from design to monumental works of art
Before launching his Flexo and developing this character in monumental format, the man who designed the ArchiCOTE Trophies had already created designer furniture pieces. Focus.
He made a big splash this summer with his exhibition at Marciac in Occitanie, where he spent a month. A success he owes to his little Flexo, a pictogram-like character who reminds us of our everyday attitudes and whose story he likes to tell: “Flexo was born from scraps of Plexiglas® I’d picked up in a skip at a time when I didn’t have a workshop. These sculptures, on their own, in pairs or as a family, carry with them the resolutely positive state of mind of their designer David Zeller, alias Zed, who has always preferred a gentle message to militancy. What’s less well-known is that Zed also designed lighting and a chaise longue in the same upcycling spirit. “I shaped it from two smoked polycarbonate strips I’d salvaged, usually used on construction machinery as safety glass. I loved playing with the natural lines and curves of these assembled strips. This chaise was shown in galleries and picked up by the press. But then things went so fast with Flexo that that’s all I did,” enthuses Zed, now represented by galleries in France and abroad and due to exhibit at the art3f shows in Marseille, Bordeaux, and Mulhouse this autumn. He continues: “When I put my name on a Flexo after shaping it, it’s a bit of a piece of me. There are similarities between art and design. These two philosophies are quite complementary, even if design is an applied art that aims to combine function and aesthetics”.
Since birth, Flexo has been available in numerous transparent, opaque, metallic, and even phosphorescent colours and materials. What are Zed’s current projects? He will soon participate in an auction for cancer; he is also working on six monumental Flexo models for a leading rum producer in Guadeloupe. “It’s a bit of a homecoming for me,” he explains. “I haven’t been back there for 13 years. That’s where it all began, where I started sculpting these wooden bodies and faces. I then returned to Alsace in France, created Flexo and moved to Italy, where I now live and have my workshops.”