Has this ever happened to you? You come across a material or color that you fall in love so much that you want to cover every object or surface you possibly can with it? Or you start with one and you love it so much that you continue looking around for other objects or surface you can cover it with?! And I wonder if that's how it started for Christian Astuguevielle and his rope furniture. Surely, it's far more deeper, well thought out et raisonné. When I first came across Astuguevielle's rope furniture in early 2000s, I thought they were absolutely incredible, sculptural, very impractical and loved them!
Over the years as I have explored objects searching for the unusual, the difficult, sometimes unseen and unheard of, I came across many interesting rope clad works including lighting by the likes of Adrien Audoux and Frida Minet. But, I have grown to love furniture covered in this age old, rough, pliable material that requires acute precision and the eye of an artist to create a truly beautiful object more passionately than any other material and now have immense respect for Astuguevielle's work. His ability to take a mundane object and create a sculptural presence once he encases them in cotton cord, twined fiber or hemp, is pure genius. So what if they are sometimes robbed of their daily use especially when they are imbued with such a tactile quality, begging you to touch the stiffened ropes and feel the knuckled knots all while they take on a persona far more interesting and potent than most other objects in a space.
And what less can you expect of a man who has been the artistic director of fashion houses like Nina Ricci, Rochas and Hermès as well as the nose behind the fragrances produced by the Japanese design house Comme des Garçons. Well groomed and seasoned, enriched and exposed, Astuguevielle's work is the embodiment of knowledge and refinement that transcends the ordinary to extraordinary. Sublime et tout ma tasse de thé!
- xo Raji
Images of Astuguevielle's Paris apartment via Elle Decor (Espana)
Images of Astuguevielle's furniture via Holly Hunt