Jorge Pardo | Obsessions
When designing our most recent collection we found ourselves immersed in the world envisioned by Cuban-born artist Jorge Pardo, whose kaleidoscopic and genre-bending oeuvre offers up a delightful questioning of form…while embracing play, color, and the unapologetically decorative.
While the artist works across mediums, many of his most intriguing are actualized as architectural structures. In 1997, he constructed a house tucked into the hypnotic hillside of Los Angeles’ Mount Washington neighborhood and—from the lamps to the tiles—designed every item inside. Open to the public, the space prompted guests to wonder what he was claiming as art: The house? The artist’s life? The surroundings? Perhaps the answer was in the liminality: we are not one thing, but rather the amalgam of our own winding, ornate worlds. Most recently, he built another small house as an installation at The University of Houston, choosing to describe it as “the frame around a painting.” We can’t help but resonate. Objects, colors, textures, books, experiences, conversations; these things comprise the canvas of our experiences.
Pardo’s focus on ornamentation is a refreshing contrast to the purity of modernization, to the all white kitchen, to the impulse to hide our imperfections. Ornamentation embraces what’s messy, excessive, full of embellishment. We’re carrying this idea with us — that rather than aspiring to streamline our existence, might we joyfully, unapologetically take up space.