We had the chance to visit the Javits Center last week with the intention of visiting just the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). When we arrived it turned out there were two additional shows taking place: the National Stationary Show and Surtex. With one ticket we were able to see all three shows.
To say we were on visual overload would be an understatement. The ICFF was on three floors alone, with over 535 exhibitors. Javits Center was entirely consumed by print, pattern, textile, furniture, fixtures, accessories, paper, tattoos, sculpture, paint, pens, floral, colors and everything else in between. There were plenty of trends to show: retro-vibes, coloring books, bold graphics, mixed metals, floral, wood, etc.
After over four hours of walking the aisles, talking to vendors and taking pictures, there was one theme that stuck out — the sense of artistic and creative expression. ThoughtMatter has an artful perspective; we believe art is something, which connects us all. It was inspiring to see craftsmanship, precision, and making on display at the forefront.
We saw new perspectives on the use of mixed patterns, and even gardens living inside furniture, which created living sculptures. We experienced hand lettering molded into wall art, lamps handcrafted to take on a life of it’s own, and discovered student work which blended art installations and home furnishings. Hand-formed, handcrafted, and hand-touched were the words of the day. Vendors showcased historical and present day factory photography displaying the birthplace behind every piece. Even if it was mass-produced, the message was clear; it started somewhere and it was always given a name, place, person, and feeling.
At the end of the day, we were energized by and enthusiastic about the rise in creativity and craftsmanship. Furniture, stationary, and print and pattern are certainly all forms of art, but what was inspiring was to discover new ways of looking at and expressing an artful perspective.