When you begin to make work that you’re proud of, it can be incredibly frustrating to see that work copied. Whether it’s by a stranger or a mentor, a range of emotions from flattery to injustice can be felt, with the feelings stemming from a lack of control of your situation. Doing creative work requires knowing when to fight for control but also learning when to let go.
I find comfort in thinking that everything created is a remix of something that was created before, and anything innovative comes from, as Isaac Newton says, “standing on the shoulders of giants” (ironically, Newton borrowed that theory from another scholar). This theory gives ease to the discomfort felt when hard work and hubris are projected onto your creations. It’s a reminder that nothing is created in a vacuum and therefore ownership can be unclear when it comes to creative work.
The recognizable chair forms in this piece helped shape the history of furniture design. The materials, like many copies, are throw away. These copies can make you feel a little giddy to see familiar shapes in unfamiliar skins, and a little disheartened at the ability to easily mimic another person’s hard work. This piece is about the process of working through an experience of creative theft, questioning the validity of ownership, and positing a nihilistic view of design all together.