With a name like Los Muebles Amorosos (translation: The affectionate/ loving furniture,) Javier Mariscal’s furniture is already ahead of the design curve. The name is sexy and sensuous and playful, and so very appropriate to the pieces in the collection produced by Moroso.
This suite of furniture is designed with the commercial market in mind, hotels in particular. But I think it is just so much fun and so uplifting in spirit that I might even want to include a piece or two in a home…especially in an ultra modern palacio. Each piece has a super-big personality, which is so infectious and inviting.
Let’s talk a little about Javier Mariscal, who hails from Barcelona and definitely has that Mediterranean bent in his designs. His artistic career began as an illustrator, in particular in drawing cartoons. His Mickey Mouse-like creatures, Fermin and Pikera and their dog companion, Julian, AKA Los Garriris, display his optimistic spirit in a wacky but artistic fashion. Take a look at this video, called Pescando la Luna (Fishing for the Moon,) which I think is an excellent example of the nature of Mariscal’s cartoon talents…a little bit eccentric, a little bit unexpected, but totally charming:
Not happy to only illustrate comics in black and white, he ventured forth into sculpture, posters,product design, furniture design and eventually into doing interiors for buildings and hotels (see interiors of the Gran Hotel Domine in Bilbao.)
Mariscal also has one other claim to fame, and that is his concept for Cobi the Dog, which became the symbol for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. As a multi-talented artist with numerous international clients seeking his assistance with their projects he finally opened the Estudio Mariscal in 1989 and his success has been nonstop ever since then.
It’s hard not to see the similarity in the style of his furnishings and cartoon drawings, but I mean this only in the most positive sense of that word. The furniture is joyous and colorful and challenges our expected concept of how we usually upholster chairs and sofas. It’s almost as if you can see the artist’s pen drawing the lines of the furniture and then coloring them.
One of his most famous chairs for Moroso is the Alessandra Armchair which was designed in 1995. It symbolizes his love of organic forms and shapes and his playful use of colors, especially the black and white leather version which makes us think of a delightful cow.
A note about Mariscal ‘s partner in design, Moroso, which has been collaborating with the world’s top designers since 1952. It’s avant-garde attitude towards furniture design has brought to the forefront intelligent furnishings, where craftsmanship and new techniques have led to the production of really fabulous products. I love their aesthetic (see post) and if you are not familiar with them you should definitely check out their website.
P.S. If you haven’t seen Mariscal’s animated movie, “Chico & Rita,” which won an Oscar in 2012, here is a direct link to watch it for free. I thought it was wonderful…and the sound track is superb!
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!