At Random: Isaac Monté
As part of our series on the artists and designers behind Spazio Nobile’s The Random Collection, we asked Monté about his thoughts on collecting the unique
How does the fact that these pieces are unique in a series impact your work?
Most of the pieces I design are unique objects. I’ve been trained as a product designer, but I never designed pieces intended for mass production. This has to do with my production process and with the design philosophy of material-driven design that I apply —I love experimenting with materials and manipulating them.
Due to the production techniques and the specific materials I use, the objects are always unique. Even if I reproduce an object, it will always be unique and look different, because I design together with nature. That part is uncontrollable.
How do you think design is evolving nowadays towards the field of contemporary art?
Designers nowadays mostly produce themselves; therefore, the objects become small series or unique pieces, which then directs them towards contemporary art.
Also, I believe that art is more than a painting or a sculpture: it is very hard to define what is design, what is art and what is a product. I don’t believe we still have to make this distinction.
Why do we have those two worlds, fine arts versus visual arts, that have been separated? Do you think they should be interacting more?
Fine arts used to focus on beauty and aesthetics only, while applied arts also focused on the functional part. With my work, I am to make a combination between the two of them. I think the distinction between both fields is disappearing.
Is functionality an important consideration in your process?
My work balances on the border between art and product. The objects I design have a function — a vase, a chair or a lighting object— but they are intended as art objects. They even lose their functional part through the crystallisation process.
How do you perceive your work both as part of The Random Collection and as part of your overall production?
The piece for The Random Collection is one of the biggest pieces I’ve made so far. I had to scale up my production process to be able to crystallise the chair. This means I am now also able to produce other bigger pieces. It’s a big development for my studio and for the projects in the near future.
Isaac’s Crystallized is part of The Random Collection, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of TL Magazine. Launched at Art Brussels (19-22 April), it is always available at the Spazio Nobile Gallery and will be at an upcoming exhibition at the Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk from October 18-22.
The design of the chair is a tribute to Léon Stynen.