Herve Van der Straeten’s rainbow-hued Pipe Show console may seem an unlikely fit among the marble busts and old-master oil paintings of the venerable European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF). But according to the French designer — whose limited-edition creation recently made its colourful debut at the annual art show in Maastricht, the Netherlands — that’s the point.
“I wanted to show a piece that would be highly contrasting to a selection of 18th-century productions. I wanted to show a piece that would create a dialogue," he says.
Composed of brightly coloured stainless-steel tubes the artist has carefully stacked, the console is a study in contrasts, blending the strength of its material with the fluidity of its form and the warmth of its colour spectrum. “It is the transformation of a very common element into a precious piece of furniture," says Van der Straeten.
Pipe Show’s exquisite artisanship — the designer says it takes roughly two months to make each piece — is no doubt a quality that the work has in common with the old masters and antiques of TEFAF. And with a limited production of just 60 examples, the console may even prove to be more collectible than a marble bust or two.