Banquete chair with pandas
Fernando Campana ( Brazilian, 1961 )
Humberto Campana ( Brazilian, 1953 )
Campana Objetos ( 1984 )
- Designed 2006
This conglomeration of stuffed panda bears, part of the Campana brothers’ series of furniture made from plush children’s toys, represents the most recent development of a type of chair conceived in 2003 as a realization of the designers’ interest in recycling mundane objects through both handicraft and, occasionally, modern technology. Unlike earlier examples of the Banquete, often formed with differing types of stuffed animals, the repetition of the clustered panda bears creates visual continuity in their two-tone palette, but unsettles in challenging the viewer to decide where one toy ends and the next begins. With all of the chairs in this series, the playful imagery and soft cushion of toys provides a nostalgic return to a childlike state as the sitter is literally nestled within a cluster of fuzzy bodies. As with many other contemporary designs, particularly those from the Droog collective, the Campanas’ works exhibit a biting sense of humor merged with underlying commentaries on consumerism, regionalism, environmentalism, and their own profession as designers. While their works embrace sculptural qualities, the brothers insist upon function, noting the works are “about sitting. It’s design, not sculpture.”
Kevin Tucker, DMA unpublished material [2009.9], 2009.