Call it sloppy, weird, retro, kitsch, maybe even ugly. What it isn’t: symmetrical, refined, or uniform. Young and established artists and designers alike, working across a variety of media, are finding their voice in the beauty of the imperfect, carving or hacking their materials, or casting objects in unconventional media.
You can see it in New York-based designer ’s
irreverent, girlish vanity mirrors and floppy hat rugs; in Brooklyn-based ’s
engorged, sculptural tables and chairs; and in Detroit artist ’s
wonderfully textured cast furniture. Or take American designer
, who experiments with bold colors, energetic zigzags, and hanging warps in her textiles—woven forms that artfully straddle the line between order and chaos.
Meanwhile, ceramicists like
create deconstructed vessels decorated with strange and exciting painterly glazes, while the Swedish-Chilean designer
, primarily known for his thread-wrapped furniture forms, experiments with extruded clay pieces
that verge on delightfully grotesque.
Even the field of graphic design has seen a renaissance of glitchy, Web 1.0 aesthetics, as chronicled by Zürich-based art director Pascal Deville on brutalistwebsites.com
; while in fashion, the “aggressively unglamorous” looks (as Marc Bain aptly described it on Quartz
) parading down the runways of established (Prada, Balenciaga) and emerging (Vetements, Eckhaus Latta) brands are the talk of the fashion blogosphere.
Whatever you want to call it, design that is deliberately upending traditional notions of beauty is having a moment.