Dezeen Magazine

Shepard Fairey and Keith Haring artworks applied to mid-century chairs

Shepard Fairey and Keith Haring artworks applied to mid-century chairs

Artworks by Shepard Fairey, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Futura have been applied to the fibreglass shells of Modernica's Case Study chairs.

The Californian brand's Case Study chairs are based upon the original fibreglass design submitted by Charles and Ray Eames as an entry in The Museum of Modern Art’s International Design Competition in 1948.

Mounted on a black steel or walnut dowel base, the street artists' custom shell designs have been launched in limited edition runs of 500 as part of a contemporary street art exhibition in LA called Beyond the Streets, which opened in May and runs until 26 August.

Artists create images for Modernica's Case Study chairs
The chairs have been created as part of a contemporary street art exhibition called Beyond the Streets

Fairey's chair, which was the first to be launched, features a monochrome collage of patterns that have become signature motifs in his work.

"My design is based on the collage foundation that can be found layered into all of my fine art, which uses a combination of patterns and motifs I've designed and found materials like old newspaper clippings," Fairey told Dezeen.

Artists create images for Modernica's Case Study chairs
Shepard Fairey's design is a monochrome collage

"I created something that I feel finds a balance between a vision that's uniquely mine and also a nod to what's classically appealing in furniture design."

He added: "I think that this design approach brings to the forefront aspects of my work that usually are more in the background and will appeal to my audience, but I think that also will appeal to an audience that's not already familiar with my work."

Artists create images for Modernica's Case Study chairs
Graffiti artist Futura used his trademark spray painted atomic pattern for his design on the mid-century chair

Similarly, graffiti artist 's custom shell features his trademark spray painted atomic pattern printed in black onto a white shell.

Futura said of his contribution: "Because I've never done a chair in the past, or furniture, it was about seeing what very recognisable design of mine, or pattern, could translate into this product and would look quite interesting and new.

"I wanted people to have something they could identify with me quite easily," he added.

The estate of Keith Haring contributed two designs to the collection

In collaboration with Artestar, which represents high-profile artists, photographers, designers, and creatives, the estates of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring each contributed two artworks from the American artists' extensive portfolios.

The Beyond the Streets exhibit spans over 40,000 square feet and is comprised of paintings, photography, sculptures, and large scale installations by over 100 international graffiti and street artists.

Artists create images for Modernica's Case Study chairs
Two designs by Jean-Michel Basquiat are used in the collection

Shepard Fairey and Futura 2000's limited edition chairs are available from the Beyond the Streets gift shop only, while Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring's are also available at

The shells of Modernica's Case Study chairs are made in Los Angeles using a mixture of resin and glass fibres and pressed using the original machines and specialised equipment that were used to make the Eames's fibreglass shells in the 1950s.

Modernica bought the press machines and equipment from US company Herman Miller – which has exclusive rights to the Eames name in the US – after it discontinued the use of fibreglass in 1989, opting instead to use recyclable polypropylene. It has since reintroduced a more sustainable fibreglass version.

Last year, Jean-Michel Basquiat's work was celebrated with an exhibtion at the Barbican. The show, called Basquiat: Boom for Real, was the first large-scale exhibition of the New York graffiti-artist-turned-painter's work in the UK.