Gallery  June 20, 2018  Chandra Noyes

A Bizarre New Breed of Furnishings in “Fruiting Habits”

Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Kandi," 2018. Painted bronze, stainless steel, foam, polymer plaster, pigments, adhesive, nylon flock, neon.

Opening at Friedman Benda this week, the London-based artist Jonathan Trayte invites you into an alternate universe of bizarre but friendly furnishings. In his first US solo exhibition, Fruiting Habits, Trayte creates a world of his own, filled with idiosyncratic functional objects with multiple uses. With a background in fine arts as well as in food service and as a foundry worker, Trayte brings a sense of humor and a playful interest in texture to this collection. Objects range from tables and chairs to beds, lamps, and poofs, each with their own unique personality and charm.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Dining chairs."
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte. Photography by Daniel Kukla.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Dining chairs." Bronze, powder-coated steel, stainless steel, leather.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Weekend Special," 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte. Photography by Daniel Kukla.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Weekend Special," 2018.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Tal Tal," 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Tal Tal," 2018. Painted bronze, stainless steel, foam, polymer plaster, pigments, adhesive, nylon flock, crushed marble, fused silica, light fitting.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Mint Rola and Lamp," 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte. Photography by Daniel Kukla.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Mint Rola and Lamp," 2018. Powder-coated steel, stainless steel, birch ply, light fitting, marble, granite, animal hide, fabrics, upholstery, bronze.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "High Desert Chair," 2018.
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte. Photography by Daniel Kukla

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "High Desert Chair," 2018. Powder-coated steel, stainless steel, painted bronze, birch ply, leather, animal hide.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Woolly Poof," 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Woolly Poof," 2018. Pig suede, animal hide, upholstery fabrics, beads, birch ply, castors

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Fruiting Habits," 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte. Photography by Daniel Kukla.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Fruiting Habits," 2018. Powder-coated steel, polymer plaster, pigments, crushed marble, light fitting, fabric.

As Trayte describes it, "The work that I tend to make comes together all at once, like a cast of characters. There's always some weird older brother, the 'black sheep,' that doesn't quite fit." This is particularly evident in Trayte’s set of four “Dining Room Chairs,” which reads like a mugshot line-up of similar yet slightly different characters, each with their own subtle quirks.

Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Jonathan Trayte.

Jonathan Trayte [British, b. 1980], "Baby Boo," 2018. Painted bronze, light fitting.

Trayte’s lamps (including “Boo Boo,” right, and “Kandi,” above) offer surreal landscapes that invite exploration rather than simple illumination. His use of a wide range of materials throughout the exhibition adds depth and intrigue to the collection. Contrasting organic textures, like wood, fur, leather, with tropical colors and powder-coated steel creates a richness that makes Trayte’s world seem less peculiar and more charmingly eccentric.

Jonathan Trayte: Fruiting Habits is at Friedman Benda June 21 through July 27. Get more information online.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra is managing editor for Art & Object.

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