‘portrait’ chair by karen ryan, 2012all images © designboom

up/market: self commissioned open gallery, milan, italy open now until april 22nd, 2012

british designer karen ryan has developed a self-personified furniture piece entitled ‘portrait’. the chair, formed from a pre-owned leather and wooden sculptural object is decorated by peach, coral and beige buttons comprise the artist’s actualization of her identity as a consumer.

karen ryan tells designboom, ‘there is no necessity in designing yet another new chair in the pursuit of portraying our notions of ourselves. I am trained through commercialism in western capitalism to portray my individuality through the objects I buy. to portray the tribe I belong to, my sense of taste, my wealth, myself. the perpetuation of need fed through mass consumerism leaves objects shallow from their humble origins. I do not portray function or consumerism in my ‘portrait’ chair. neither do have the pretense of necessity as necessity in the chair has already been so beautifully designed. I portray imperfection, fragility and mortality. ‘portrait’ chair is a designed object of my time of which I am a product of.‘

the piece is displayed in pr/undercover‘s ‘up market’ gallery (viale di porta vercellina, 15), a self commissioned open gallery developed for milan design week 2012.

karen ryan: portrait chair additional arms have been sewn on to the piece, dangling from leather straps and the chair’s backrest image © designboom

karen ryan: portrait chair the backrest of the chair is outfitted with antique leather pouches image © designboom

karen ryan: portrait chair bright buttons and red string accent the rough leather seat image © designboom