Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers Delightfully Quirky Prickly Pair Chairs

Now this is a cactus that you’ll want to sit upon! "Prickly Pair Chairs" is a furniture project born out of the creative experience of a Mexican designer in Europe, designed by Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers

The chairs juxtapose Mexican and European aesthetic values, incorporating the formal design elements and quirks of both to create a cultural blend. They are frivolous and humorous yet simultaneously encourage reflection and acceptance. Shapes, materials, colors, textures and finishes collide in irreverent and playful harmony; the Prickly pair chairs are a statement against prejudice and preconceptions.

The classical French oval chair originated in the Rococo period during the reign of Louis XV and has since been adopted throughout central Europe. Although now completely familiar, its form was radical at the time – considered over-decorated nonsense which dispensed with rectilinear styles in favor of more light-hearted asymmetric forms. Rococo's naturalistic and exuberant ornamentation mixed natural and artificial forms of all kinds, from plant motifs to representations of the grotesque.

The Nopal cactus symbolizes Mexican heritage and national pride. According to legend, the Gods told the Aztecs to build Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) in the place they saw an eagle standing on a Nopal, devouring a snake. To this day, the image resides on the National Shield.

While Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns may immediately convey "Mexican-ness" to European audiences (even though they were filmed in Spain and Italy), it is the sight of cactus and Nopales that brings meaning to Mexican daily life and form the most beloved symbols of the country’s culture.

The blend of these two iconographic elements was achieved in this "matching" pair of chairs. "Prickly Pair Chairs" respects the original chair but concludes that its new, hybrid form synthesizes the ‘best of both worlds'; it evokes nostalgia for what was left behind and helps facilitate a sense of belonging in a new environment by fusing two powerful cultural symbols.

For more info about the artist Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers, click here to visit her official website of Valentinagw.com

If you are interested in buying one of these fabulous chairs, they’re available in Señor (two-armed), Señora (one-armed) and Prickly Light exclusively on the Seventh Floor.

Prickly Pear Chairs are available on the Seventh Floor of New York's Famous "Bergdorf Goodman" Department store!

Please call Bergdorf Goodman Sales manager Jesse Kopischke 212 872 8872 for more details.

Until next time, Be well and look fabulous!

Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug


  1. I just returned from AZ where the cactus are starting to bloom. Oh my this is one original chair! Thank you for introducing us all to this artist. xo Mish

  2. @ mish ~ some of the flowers from cactus are so vibrant in color & so pretty! you totally need to get one of these chair from Bergdorf Goodman! it will look so cute next to that big white color mirror in your livingroom! xoxo


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