When it comes to surrealistic art, Mexican artist Pedro Friedeberg has been a pioneer in the field.
He is known mainly for his unique creation of the “Hand Chair,” a chair where you get to sit on the palm with the fingers acting back support. Having often been described as an eccentric artist, Pedro Friedeberg has kept on creating artworks based heavily on patterns.
Apparently, the idea of creating this chair came to the artist when his mentor Mathias Goeritz asked him to give a preferred local carpenter some work. And, Pedro Friedeberg thought of asking the carpenter to make a hand as big as one to sit on. The mentor did end up loving the piece, along with countless others who have cherished it in their possession.
Interestingly, several hand chairs with feet are available for sale. Hence, we thought of compiling a list with some iconic pieces from the artist.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
Hand Chair With Foot By Pedro Friedeberg
Table of Contents
1. Rare Editioned Bronze Hand and Feet Chair
When it comes to the concept of the hand foot chair, one of the most unique designs has to be this sculpture with double open palms. Made in a series of nine and cast in Bronze, this sculpture is indeed a rare piece.
The most striking aspect of this chair has to be the three legs facing different directions. And, one of these legs has the clear signature of the artist showing its authenticity.
Moreover, this bronze sculpture was originally made in Mexico in 1998, and the concept is said to be inspired by the Mexican folklore tradition. Compared to the single-palm designs, the double-palm does give a bit more sitting space, and the thumbs act well as armrests.
Even the reddish-brown color of this sculpture ensures that it would stand out in any drawing room or living space. The touch of gold on the fingernails even adds a fantastic highlight.
2. Two Hand Foot Sculptures
Apart from creating life-sized hand foot chairs that can be used, Pedro Friedeberg also created small sculptures in the same style. This set contains two hand foot chairs carved from wood and covered in gold leaf. Originally made in the 1960s, both the chairs are signed at the bottom.
Looking at Pedro Friedeberg’s surrealist art, this pair of mini chairs defines his idea of the hand foot chair where an open palm lies on a single foot. Details are beautifully carved into the seat, fingers, and foot of these chairs, making them look as spectacular as the full-sized pieces.
However, even though these come in a set, there is a slight difference in the height as one measures six inches and the other five inches.
3. Large Silver Leaf Hand Foot Sculpture
Among the several hand foot chair sculptures made by Pedro Friedeberg over the years, this one is made with ceramic. On top of that, the piece is certainly bigger at 12 inches than the usual mini versions available at a smaller size. This chair is covered in silver leaf, which is unusual for the artist who primarily gravitates towards golden accents.
Furthermore, this sculpture is signed at the bottom by the artist to prove authenticity. The artwork was created sometime in the twentieth century in Mexico City, where the artist resides. This chair is undoubtedly a great collector’s item that can be displayed on the mantle or even used as a placeholder.
Also, the vintage piece would be an instant conversation starter to find out the purpose behind its creation.
4. Wooden Hand Foot Chair
If you are someone who likes the look and feel of wooden carved furniture, then this hand foot chair from Pedro Friedeberg would be an ideal piece. In comparison to other materials, this piece is made of exquisite Mexican walnut, so it’s attached to the roots of Mexico, where it was created in 1960.
Moreover, the unique value of this chair lies in its curves which are much more defined than the other pieces made by the artist. Hence, rather than being just a display furniture you will actually like sitting on this hand chair. Even the foot looks fuller, and the artist’s sign lies on its side.
5. Hand Foot Settee From The Princess Acapulco Hotel
Made on request of the Princess Acapulco Hotel in Mexico, this pair of settees mostly stand out because of the color blocking. The hands are covered in silver leaf, while the feet are stained to almost look black. The piece of furniture was carved out of oak in 1971 for the grand opening of the hotel.
Both chairs have a sign of Pedro Friedeberg at the bottom. The main pull to these chairs was definitely the color, as the artist only used silver foil in a handful of these modern designs.
6. Early Hand and Foot Coffee Table Or Stool
Even though this piece of furniture isn’t technically the usual hand chair for which Pedro Friedeberg is known, we thought of including it with the other listings. The beauty of this piece lies in the unusual flat hand that’s supported by three legs and feet.
What’s more, this is definitely one of the earliest pieces designed by the artist, and it shows how passionate he was about the motif. Carved out of mahogany and laminated, this piece can be used as a stool or even as a coffee table.
7. Sillita Narcisista
Usually, the hand chair designs of Pedro Friedeberg contain a seat that’s shaped like a palm. However, in 2019 the artist created a different piece that he named the narcissist chair.
This piece is designed like a regular chair, but the seat has a chessboard pattern while the backrest contains a mirror. You will notice that the armrests are actually arms with clenched hands on close observation. And, there are human feet placed at the bottom of each leg.
That’s everything we had to tell you about the hand chairs with foot produced by Pedro Friedeberg. His revolutionary idea of creating chairs with palms and feet has also inspired others to create similar designs. Even though the unique shape may give them an uncomfortable appearance, that’s not true.
Pedro Friedeberg has stated that he feels nothing new is being created in the art scene as a contemporary artist. But, his art pieces have been continuing to make a statement, and the rare pieces are now coveted collectibles.
We hope that the pieces mentioned by us will bring out your ideas on statement-furniture. Do let us know about any other art pieces of Pedro Friedeberg that have managed to move you.
Till then, goodbye and take care!
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