The Artist Trap
Prompt: Create a trap for one of the artists or designers you have been researching. Create an object that critically interprets the work of someone you are deeply interested in, and that addresses that person directly. To confront your own assumptions about that work, unpack its meaning, and create your own response in the form of a new art or design object, performance, publication, event, ad campaign, poster, or other work that might fall under the rubric of visual culture.
Peter Schlumbohm, one of the geniuses of mid-century modernism, was a scientist, designer and inventor who created hundreds of ‘beautilities’ over his lifetime- a portmanteau of ‘beauty’ and ‘utilities’. He was best known for his sleek, minimalist glass kitchenwares, characteristic of postwar European design and the Bauhaus. It would be difficult or near impossible for me to do what he did in a medium he used. So I decided to turn his work on its head- I decided to create something that captured the essence of his character, but in a medium that he would never try.
Schlumbohm loved his coffee maker. One article even reported that he had a golden ornament in the shape of the Chemex bolted to the hood of every car he owned, other sources say it was bolted to the driver’s side door. Other articles elaborated on his love of food and drink, which included coffee, of course. This really captured the essence of his pride, and as he looked through the hourglass shaped spout of his coffee maker, part of him looks like it is trapped inside it, like a genie in a lamp. Of the three original drafts that I made, this was the most literal, but perhaps in turn the most successful depiction of the trapping of Dr. Peter Schlumbohm.