Pedro Friedeberg most recognized work is the Hand chair and that may be the reason why you know this artist. But did you know the Mexico City-based Friedeberg, along with Frida Kahlo, were the only two Mexican artists recognized by Andre Breton as part of the Surrealist movement? That makes Friedeberg the last of the Mexican Surrealists.
Apart from Friedeberg’s non-fictional architectural fantasies, he began producing furniture that rejected the predominantly international style of architecture and design that was being taught in Mexico. After designing his first chair, Friedeberg went on to design tables, couches, and love seats. This body of work, along with Friedeberg’s obsessively crowded and meticulously detailed canvases, often included references to Tantric scriptures, Aztec codices, Catholicism, Hinduism, and symbols of the occult.
You can recognize his signature pieces by the hands he place in furniture design, making them really distinguish design pieces. The artist had already his Gilt hand chair auctioned by Sotherby, Christies making this an iconic chair.
Over the past few years, designers have gone mad for Pedro Friedeberg’s hand chairs. Sculptural and unique, they’ve been spotted everywhere from Jonathan Adler’s Palm Springs home to a bathroom designed by Lenny Kravitz.
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Friedeberg says that, “For me, the house and it’s objects is supposed to be some crazy place that make you laugh.” His hand chairs, some of which come atop foot-shaped pedestals, perfectly reflect this viewpoint. While they may not be affordable for all — a few years ago, a 1964 pine version was auctioned off for $10,000 — the whimsical chairs sure are fun to look at. You can find such chairs in very different finishings, from gold to silver and wood finishings.