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Creative partnership OrtaMiklos was formed within the walls of the Design Academy in Eindhoven, Netherlands. During their two years working together, Leo Orta and Victor Miklos have explored and challenged the traditional precincts of art and design. In their body of work entitled Creatures, the duo created a series of objects inspired from their daily habitats, fashioned from recycled materials spanning electronic waste to construction scraps. These diverse materials are explored intuitively and experimentally, embracing their unique properties.

At the beginning of this year, the Franco-Danish artistic duo collaborated with London-based menswear designer Kiko Kostadinov on his first permanent space at Dover Street Market, creating a series of stools alongside an outlandish clothes rail. Following this, in spring, the pair exhibited in Europe for the first time at Berlin’s Functional Art Gallery, established by Benoît Wolfrom and Javier Peres. Their show, Bagnols Garden, explored a fictive setting drawing on the effects of the illegal sand mining crisis that is destroying natural habitats and ecosystems. OrtaMiklos envisioned an imaginary speculation depicting a series of furniture pieces that encapsulate the victims of this destruction.

Set in a surreal cityscape, the furniture pieces were paired with a performance that depicted the human relationship with the care of species past, as the phantasmic Adam and Eve tended to the fossils of the ecosystems that they have destroyed. Each furniture piece in the show was informed by a species of plant or animal that are on the brink of extinction. Drawing on the natural beauty and mourning the loss of diversity, OrtaMiklos layer the symbolism of the Garden of Eden as a reminiscent origin of life as well as a stage for reflection on our current relationship with the Earth.

 “Our project can be placed in different contexts. Our work moves from Art to Design, with a foot in both fields. We see the work as some sculptural design, some unique work, functional art or even collectible design as some people could say. Lately we defined our way of working as ignorant design, forcing our work to be unaware of ongoing trends, colour themes or material values. People may feel at ease to place it here or there, it`s not made for a specific place or group. We always thought that being free from these frames and borders, was a good way to explore and have fun in our making,” Orta and Miklos explain to YWYWMAGAZINE.

Last month, OrtaMiklos presented Decadence at Design Miami, drawing inspiration from Thomas Couture’s painting The Romans in Their Decadence, which dates back to 1847. The pair’s interpretation is a series of surrealist furniture sculptures that luxuriate in playful form and colour. Most recently, they collaborated with London menswear darling Martine Rose and super curator Hans Ulrich Obrist on staging a multidisciplinary performance as part of Reference Berlin Festival, embodying in two acts repetitive human labour and our expanding digital network. OrtaMiklos are currently exhibiting their work in various spaces across the world, from Copenhagen and Paris, to Guangzhou, China.  

Feature image: OrtaMiklos, Bagnols Garden at Functional Art Gallery (via Functional Art Gallery)

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