Artist Marc Hundley Debuts His First Furniture Collection – Vogue.com
Marc Hundley is known for text-filled art, which often takes the form of ephemera laden with brief yet opaque phrases. But now, fresh off an appearance at Frieze New York, the Brooklyn-based artist is debuting his first-ever furniture collection. The line, which is called Island, was inspired by some individual pieces that Hundley made while on Fire Island. Below, Hundley explains why exactly he decided to make this collection, how his art informs this work, and more.
Why did you decide to do this furniture line?
I’ve wanted to do a collection of furniture for a while, but the motivation came from having a space to show it. After [I was] working at my friend’s home on Fire Island and making furniture, he suggested I clear out the parlor in his place on Washington Square Park and make new furniture for the room, really replacing all the contents with my own. I enjoy figuring out spaces, so I liked that I’d make furniture for the whole room instead of just a few pieces. This collection is very much inspired by Fire Island, so I used wood left over from work done on the house. Because of the location, I stretched the wood as far as possible, using smaller pieces to create benches and tables.
How did your work as an artist inform this collection?
Usually I think of my art practice and my carpentry or design practice as separate, but they do inform each other. There is almost always some sort of furniture in my art shows, because I want people to stay as long as possible. For this show of furniture, I imagined an entire narrative so that it made sense to me. This is also something I do when I’m organizing a show, or creating a book of art. The narrative for this furniture collection, which I call Island, is focused on a deserted house on a deserted island. Having a narrative puts a person in the chair, at the desk, turning on the light, reading poems, and waiting for someone to appear.
What was the most challenging aspect of creating this furniture?
Like most carpentry projects I do, a difficult question often is: Which way should I make this? Most items can be made in so many different ways, especially when there are small pieces of wood involved. I also had a different perspective when it came to people’s reactions. I don’t make art to be liked but to communicate with another person. Sure, I feel great if someone says they like a piece but the purpose of making it is to communicate an experience. And the sale is less important than that goal. But furniture should be liked and hopefully loved. So I had a lot of conversations with myself about what I was doing and what to expect. That was more difficult.
So, do you have a favorite piece?
I don’t know if I do have a favorite piece. My first thought is the plant stand, but it’s just because I need one! I do love the three-sided daybed. It’s so versatile that it can be a couch or bed, but it also has an inherently social aspect to it. You can experience the piece with friends.
Above, an exclusive first look at the collection.
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