Art and design have always been two entangled disciplines whose permeable, malleable boundaries encourage cross-pollination and synergies. The latter is definitely the case with Barcelona-based brand of contemporary homeware DOIY's creative collaboration with New York-based photographer Suzanne Saroff who was given carte blanche to photograph DOIY’s latest collection through the looking glass, both figuratively and literally. Part of #doiygallery, a series of eclectic collaborations with a diverse cast of creatives aiming to produce alternative visual narratives for the brand’s products, DOIY and Saroff’s partnership is especially pertinent due to their shared ambition to change the way we see and interact with everyday objects.
For Elodie Deviras and Jaime Monfort, the creative duo behind DOIY, the soul of their brand can be found in the whimsical sensibility of their designs that taps into our childhood when any household object could be easily turned into something else for the sake of playful amusement. The same proclivity for playful transformation of common objects can be found in Suzanne Saroff’s photographs, an apt description of which would be distorted still lifes.
Comprising ordinary things that can be found lying around in the house, her compositions are anything but ordinary courtesy of glasses of water and glass spheres that are included in the compositions. It turns out that glasses, that most conventional of household objects, are the most versatile instruments of optical illusion. Depending on their size, texture and amount of water, as well as their placement and the lighting, they can warp, invert, skew, contort and fragment the objects behind them in endless configurations.
It almost seems preordained therefore that DOIY’s new line of transparent glasses would take centre stage in Saroff’s work for #doiygallery, appearing alongside flowers and fish, recurring items in the artist’s work, as well as other products from “Hestia”, the brand’s latest collection, such as a bottle corkscrew in the likeness of the Greek god Dionysus, a bottle opener in the form of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, and a terrazzo serving board. Both whimsical and lyrical, Saroff’s images are visual poems taunting our perception. A fish out of water, distorted by a glass of water; now that is something to think about. It also makes for an enchanting picture and in the age of social media, could you really ask for more?