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.
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.
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.