Playful Animal-Inspired Seats Blur the Line Between Sculpture and Functional Design


Cape Town-based artist Porky Hefer creates three-dimensional forms that blur the line between furniture design and sculpture. The work, part of his exhibition titled Monstera Deliciosa Volume I, is seating with a fantastical, animal-inspired twist. Giant underwater creatures hang from the ceiling with their mouths opened wide, created using leather and stitched with impeccable craftsmanship. Their functionality and whimsy evoke a sense of curiosity and play, inviting us to interact with them like we would a swing.

Each of Hefer’s pieces has their own name and persona. His whale-like creature, for instance, is named Fiona Blackfish. She was born in Cape Town with a furry tongue and loves both fish and animals—but she hates Sea World. These amusing backstories are another way for us to feel a greater connection to Hefer’s work.

The artist constructs his sculptures using processes that are readily available in Cape Town. “We have such skilled human beings in this country using techniques not found anywhere else in the world,” he explained to the Southern Guild Gallery. Thus, the pieces employ local artisan skills like weaving, stitching and splicing, and he also collaborates with area craftspeople in the production of his work.

Monstera Deliciosa Volume I is currently on view at the Southern Guild Gallery in Cape Town until February 5, 2016.

Above photo: Fiona Blackfish
Photo credit: Eugene Kim / My Modern Met

Fiona Blackfish

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Photo credit: Eugene Kim / My Modern Met

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Photo credit: Eugene Kim / My Modern Met

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Photo credit: Eugene Kim / My Modern Met

Crocodylus Eugenie

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Photo credit: Justin Patrick

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Photo credit: Justin Patrick

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Photo credit: Justin Patrick

M. Heloise

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Photo credit: Justin Patrick

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Photo credit: Justin Patrick

Dora Esca

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Photo credit: Justin Patrick

Porky Hefer: Website

My Modern Met grants permission to use photos by Eugene Kim, but please credit.
My Modern Met granted permission to use Justin Patrick’s photos by Tracy Lynn Chemaly.



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