Few of us will ever get this close to an actual rhino – which is precisely why Maximo Riera created his awe-inspiring Animal Chairs. In addition to this formidable-looking beast, the collection features lifelike depictions of elephants, giant squids and blue whales, as well as smaller but no less arresting insects and amphibians.
The pieces, says Riera, are an homage to the animal kingdom, an attempt to capture the beauty of nature in every living thing. “By exposing people to these creatures in a realistic fashion, we increase our familiarity with them, thus developing our empathy and connection with the animal kingdom,” claims the Spanish designer, who is committed to highlighting the modern-day plight of these animals.
The dramatic impact of these chairs lies in their biological accuracy – their faithfulness to both detail and scale. The process starts with a sketch, which is then reproduced as a 3-D digital image. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology and mechanised sculpting tools do the rest, creating intricate replicas of some of the animal world’s most majestic creatures. Each chair is constructed from an internal steel frame covered with polyurethane and finished with a leather seat.
While Riera’s original works were all in black, this year’s additions to the Animal Chairs collection, which include the Rhino Chair, feature true-to-nature tones that introduce a new layer of realism.
The chairs will form the centrepiece of an upcoming exhibition of Riera’s work at Cities Boutique in Dubai’s Galleria Mall. Scheduled for November, the week-long showcase of Riera’s creations – some of which are already available at the store – will also feature his Millennial collection of consoles. These beautifully crafted objects combine metal with wood from age-old olive trees from the south of Spain, another comment on the importance of the natural environment and the need for us to connect with the world around us.
While Riera’s artistic endeavours were a sideline to his job in the medical industry, he has spent the last 30 years experimenting with photography, poetry, painting and sculpture. Largely inspired by the abstract-expressionism and pop-art movements, his work is characterised by a vibrant use of colour and extreme attention to detail. Having now retired from his day job, Riera spends every day painting and sculpting in his studio in Cádiz, and continues to organise exhibitions and events related to his work. Best of all, he donates all proceeds to charity.
So, if you’re in the market for a new man-throne and have just over 65.000$ to spare, get yourself down to Cities.
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Source: The National