Objet D’Art: Inflatable Chandelier

Published June 18, 2015

ABOVE: Misha Kahn, Ghost Shrimp (chandelier), 2015. Vinyl, electronics. Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Friedman Benda and Misha Kahn.  

Every month, Interview picks an artist- or designer-created object that straddles the line between aesthetics and function. Subdued tastes need not apply.   

At age 26, artist and designer Misha Kahn has become known for his cartoonish sculptures that double as furniture. For a pop-up show on the Lower East Side, Kahn devised a hallucinatory, candy-sweet riff on stores in malls that target a young female demographic. Titled “Mall Girl,” the fictional shop sells mostly over-the-top jewelry, but the installation also includes deformed perfume bottles, a bizarre fountain, and mirrors almost entirely obscured by ecstatic, colorful doodles.

One of the most interesting elements–and our pick for Objet d’Art–is a clear, inflatable, and functional chandelier, titled Ghost Shrimp, which Kahn rigged to deflate when the lights are turned off. It’s hilariously kitschy, and comments on the glamour that stores like Claire’s, Sephora, and others try to exude in the cheapest possible way. “It’s that type of environment where everything is made to seem precious by having it be seen through a window or a case or just unnecessary clear packaging,” Kahn says. “The chandelier is just more packaging.”

“I wasn’t trying to take a critical approach, but rather look at it as a fascinating place,” he continues. “Why are we, as humans, drawn to this?”

GHOST SHRIMP IS ON VIEW AND AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE AS PART OF MISHA KAHN’S POP-UP SOLO SHOW “MALL GIRL” AT 2 RIVINGTON STREET, THROUGH JUNE 21. THE SHOW WILL THEN TRAVEL TO GALLERY LOUPE IN MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY, WHERE IT WILL BE ON VIEW FROM JUNE 23 TO JULY 10.

Objet D’Art runs every month. For more, click here.