Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Nacho Carbonell, the Arte Povera darling of the design world, has a show currently on at the BSL gallery in Paris, which will run until April 16, 2011.

For the first time, Carbonell has created fifteen original light pieces.

« The origin of the title ‘Luciferase’ means ‘light carrier’ »  explains Nacho, referring to the systems used by the flora and fauna that live in the depths of the oceans.  « Rather than calling these lights, I consider these pieces to be creatures that produce light. »

His original inspiration was a stone found last summer in his native Spain : a fragment that was rough on the outside yet cristalline on the inside. Much of Carbonell’s design process for the lamps, from mineral fragments to early experiments with wire, is on display in the shop, showcased as if in a natural history museum.

After experimenting with paper, glass, leather, wood, latex and even corn, Carbonell created his lamps out of resin, « a translucid and diaphanous material that allows the LED lights  to mysteriously shine though. »

A hybrid between high and low-tech, these innovative lamps are a fascinating mix of materials. The exterior of the resin is often softly sanded and skinlike, covered with plaster dust or powdered oxidized metal. In contrast, the interior textures are mineral and animal, covered in crystals and semi-precious stones such as amethyst, quartz and malachite, that sometimes resemble grottos, sometimes the mouths of carnivorous beasts.

A juxtaposition of the poor and the precious, the raw and the refined, these lamps are excellent examples of Homebuildlife’s Primal Futurism and Eco-Hedonism trends.