John Procario, Luminaire III, USA, 2018
John Procario’s exploration of scaled-down table top works, titled Luminaires, take on a new dimension with Luminaire III. Using the same construction process as his large scale Freeform works, Procario has developed a dimensional hand-applied texture with an aluminum finish.
“I would describe my work as having a heartbeat,” says John Procario of his custom-made bent-wood luminaires. “Each one has so much personality and as you move around them, the forms look like they are changing.” It’s not surprising for Procario to anthropomorphize his work; it’s something the Cold Spring native has been doing since studying sculpture at State University of New York at Purchase, where he began to conceptually think of wood as a metaphor for the human body. “Just as we push the limits of our bones and muscles, I enjoy pushing the limits of wood to create a sense of strain in the material’s gesture,” he explains. Procario pushes the limit of breakage to create a sense of strain in the otherwise fluid gestures of his wooden works. Conceptually, this allows beauty to be the product of stress.
Todd Merrill Studio has represented artist/designer John Procario since 2016. Having grown up around his carpenter father’s workshop, Procario brought his love of woodworking to the world of design. After studying sculpture in graduate school, Procario developed a unique aesthetic that influences his sculptural furniture and lighting.
Procario’s furniture and sculptural lighting are composed of micro-laminated, bent wood. With, at most, only a rough sketch in his mind, Procario freeform bends it into one of his signature undulating shapes. The process is a delicate one, but thanks to months spent intentionally breaking wood—whether with a hydraulic press or simply his own strength—the designer gained a deep understanding of its structure and learned where to draw the line before hitting that breaking point. “Wood doesn’t always want to work with you when you are freeform bending so you have to work with it,” he says. “But I really enjoy that. Sometimes it takes you in new directions that would never have happened if everything was planned out.”
In this way, the artistic process becomes a collaboration between the artist and the wood’s respective personalities. The outcome is an organic, fluid design balanced with a sense of motion.
Materials: Ash with textured aluminum coating, LEDs
Dimensions: 13.50h x 26w x 13d inches
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