Preview Rafael de Cardenas’s First Furniture Collection

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Preview Rafael de Cardenas’s First Furniture Collection

Rafael de Cardenas has a story that exemplifies how his ever-growing reputation for vivid, colorful, somewhat surreal interiors has spun out of control: “We did a project in Kiev that was all chrome, black leather, bronze mirrors, that kind of thing. Like, pretty nutty stuff,” he recalls. “But the client thought it was too tame. They said to me, ‘This isn’t what I was expecting.’” But if you’ve been inside his shrink-wrapped Cappellini pop-up shop in New York for OHWOW last winter (or the New York Minute II exhibition he designed for curator Kathy Grayson, currently on show at Moscow’s Garage Center), you know that such expectations come with the territory of being an inimitable, highly in-demand practitioner of interior design that sometimes borders on Op Art. And de Cardenas’s first furniture collection, which goes on display at Johnson Trading Gallery tonight through June 25, doesn’t disappoint. Inspired initially by a simple Bruce Goff table, the series has the playful colors, geometry, and modularity of “a set of kids’ wooden building blocks,” says de Cardenas of the very limited editions. “There’s a fantastical quality about all the pieces, especially when you see them together. It’s like a magic garden.”

Below, samples from the collection:

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