018) are comprised of miniature chairs from the design manufacturer, Vitra. The miniatures become a lamp and are in turn transformed into shapes and shade due to the introduction of light. In a 2005 untitled series of photos, Pivi placed these small chairs on the back side of a nude woman. The piece calls attention to the playfulness of Pivi’s work and the tongue-in-cheek rivalry between artist and designer. “

“Ambition forms the core of her world—a drive to make the seemingly impossible, possible. In 1997, as a student, Pivi placed an 18-wheeler truck on its side as part of the exhibition Fuori Uso in Pescara, Italy. Two years later, she installed an upside-down G-91 fighter jet in the Venice Biennale’s Arsenale. “