Photo: John Daniel Powers
With Netflix’s recent home-renovation series on sex rooms, the resurgence of hedonistic 1970s interiors, and the ubiquity of materials like silicone and drippy silhouettes in furnishings, interior design has fully embraced horniness. “Sexy,” a group show of furniture, art, and design objects at Objective Gallery, is the latest to play with the idea. It’s the fourth exhibition at Objective, which opened in March as the New York outpost of the Shanghai-based design gallery. “I just wanted people to have fun,” says Eny Lee Parker, a designer known for her ceramic lighting who curated the exhibition. As she clarifies, “‘Sexy’ is not necessarily about sex; it’s about an energy surrounding what we’re attracted to and gravitate toward. People are attracted to different things, and embracing that is important.” To wit: Playful nudes, tactile sculpture, alluring colors, and shapely furniture compose the show, which is on view through October 7.
Minjae Kim, who frequently works in wood and fiberglass, experimented with clay to sculpt figurines into stages of lust, some of which double as candle holders. Three are meant to accompany lacquered Douglas-fir tables and four are freestanding.
Jinyeong Yeon, a designer based in Seoul, designed one of his squeezable puffer chairs — which are upholstered with recycled down jackets — in an alluring lavender hue.
Nicholas Devlin turned the splatter shape he uses in his mirrors into more of a drip for the show and also made a silicone vessel with a squishy and jiggly texture — a play on the idea that sex toys, often made of the same material, are usually hidden away. “I didn’t want the pieces to feel too serious,” Devlin says.
Leaning into humor, Chen & Kai designed a grill in the shape of a male pelvis with an erect penis as its chimney; to adjust the airflow for the charcoal, you have to blow into a small hole between its butt cheeks.
An Instant Pot is probably the least sexy item in your kitchen, but technically, it does get hot and steamy; Dong-Ping Wong wrapped one in a fish sculpture and cooked a dish with it during the opening.
Inspired by the set pieces Isamu Noguchi made for Martha Graham to drape her body over during performances, Giovanni Valdeavellano, the founder of Studio Poa, designed a chair that positions you in what he calls a “sexy” posture. His other piece in the show, a hand-carved wood bench, riffs on a photograph of a dancer mid-performance. “When I was invited to the show, I was dating a modern dancer, and we were joking around about the theme,” Valdeavellano says. “I told her, I can’t think of anything sexier than you, and so I turned her into a piece of furniture.”
Nicholas Devlin’s silicone vessel, Dina Nur Satti’s ceramic sculpture, and Chen & Kai’s grill.
Photos Courtesy Objective Gallery