Let's be honest: they aren't attractive, they reek of kitsch and you can win them without much effort. Yet, trophies will always exert a certain fascination. American artist Ry Rocklen took note of this and collected a few hundred of them to make furniture pieces that turn tacky into refined.
Rocklen's soft spot for trophies began in 2011, when for just a few dollars he bought 150 of them from a scrap merchant. An orgy of abandoned objects, painted in fake gold, with holographic columns, faux marble and silver studs. In short, icons of the most ambiguous America, opulent but phony, vital but alone.
From this scintillating heap the first sculpture took form, "Second to None", in 2011, that eventually gave way to series "Trophy Modern" in 2013, made with any type of trophy available on the market and composed with shapes and colors arranged according to a schematic and modernist aesthetic, hence the names of pieces like "Frank Lloyd Wright" or "Le Corbusier".
Using the same approach, Rocklen then also constructed theme bar "Night Court", commissioned by Absolut on the occasion of Art Basel Miami Beach, with benches, a ping pong table and a beautiful chessboard.
The result is a series of objects with a familiar yet at the same time ironic look, overturning banal everyday objects into a (sham) spectacle for the eyes, fusing sober elegance with sequins.
Photos via ryrocklen.com