Object 1 "Pew"
Manufactured by Nifemi Ogunro.
23,5 x 18 x 32h cm
59,7 x 45,7 x 81h in
Global Tools, 11th May - 14th July 2023, Side Gallery, Barcelona.
In 2023, Side Gallery reached out Nifemi Ogunro in regards to working together. The designer’s pieces start with sketches that are comprised of lines, and from there, she defines their form to create furniture that doesn’t speak to the norm. Ogunro comments on her collaboration with Side Gallery: “I was curious what it would mean to play with both softness and boxiness while designing for this show. That tension excited me. Tension excites me. I wanted my objects to feel like they held weight visually but also soft enough to be inviting. I wanted to make a series of pieces that made sense apart but could create something special together.”
The designer fabricated her pieces by hand, which looked like bags of sawdust being produced, and a lot of bending. With this particular series, she obtains a truly refined aesthetic while handcrafting all of the wood parts.
The streets of NYC, as a hauling space, arrive at the gallery and become the home where she escapes. Ogunro’s immediate environment and experiences inform her work. The tight hallways and crowded subways are where she imagines forms, but how her body and skin move through and shift in those spaces, inspires the narratives behind her work. The fascinating human form on its own, the way it bends and folds in space, are all reference points for her work.
As a Nigerian American designer, Nifemi Ogunro experiments with form as a way to recontextualize the way we see and engage with the objects that live in our home. Based in New York, Nifemi uses photography, video and performance as a way to cement this idea, acknowledging the interconnection of all the mediums. Ogunro designs functional sculptures as an intimate process, rooted in empathy, as a reminder of the beauty the objects we associate with the mundane hold. To the designer, all furniture is just an object with a surface that the body interacts with. Due to this approach, she is able to challenge how a chair, side table or even a shelf looks and how it is engaged with. Her pieces serve a function but also exist on their own as works of art.
Ogunro has been featured in Wallpaper Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, The New York Times, Dwell, and Sight Unseen. She also has work at the Denver Art Museum and 5 of her pieces were featured in the television series Everything's Trash written by Phoebe Robinson.