EYE CANDY

Inside the Wild, Candy-Colored World of Misha Kahn

Misha Kahn

In the five years since Misha Kahn graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, his free-form, cartoonish furniture and designs have appeared in shows as big as the Whitney Biennial. Barneys New York has even used his work to illustrate some of its lookbooks for the likes of Valentino and Officine Generale. Now, Kahn finally has an exhibit of his own: “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” up at Chelsea’s Friedman Benda gallery until April 9th. Prompted by Kahn’s 27th birthday, it’s what he describes as both a “mini retrospective” and “an excuse to experiment.” Case in point: His first-ever tapestry, a 12-foot handwoven presence featuring clay, paper dolls, and computer renderings, inspired by Jello molds and American landscapes. The other pièce de résistance is a working China cabinet that’s “essentially a giant basket” – it’s made of grass, sticks, and banana leaves from Swaziland. Traditional painting made it in there, too – onto colorful floor tiles, which, with the brown walls, tie together the atmosphere of “your weird aunt’s house, where things don’t always make sense right next to each other,” Kahn said. “I think when people naturally acquire objects in their life it’s like that – it’s not like they forcefully decorate the whole place at once. I wanted it to feel that type of realism.” The title is also a reference to the No Doubt album The Return of Saturn. “I feel like I always reference Gwen,” Kahn said. “Maybe it’s not so literal, but I feel like everything has a little bit of that attitude.”

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo courtesy of Freidman Benda.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo courtesy of Freidman Benda.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo courtesy of Freidman Benda.

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Misha Kahn, “Return of Saturn: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” at Freidman Benda. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York. v

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Misha Kahn. Photo by Keith Morrison, courtesy of Barneys New York.