31 Year old Sebastián Errázuriz is a Chilean native who is making a big splash within the New York design scene. An artist in every sense of the word, Sebastián designs furniture, accessories, objets d’art, clothing, installations, paintings and more; a true innovator. Errázuriz’s portfolio has an immense range of art and one can see while perusing that this man is charming yet cheeky, confident and ballsy and of course, deserving of all of the buzz and accolades surrounding him.
What makes Mr. Errázuriz so intriguing as not only an artist, but a person, is that he is full of paradoxes – even within his upbringing; although his traditional, Chilean family history is laced with aristocrats, archbishops and presidents, Sebastián’s parents went a different route and became starving artists which he has said gave him a solid education rather than privilege. Even Sebastián’s career has been a contradiction, he has been so successful yet he began doing installations and furnishings because he felt that he wasn’t good enough to be considered an artist – this coming from the confident guy that is currently working on a portrait of himself as a saint! These contradictions are carried through to Sebastián’s work where concepts of humour are mixed with death and beauty to create pieces that cause the viewer to take a second look or ask questions, or the placement of a cow that had been rescued from the slaughterhouse atop a Chilean city skyscraper. His mentor, artist Ross Bleckner calls his work “Reserved Surrealism” which is a great description for Errázuriz’s quirky yet beautiful signature.
Please read on to learn more about Mr. Sebastián Errázuriz and his exclusive take on the world of design…
Cabinet Design by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I think it goes back to a drawing I made when I was 5. The drawing is very detailed and shows a small-multicolored Lego spaceship. The colors appear random and arbitrary in an appropriately childish manner. Nevertheless the shapes, quantities and proportions of each one of the pieces are clearly, and obsessively identified as a small blueprint. Its weird to realize that already as a kid that I would draw what I was about to construct.
Functional Sculpture – “Antiquity” By Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – Who or what has influenced your style?
Sebastián Errázuriz – Although I have a huge respect and admiration for many designers, I tend to find them so worried about aesthetics and functionality that they forget to see the bigger picture. I am influenced mostly by artists: I love the intuition and freedom of Marcel Duchamp. The prolific, obsessive talent of Picasso. The manipulative and seductive self-branding of Warhol. The “cheekiness”, and drive of Jeff Koons. The humor and wit of Mauricio Cattelan. The professionalism and power of Damien Hirst. The dedication and ambition of Takashi Murakami. The delicacy and subtleness of Gabriel Orozco.
Shoe Sculpture by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – How would you describe your style?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I feel that labeling and describing makes the work and name of an artist or designer more recognizable, nevertheless it also circumscribes them to a single dimension. I would like to think of my style as an “investigative work process”. A way of appropriating, de-contextualizing, and rethinking everyday paradigms which dictate our daily routines. I strive to re-invent these objects so they can invite other people to re-think and be aware of reality. Hopefully some day if my “style” is resumed in a phrase, people will say: “The guy that works both in art and design rethinking everything he can”
Architecture by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – What would you say was your “big break” moment?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I think it hasn’t happened yet, like “The Tipping point” I believe the hundreds or maybe thousands of interviews, links and others information pieces to date are creating a growing wave that will have a big break within the next 2 years. Hopefully creating a strong platform, which will allow me to count with the necessary credibility, support and resources to be able to create more important and substantial contributions.
Cabinet Design by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – I read in Interview Magazine that to make sure your products are fresh and unique you always Google your concepts to make sure they haven’t been done before, how else has technology influenced your designs?
Sebastián Errázuriz –In both art and design I use everything from 3D renderings and photographic programs to digital presentations and slideshows. Nevertheless in the art world the use of efficient professional communicative tools are still viewed in a suspicious manner; as signs of corporate commercialism. The art world fails to understand that due to technology and communications an artist today must be a multitalented, multitasking pro-active and professional bohemian.
