Insight: Maarten De Ceulaer's spherical obsession

The driving motive of Maarten De Ceulaer’s practice has always been the desire to create truly one-of-a-kind work, as evidenced most recently in his “Mutation Series” that will be displayed next week at Design Miami/. To create these chairs, De Ceulaer attached foam spheres of various shapes and sizes to pre-existing structures, then coated the pieces in either velvety or rubbery finishes. “It is largely impossible to ever recreate such a specific pattern,” he says, “so every piece is completely unique.”

In 2011, De Ceulaer produced a series of “Balloon Bowls.” To create each piece, he blew up one balloon, filled it with colored plaster, then inflated a second balloon inside. The two balloons served as his mold, and once removed they revealed the multi-hued, -shaped, and -sized plaster forms that solidified between the two layers of plastic. In a video documenting this process, De Ceulaer explained: “This way, you actually have a process where you set a few simple parameters, the two balloons, a bit of plaster, but still the outcome is always different... In the end, the final result is always unique, and this is what appeals me most to this project.”

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