Photo of Misha’s solo booth at Design Miami/Basel 2002 from Friedman Benda gallery
Welcome back to another episode of The Art of Aperitif! Today’s guest is Misha Kahn. Misha is a visionary in the world of design and “one of the leading creative voices of our generation” (according to, like, so many articles about him!). He creates boundary pushing, sculptural, irreverent, and whimsical furnishings – and more – in a vast array of media ranging from cement to resin, from embroidery to fine jewels. He also happens to be an old family friend. So, I caught up with him during a quick moment at home in New York just getting back from Design Miami and heading next to Italy for a new project – giant bugs anyone?!
Misha’s approach to design is incredible in his ability to tease out the essence of traditional handicrafts and materials and highlight their raw gorgeousness in completely unexpected forms. His work is trippy and cartoonish, yet elegant and sumptuous all at the time. His remarkable skill, in combination with that of the artisans with whom he works, shines brilliantly through and makes the work magical; his goal generally being to transport the viewer into another world.
In our conversation, we chat about that affinity for creating other worlds, how he learns and thinks about materials and handcrafts, how to more creatively envision a collaborative world for humans and technology, plus pre-dinner drinks. Oh, also, the memorable way I used to cook mac&cheese for him, his brother, and my brothers, haha.
This conversation pairs well with a Vélo spritz, our variation on the Cynar spritz that Mish likes to have while in Italy. Just add a splash of olive brine and an olive garnish!
The Pig Bench, one of Misha’s early pieces that he references.