Amel Chamandy is an artist, art dealer and owner of Galerie NuEdge in Montreal. She answered some of our questions about her latest work, theLolita chair, which is part of a limited-edition series. Here’s what she had to say …
I walked by this chair in your gallery window on Sherbrooke St. W. and stopped dead in my tracks – this is certainly an arresting piece of furniture. Was this the reaction you were hoping for with this piece? If not, what was your intention when you set out to create it? What kind of response were you looking for and what kind have you received? Captivating for a chair, don’t you think? Your reaction was exactly what I was hoping for when I created her – design furniture has to stand out and be noticed. I treat pieces of this nature as art, as I do for my other creative genres. The result has to be unique and have the inherent appeal. Lolita embodies something alluring that is able to grab the attention of anyone in their meander. The response to her has been incredible and far reaching, [as] people from all over the world have expressed their interest and appreciation of this piece. Lolita has already surpassed what I was hoping for.
You invite the audience “to be seated and be bound by Lolita.” Can you tell me a bit more? What was your inspiration to call this chair Lolita? A clin d’oeil in any way to Vladimir Nabokov or something else? Beyond the associated convenience of comfort and repose, one seldom notices furniture. The inspiration for Lolita was the alluring sense of developed, feminine beauty and invitation. How sensible to be able to approach these things without repercussion, censure, fear of rejection. To be seated on Lolita is to be allowed connection as such.
I read you were inspired by acrobats and dancers, and that this will be the first in a series. Can you get more specific? Or give us any hints at what is to come? The power of the body and its expressive ability has always fascinated me, and I continue to be in awe of human movement. Acrobats, gymnasts, dancers and athletes all push themselves to extremes and in so doing display the marvelous lines of the human form. It is nothing less than poetry in visual recital. From this sometimes one witnesses something extraordinary and it burns a lasting image in our minds. The images I have from these recitals are many. I [wanted to] share them in a series that captures the moment so it can be held in its surrounding space for others to enjoy. More to come…
So what makes Lolita’s beauty “essential” or “contemporary,” as your accompanying artist’s statement suggests? This piece is a moment of extraordinary human form executed in a contemporary manner. The subject in striking pose, its scale, the finish and its practicality all conspire to make this chair unique. The result lends a sensual experience to sitting that takes you somewhere else with your eyes wide open.
I’ve read that you like to create an “emotional link” with art – what is the emotion you’re going for here? I suppose what emotion Lolita evokes will be as varied and distinct as the feelings and experiences of those who view her. I hope that she will conjure a connection to mind and the beautiful body, something that is often lost in our daily grind. Where that connection takes the viewer is their own private journey. For me to presume those emotions would be folly.
Who is your market for this kind of work? Are more men or women buying these chairs? Where would you put something like this in your home or office? Can you give me some ideas how this chair might be incorporated into an interior? Lolita has already received praise from top international art collectors, design aficionados and critical reviewers. The editor of Les plus beaux intérieurs in Paris fell in love with her and featured her in the latest issue of that magazine. Certainly Lolita has received attention from male collectors but not exclusively so. She is an accent piece that can be displayed and seated in any contemporary setting. I assure you that she is bound to promote comment and conversation.
From my understanding, this is a limited-edition run. When is the next series coming out? All of my work consists of limited edition. Lolita is [a series] of seven with custom tones of blue, green, silver and red. The piece was conceptualized late summer 2013 and the next series will be launched in due time. You can’t rush creative and les meubles d’art require technical considerations so they may accommodate the rigors of practical use. We will keep our audience posted on the next result.
Let’s say I want one for my bedroom. What is the price of this chair? Price for a work of art is an evolving point of discussion. This is due to the limited edition of the work and appreciation driven by our collectors. Right now Lolita sells for about 21,000 €.
Galerie NuEdge is located at 1480 Sherbrooke St. W. or find them online at galerienuedge.com