Los Muebles Amorosos

Los Muebles Amorosos

Spanish artist Javier Mariscal is an iconic figure known for dabbling in all manner of artistic disciplines. He cut his teeth during the waning days of the Franco period by founding Spain’s first underground comic, which was promptly confiscated by the government and discontinued. Not to be deterred, he kept drawing and experimented with other media like painted glass and ceramics, as well as film and video.

Grand Suite multi-colored armchair with different height arms and a pentagonal back

Grand Suite Chair.

He created “Cobi,” the mascot for the 1992 summer Olympics, in addition to designing a number of buildings in Spain, most notably, a restaurant in Barcelona topped with a giant smiling prawn, which remains a permanent and well-loved feature of the city’s landscape. Thankfully, for “lovers of a good sit” (as the irrepressible if unsightly Mr. Burns has it), he also got into furniture design, producing the whimsical living collection, Los Muebles Amorosos for Italian manufacturer Moroso in 1995.

Saula Marina sofa in black and white with different height back and arms

Saula Marina Sofa.

Loosely translated as “the amorous accoutrements,” the collection consists of four pieces: the Saula Marina is a settee, the Grand Suite and Poltroncina are low-profile armchairs, and the Alessandra is a “lounge armchair,” or high-backed chair with an enticingly curved cushion seat. All pieces are available in multi-colored fabric or black and white leather (looks like the hide of a Holstein cow), and all are noteworthy in their own right, but the Alessandra steals the show. Mariscal’s aesthetic might be described as a fusion of post-modern Dalí-esque geometricity with a cartoonish irreverence and glee. Or, even better, Doctor Seuss meets Gaudí. Better yet, the Tim Burton of the Pee Wee’s Big Adventure period meets compatriot and fellow Barcelonian (and fellow Surrealist) painter Joan Miró. Whew! Better stop while I can.

Alessandra in color and black/white with small table and large cartoonish portrait

Alessandra. In living color and in black and white.

The furniture collection is available in both color or black/white. An interesting piece of information worth noting (although not terribly surprising), Javier Mariscal is known for creating some of Spain’s most beloved comic and cartoon figures. You should see the shenanigans happening on his website’s homepage.

Alessandra chair side view

Allesandra Chair from Los Muebles Amorosos. Designed by Javier Mariscal. Manufactured by Moroso.

Suffice it to say that the chair is cartoonish fluidity personified. With one arm flowing one way and one the next, with its asynchronous back in the form of a catawampus molar, with its frame shaped like a misbehaving U, and with its multi-colored patchwork fabric, the thing looks like it’s possessed with the same species of impish demon that plagued Jim Carrey in The Mask. But having said all that, it also looks extremely comfortable; Italian manufacturer Moroso would have it no other way. Equally at home in a dance club in Greece or an office atrium in Amsterdam, the coolest of kid’s bedrooms or the hippest of adult’s salons, the Alessandra inhabits a space all its own.

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