Siegfried Contemporary is pleased to announce a solo-exhibition of new works by Anton Alvarez. The exhibition’s title pays homage to the 1979 hit rap by Sugarhill Gang and perfectly encapsulates both the energetic spirit of these new works and Alvarez’s background in graffiti art.
This new body of work celebrates the Swedish-Chilean’s distinct and idiosyncratic design approach. With a background in cabinet making, interior architecture, craft and design, coupled with his inquisitive, playful mind and strong personality, Alvarez certainly has a diverse skill set upon which to build.
Born in Uppsala, Sweden in 1980, he first studied at Konstfack, Stockholm before completing his Master’s degree in Design Products at London’s Royal College of Art in 2012. His work focuses on the design of systems and the creation of tools and processes for producing products. One such tool, the Thread Wrapping Machine, creates objects by binding the different components that go into making an object (legs, seat, back rest, etc.) together with thousands of meters of glue-coated thread. No screws, joinery or nails are used to combine the different components of the furniture – just thread. Through this, Alvarez is free to join disparate materials such as wood, steel or plastic while also creating very specific patterns with the different colours of thread.
Alvarez is currently investigating alternative possibilities with the machine, looking at the structural capabilities of thread-wrapped fabric and the decorative details made possible by mixing the glue with paint. "I have full control over the development of the machine," said Alvarez, explaining that the set-up allows him to be independent from industry as well as from tradition. "I can freely experiment and develop it according to what I discover are my needs in this new craft." It is a thought echoed by Glenn Adamson, director of the Museum of Art & Design New York, when he recently wrote, “The 21st-century maker has flattened traditional hierarchies and escaped rigid categories of production through post-disciplinary practices and the innovative application of skill and technique.”
Alvarez's work has been exhibited internationally, including presentations at MUDAC Museum in Lausanne and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.