French-Argentine artist Pablo Reinoso believes that art always changes the space it inhabits. “It can provide the environment in which it is inscribed a new meaning, a new function, and a new angle of vision,” he explains. Reinoso’s dynamic benches certainly explore the spaces they inhabit in unexpected ways. Strips of wood and metal seem to break away from traditional benches or frames to complete dramatic gestures across a room or public space.
Reinoso built his first piece of furniture when he was only 6 years old after his grandfather introduced him to carpentry. He later studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires before moving to Paris and beginning a career designing luxury products. These three major influences of carpentry, architecture, and product design are all evident in the wide body of work found in Reinoso’s portfolio. Though his work spans many different scales, mediums, and uses, they are all united in their exploration of art versus function.
One of his best-known installation series is aptly called Spaghetti Bench and features the transformation of simple wooden benches. “Beyond their primary function as seating objects,” Reinoso explains, “the Spaghetti Benches literally flourish, the wooden planks whirl out into shapes that evoke branches and the natural elements. The material itself returns to its previous state as a tree, as a living creature, reconquering its original freedom.” This motif allows for a series of benches that are always different—some modestly curved to create artwork, some connected by these tree limbs, and others still so overgrown that they no longer serve their original function.
Another series called Garabatos—which translates to “scribbles”—features similarly curved structures. This new version is rendered in dark metal and takes its inspiration from the scribbles or doodles one would draw to unleash their creativity. Instead of the somewhat organized growth of the natural wood benches, this series allows for a wild and free creation of bends and loops. Both series show the range of Reinoso’s mastery over this style.
You can find the Spaghetti Benches, Garabatos, Thoneteando series, and more on Reinoso’s website. You can also see his latest pieces at An Uncertain Spring, a collection of works organized by Musée des Arts Décoratifs from December 16, 2020 to May 11, 2020.
Pablo Reinoso’s dynamic curving benches explore the spaces they inhabit in unexpected ways.