Sebastian ErraZuriz has never been one for making staid, modern furniture. Over the years, the Chilean designer has crafted cabinets of curiosity that upend the idea of what a piece of furniture can do.
In “Breaking the Box,” a new exhibition at New York City gallery R & Company, ErraZuriz shows off a handful of kinetic cabinets that can rotate, spin, and shape-shift.
ErraZuriz’s “Breaking the Box” series includes the Fan Cabinet, a light wood box that appears to unzip from the center, producing a rows of wooden slats that fan out into semi-circles.
The obviously named Kaleidoscope Cabinet is a seemingly straightforward midcentury credenza that opens to reveal walls built from faceted panes of glass. A peep hole at the end of the cabinet lets you look inside, where your bottles have multiplied into a kaleidoscopic frenzy.
One of our favorites is the Magistral Cabinet, a small cabinet covered with porcupine-like wooden quills that can be pushed aside to reveal a perfectly simple set of drawers.
ErraZuriz’s pieces are effective in their surprise if only because their flourishes are hidden by relative normalcy. A cabinet is not just a cabinet in this case—they’re optical illusions rooted in an entryway staple.