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Your Bruised Shins Might Hate You For This 'Invisible Furniture'

Let me just walk across the room to get that – OUCH!

Takeshi Miyakawa

A new furniture series by Takeshi Miyakawa presents a perverse contradiction: It's high-end home decor that you want to show off, but the material it's made from is almost invisible to the naked eye. "I swear it's still here," you could see a collector telling the guests. "I put it right over by the – OW, dammit."

Takeshi, a 50-something resident of Brooklyn, built his "Visible / Invisible" pieces from a type of acrylic mirror that reflects its surroundings more or less perfectly. There are a few dimples and protrusions that bend the light weirdly, a property granted by the artist blasting the material with a heat gun. But that's a good thing, because then at certain angles you know the furniture is in the room.

The mirrored accessories would be perfect for having a surreal shave or for staging the world's most awkward dinner party, where everyone's chewing and slurping is reflected at strange angles. It's also just good for zoning out to, apparently. "I think people who see those pieces wouldn't think about anything since their mind would get sucked into them," Takeshi e-mails. "I'm not joking! This is what happens whenever I see those pieces. You have to see them in life."

Making these objects must've been relaxing compared to Takeshi's spring 2012 project, which involved hanging illuminated "I Love NY" bags from trees as a tribute to his hometown and subsequently getting arrested in a bomb scare. That earned him a brief trip to Rikers Island and the totally unfair media sobriquet of "The Shopping Bag Bomber."

The artist is exhibiting his shiny creations at the house and gallery of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, who puts on New York's Salon 64 show. Contact the salon if you're curious about pricing:

Images by Takeshi Miyakawa, via Designboom

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.