Please Be Seated

The annual Chairs for Charity auction event, presented by Mahalo, raised funds for dozens
of local charities, thanks to these creative artists






Our “Chaise des Fleurs” is inspired by the idea of a throne reclaimed, and by an indelible sense of nature as the true seat of power in our fragile human world. While kings and queens come and go, the natural world shall forever remain, reclaiming along its way all of our cherished triumphs  — often elevating and transforming our well-worn forms through its determined deconstruction, consummation, and ultimate reflowering. This chair explores the manipulation of the design principles of color, line, form, and texture, using natural elements. Its base of Victorian birch has the feel of a trained and tailored bramble, while its succulents are placed and clustered with an eye toward a sense of natural occurrence. At fleurdetroit we believe the collective whole to be stronger, richer, and more deeply informed aesthetically than any individual alone. Our teams work to create through collaboration and collective imagining, and this chair is no exception.


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I chose David Bowie, circa 1976, as my interpretation of the ever-changing icon. I wanted this image to capture the theatric presence carried over from his earlier glam-rock persona. I believe Bowie was the Picasso of the music world. Just as Picasso’s artistic expression was ever-changing, Bowie’s style was ever-evolving. David Bowie was like living, breathing, pop-art — constantly embodying imagery from popular culture in his music and image. Bowie, an avid art collector, and Andy Warhol were friends who often blended philosophies and shared aesthetics that bled fluidly from one artist to the other. Bowie’s visual presence was also inspired by Egon Schiele, drawing from him for his album covers and public persona. David Bowie’s art imitated life — and, as a testament to his vision and influence, at times life imitated his art.

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“The Portrait” pays homage to my love of portraiture. As a photographer, my intent was to create a chair solely from portraits. To me, there’s no greater engraved series than those celebrated on our U.S. currency. Abraham Lincoln’s image on the penny and $5 bill were my inspirations for this project. To preserve the penny patina, I coated the copper material in resin to give the surface a sleek finish. The pennies were then custom-fit to follow the contour of the chair. The ghost-like portrait of Lincoln keeps the transparent integrity of the chair. The final result is a chair with design, purpose, and function that demands to be the center of conversation in any room.

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I’ve chosen wine as my subject, because of its historical value to the world of art. From ancient writing to poetry, images, today’s common use as a passageway to the heart of creativity, and to the art of making wine itself, I believe wine and fine art go hand in hand. My subject is of the Bordeaux cabernet sauvignon variety, a world-renowned blended wine from a historically significant region of France that’s known as a source of some of the world’s finest wine. The warm color palette of my piece is reminiscent of the feeling associated with the consumption of one of the most beloved red wines. It lends a certain congruency to the piece and helps the viewer take in the whole body of the image — like you would when you take a sip of fine red wine.
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“Get on Up” is a chair created to depict the late, legendary singer James Brown holding a microphone. I used oil paint, spray paint, and EL wire to develop this piece. I wanted to have the chair be interactive and well-balanced when viewed from multiple angles. I used a lot of color to mimic the energy of the music, and the words “get on up,” written in cursive using wire (which can be activated with a remote), add depth to the chair. In a low-lit setting, the chair will show off its neon glow.

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I grew up listening to “flashback weekends” on the radio. We would all pile in the car and go somewhere, usually accompanied by the soul-defying tunes of Aretha Franklin, KC and The Sunshine Band, and other great artists. That music has stuck with me and defined the way that I live. In order to pay “respect” to one of the greats, I decided to decorate my chair with a portrait of Aretha Franklin. Her music has captivated and inspired people for generations because her soul radiates through her music. I thought this was the perfect way to bring some of her soul and jazz to this chair.

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The inspiration for my chair is rooted in the practice of meditation and the symbolism of sitting still with the mind. I use the idea of “sitting” to represent stillness as the main purpose of the chair itself. The work comments on both the necessity of meditation and a conscious way of life, especially in an increasingly complicated world. Aggressive clashes of color are used to represent the mind during meditation, where thoughts are often unexpected and seemingly random. The visual interpretation of the chair is meant to address both the light and dark side of understanding the self, particularly when observing the mind. This chair is a collection of inspirations. I continue to be influenced by my recent travels to Thailand, in conjunction with my constant motivation to explore and understand the world.

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Conceptually, nature and the landscape have always informed my work in some way, shape, or form. The element of texture plays a significant role, as well. For years the surfaces of tree bark, sidewalks, asphalt, and mold have intrigued me. They’ve found their way into my work, creating abstract landscapes. Past and present are always conceptually linked for me, in that I’m a contemporary artist who’s influenced by things that have been used or covered up, as well as the uncovered. The aforementioned serve as the inspiration for my overall chair design. Thus, the finished piece is an abstraction that brings to mind the juxtaposition of asphalt and foliage. I like to think of it as capturing the overlooked surfaces of the city. Both my paintings and this chair are the work of a Detroit girl; an embodiment of the constant interplay of beauty and grit that is so inextricably Detroit.

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I wanted to make something that’s very objective to the viewers’ eyes; therefore, I planted an image on the backing of the chair with a lot of undertones of textures. My intention for this piece was to make something smooth but rough.







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Woodward is a special stretch of road for my son and me. Before he could walk, he wanted to drive. Before he could talk, he had his call to action: “WooWoo!” This was an all-encompassing word he used for the machines, the experience, and the actual stretch of concrete. Or maybe he just loved having his car seat in the front for a change, since there’s not always a back. Either way, his summers have been enjoyed on M1 and we’re happy to help local causes with art infused with local cruise culture. For our chair design, we combined my photographic art of retro Big Three iconography with restoration parts from a couple old builds. I hope you enjoy some bold colors from a bold era in our automotive history. Hudson tuned it up, so it’s ready to cruise. See you out there on Woodward!

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