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Artifacts at Surface To Air

Artist Steven Harrington presents his psychedelic art at Artifacts, the new collaborative exhibition at Paris' Surface to Air store

Opening at Surface To Air’s flagship Paris store is Artifacts, a collaborative exhibition of custom furniture and screen prints bringing together Steven Harrington’s Californian psychedelic art drawl with Gesa Hansen’s Parisian flared, Scandinavian furniture designs. The show is a celebration of old school labour and craft through a non-conventional, head trip. Dazed Digital speaks with Harrington with a peak into his LA studio. 

Dazed Digital: Can you introduce the Artifacts project?

Steven Harrington: Gesa first contacted me a year or so ago but I never thought we'd actually end up creating work for something together. Things have evolved so naturally and organically over the last couple of months so it has been super cool and pretty idyllic from a creative standpoint. It has been a pleasure to work closely with Gesa on the project.

DD: Do you and the Hansen Family share similar creative visions and love for hands on, craftsmanship?

Steven Harrington: Definitely. Gesa has an atelier out in the forest somewhere in France where she literally handcrafts all of her pieces. When I was first introduced to her work, I was instantly attracted to her craftsmanship and ability to transform wood into gold. Our communication has been so intuitive because of our shared attraction for hand-made soulful things. When first concepting for Artifacts, she was like, “Hey, I really like that hand-made stone sculpture print that you sent over a while back, maybe we could continue to work within that world?” And I was like, "Perfect, let’s design the prints to hang over your furniture.” Voila, there you have it.

DD: And Surface To Air? With both of your studios, you ensure that your work transcends just being product? There’s an awesome flexibility and tangibility.

Steven Harrington: To be perfectly honest, it's been absolutely seamless. Surface To Air has had total confidence in our creative vision for the expo. Gesa and I were given total creative freedom with the project space so you can imagine our excitement. We wanted to create functional pieces that vibrate off of each other when placed in the same space. So yeah, one of our main focuses was to create work that goes beyond just being product.

DD: And how’s the summer been in LA? It’s been a pretty hot summer out there.

Steven Harrington: Things have been hot! And very busy. The Artifacts show has been a lot of work and the process has been quite labour intensive. We sculpted six 3D pieces out of polymer clay by hand. We then photographed the pieces after they were baked and painted. Once photographs were captured, I half-toned the images and outputted film to be burned onto big silk screens. I then enamel sprayed colour gradients on 120 pieces of Stonehenge printmaking paper and screen printed white ink over the sprayed paper. The results you’ll just have to wait and see at Surface To Air... 

DD: What does a Los Angeleno love about Paris?

Steven Harrington: Croque Madames, digestif drinks after every, single meal, Gainsbourg... and Chez Prosper.

Artifacts by Steven Harrington & Gesa Hansen is on now at Surface To Air, 108 Rue Vieille Du Temple, 75003 Paris