ALEX MUSTONEN & DANIEL ARSHAM

ALEX MUSTONEN & DANIEL ARSHAM

“Daniel and I met when we were art and architecture students, respectively, at Cooper Union in the East Village. He’s always been the safeway of descent, and I’ve always been the voice of reason, in regard to our backgrounds.” — ALEX

“Snarkitecture — our collaborative practice combining art and architecture that was officially founded in 2008 — grew out of a project I did in 2005 that required an architect, so I asked Alex to help me. It was very well received and we started receiving other opportunities to work together.” — DANIEL

“We try to create the unexpected, looking to familiar things that can be reinterpreted and reimagined. We moved into this Long Island City studio space — we were in Greenpoint for eight years — in February 2016, and in addition to housing Snarkitecture, Daniel has his solo art practice here. This wall highlights the pieces we’ve made for Snarkitecture, as well as a few Arsham pieces.” — ALEX

“THE SLIP BENCH, produced in 2010, was a concept for a series of furniture objects that played with the idea stability and illusion. It appears to be sinking into the floor, and is therefore rendered unusable, but then becomes flat and functional again. It was released in an edition of eight, and this one is an original studio prototype.” — DANIEL

“The shelves have evolved since we first started making them in 2012. They’re a unique multiple: unlimited pieces that are excavated by hand and inherently unique.” — ALEX

“Like a lot of Snarkitecture work, they deal with the idea of two opposing forces that create something chaotic, precise, and formless.” — DANIEL

Ronnie Fieg, of Kith, commissioned us to create a surreal sneaker installation in the Bleecker Street store. We made 700 cast replicas of Nike’s 1985 Jordan 1 — these are the prototypes — that are suspended from the ceiling. They’re part of the space, and have formed an architectural element that defines the entrance. The sneaker to the left is the original that we based our casts on.”
— ALEX

“This is one of my sculptures. I try to keep some of my own work around.”
— DANIEL

“This is a relic from the past. It’s a framed drawing that I made for Daniel when we were in school. He was building architectural models for a fictional building and needed help designing the stairs, so I hand drafted them for him. The drawing doesn’t usually live here — it floats around the studio.” — ALEX

“ The big slab was once part of the facade of a Cooper Union building that was on Bowery. It said, ‘The Cooper Union For The Advancement of Science and Art.’ We got the part
that says ‘Art.’” — ALEX

“That’s a study model of a mini Eames chair that’s boat wrapped in white vinyl. It’s from a holiday collaboration we did with Design Within Reach.” — ALEX

“This marble maze shouldn’t be here. We studied it for a larger marble maze that was commissioned by the Delano Hotel in Miami for Art Basel. That one was 8 feet in diameter, 12 feet tall, and had 10,000 marbles in it.’” — ALEX

“We like to reappropriate children’s toys. The marble maze we made could be played with.’”
— DANIEL

“I did this landscape painting a couple years ago for Snarkitecture.
It includes some floating architectural elements.” — DANIEL

“We collaborated with Beats by Dre on this pillow — it serves as a resting place for the headphones. The pillow plays on this larger ethos of Snarkitecture reforming architecture in ways that are unexpected, like shifting materials. It looks soft, but it’s actually really hard.” — DANIEL

“Three years ago [2013], Wallpaper magazine commissioned us to make this lamp in collaboration with Woolmark for their Salone del Mobile. The felt was an unconventional starting point for the product, but evolved into a concept that allows light to escape from an excavated form.” — ALEX

CREDITS

Photography bySania Tharani

As told toMichelle Rizzi

Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham are the founders of Snarkitecture.

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