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Fragility and strength

05 June 2020
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Fragility and strength

Fatal moments of civilization history are the time for revelations and reappraisal of values. Nowadays hundreds of thousands of world pandemic victims make us extremely keenly understand the fragility of human life. At the same time, it makes us value the strength of unitedness, care, and support which people throughout the world give each other.  “A man of glass” HOMO by Grigory Gorkovenko is the symbol of human fragility and strength. 

The three-meter hanging figure made of metal, glass and ceramics has to be the center of the GORKOVENKO exposition, presented on ICFF, the first-rate international décor and design exhibition in New York. The whole team of sculptors, glassblowers and ceramic craftsmen worked over this unique piece, each element of which is handmade. The creative process took six months and required much afford of a huge team of professionals. 

The figure itself looks like it came out of a picture of Russian avant-garde masters – there are laconic-shaped but various-colored glass spheres and ellipses connected by the metal armature, which makes the whole construct levitate. Plenty of colored surfaces bend and reflect the light, strengthening the “levitation effect” and creating thousands of changing shades and semi-tones like in the huge kaleidoscope. 



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By contrast with the picture, HOMO is totally functional – all of the elements have their purpose. There is a module with a clock in the center of the composition, it’s ceramic mandrel is like hung in zero gravity inside the glass transparent space. The usage of the other modules – decorative lamps or flower vases is versatile and depends on the space owner’s demands. Combining the elements of different purpose in the construct, it is possible to turn HOMO either into gigantic “chandelier” or into a vertical fancy botanical conservatory. 

HOMO is more than another interior decoration. It is an art object and the monument to the time of turbulence. We, the people of different races and skin colors, the people with different purposes (décor functions), and social status are presented as colored glass spheres. Their fragility is a symbol that our life can be broken at any moment. We can confront the chaos only by supporting and helping each other, being united around the mutual aims and values. A metal armature, that unites all the elements of the construct, is a metaphor of an inner backbone, which our civilization is based on. 


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“For me personally HOMO is not a single person but a symbol of the entire humanity. Each of us alone is fragile and sensitive. But united we become a great power, which is able to face any challenges and crises. That is the main Homo sapience superpower and its hope for the future” – Grigory Gorkovenko, who got the 2018 and 2019 international designers Red Dot Design Awards, says.