Until the 21st July 2012, Galerie BSL is hosting the first individual exhibition by the Franco-Lebanese designer Charles Kalpakian.
The 29 year old designer, a former graffiti artist with a passion for French decorative arts, reveals a unique world, the foundation stones of a design language which blends historical and geographical references in a completely new way.
With a good grounding in Street culture, Kalpakian has retained the physical posture of graph and a real understanding of colour: as if drawing on an imaginary wall, his projects become three dimensional to join the ground or very real walls.
With “Cinétisme” (Kineticism), a hypnotic collection of contemporary wall cabinets, Kalpakian firstly pursues his exploration of the scientific phenomenon of bistability applied to furniture, or how to shock our brain pathways with an ambiguous image which changes our perspectives by using the confusion of visual perception. Unexpected and immediately “eye-catching” in the true sense of the word, these four magnificent cabinets in corian, lacquer and wood have established themselves like functional paintings. This outstanding series which flirts with the spirit of Vasarely is an audacious encounter between science, Street art and Op art.
“Bistable” was first exhibited as a prototype during Paris Design Week 2011. Béatrice Saint-Laurent currently produces it in a new vertical version called “Cinétisme I” (Kineticism 1) with an additional two new modules. Over the last two years this gallery owner, with a strong conviction to use the same methods and energy to bring to fruition projects by stars like Nacho Carbonell and Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance (solo exhibition June 2012 at Design Miami/Basel) and those by young unknowns like Adrien De Melo, has now been struck by Charles Kalpakian.
This time with his second series called “Cèdre” (Cedar), Charles Kalpakian bases his oriental origins in metal to create a screen and a light designed in one stroke, like calligraphy in space. Here again, the designer remains committed to erect these sculptural steel spirals, functionally evocative of the symbol of Lebanon, a tree. A second visual demonstration which is impossible for this young designer to produce beyond the gallery space considering his work as “a search for a handcrafted essence, a blend of techniques and disciplines in order to obtain an unmistakeable style for each object.”