Stefan Rurak, Concrete and Steel Unit for Living, USA, 2019
Stefan Rurak’s encompassing wall unit typifies his unique approach to design. Designed as a fully integrated work, the wall is a flexible design, suitable as a bar, a dinning room server, for the bedroom or office, or as an engaging focal point for living room. Rurak’s most ambitious work to date, the unit is a literal representation of the artist’s truism – an abandonment of the distinction between art and design.
The work features a low console composed of a three door cabinet, two exposed shelves and three drawers. Two additional cabinets and drawer are integrated into the concrete sheathed shelves above, providing ample storage.
Both the doors and back panel are created from flat planes of hand-patinated steel. Rurak populates the buffed steel surfaces with expressionistic splashes and stains. White applied concrete is used to as a ground for the unit’s drawer faces, creating a contrast to the moody steel planes.
Rurak’s final act is to create the spontaneous hand-etchings as a quasi-signature. The etched drawings that are regularly repeated in his work have no meaning but rather exist as a language of symbols personal to Rurak. “Simply put these are shapes, lines and gestures that make me feel good. I do not decide the drawings before I apply them to the steel. This is an extremely high-stakes process. After countless hours constructing the cabinet, meticulously finishing it, the very last step is taking an angle grinder and drawing into the face.”
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