Duck Lamp by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I am embarrassed to say I don’t have hobbies. All my activities are obsessively intertwined and channeled to help develop my practice. I am interested in marketing, communications and economy as a way of understanding the external practices that play a decisive role in the development of my work. I enjoy social critics, comedians, writers and journalists as a way of keeping my perception informed, sharp and on point. I submerge in a daily dose of blogs, youtubes and facebooks in order to avoid loosing track of the daily minutia’s that re-shapes popular culture. I follow closely the subtleness’s of fashion because I understand the importance of aesthetical appearance’s and the multiple variations and trends in visual dialogues. I am the responsible spokesperson of my own work cannot allow myself the luxury of leaving to chance what can be decided beforehand.
“Concrete and Champagne” by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – Being a Latin man myself, I know there are cultural differences in style, interactions and beauty in general that can be hard to communicate and hard for the American and European market to grasp. How has your background influenced your success in New York?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I agree; Latin design naturally cannot be disassociated with the Latin culture. Never the less within the confinements of contemporary global competitive markets, I have found that a Latin designer, doctor or lawyer, will develop his work with the same professionalism of any international colleague. We have much to learn from other cultures; nevertheless we have two main advantages up our sleeves. -The first is that we make decisions strongly influenced by emotive elements, therefore we are more sensitive to feel and understand the subtle humane aspects of a problematic. -Secondly I believe our work and investigations are developed in a more integrated manner to the rest of our other daily activities; thus hopefully producing integral emotionally intelligent solutions.
“A Church of One” by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – You are a very confident man without being pretentious, which is often lacking in this industry. It’s important to be sure of yourself and your work so others can put their trust in you, however too much can be off-putting. What has helped you develop your strong confidence and how has it helped you in your career?
Sebastián Errázuriz –Most of the confident people I know have learnt to use euphemisms and incorporate crutches like: “I think” or “Maybe…” to present their opinions in a more flexible and inclusive manner. Even confident people don’t want to be rejected for being pretentious. “I think” the more confident a person becomes, the harder they must work to avoid overpowering others. My personal confidence is based on the idea that almost anything is possible. If we are realistic and intelligent enough to understand, visualize and break down a dream into achievable ordered steps; then we have made half of the work. If we have the determination and endurance to carry out each of those steps, then anything is possible.
Rock Lamp by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?
Sebastián Errázuriz – My greatest strength is my obsession to pursue what would be most difficult. My greatest weakness is to arrogantly tend to believe I have already understood many of the apparently more simple challenges.
“Wing Chaise Stainless Steel” by Sebastián Errázuriz
“Die/ Miracle Fly Swatters” by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – What are you excited about right now in the world of design?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I am excited about the new creative design solutions and ideology platforms that could try to answer the challenges Obama and his administration have placed on the energetic and ecological problems we are facing.
“The Arc of Light” by Sebastián Errázuriz and Ja Architecture Studio
Iván Meade – What project has given you the most satisfaction?
Sebastián Errázuriz – Like others have said before; “The best project is always the one you are currently working on”.
“Bilbao Console” by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – You have created so many wonderful works of art from your installations to accessories, fashion design, and furniture design. What is your favorite facet of design and why?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I love the layering of information on a single, apparently simple symbol, object or situation. Nothing fascinates me more than being able to create a piece that can partially mirror the simplicity and complexity of reality. That’s when you manage to capture mystery and meaning. I think the facet of design I like most is definitely the period of uncertainty and nervous intuition that tends to precede a solid new idea.
“El Santo” by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – What is your next design venture?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I would rather not say, I wouldn’t want to jinx them…
Interiors by Sebastián Errázuriz
Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work in your own signature style with a multitude of mediums. What would you like your legacy to be?
Sebastián Errázuriz – I would like to look back and know that I contributed to tear down the boundaries that have historically separated art and design. I would like to have helped create more profound and existential designs solutions. I would like to create art that can assume a responsible public dialogue inviting, provoking and inspiring people to look again, be aware and take responsibility of their actions.
Staircase by Sebastián Errázuriz
I invite you to visit Sebastián Errázuriz’s webiste and discover more of his amazing work: