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Spanish artist and designer Cristian Zuzunaga has been traveling and exploring the world since the tender age of 17. His Bitmap Collection essays his journeying in a series of digitally patterned woolen blankets heralding some of his favorite cities. Barcelona 1 celebrates the urban metropolis of his birth, with the city template abstracted and reduced to pixels. In finest handwoven merino wool, the pulsating effect results from the contrasting yarns used for the warp and the weft. The individual nuances and imperfect borders denote the traditional manual looms used by the small-scale textile maker, Teixidors, that weaves these environmentally minded wares in Terrassa, a city in Catalonia. Cristian, who makes his home now in London, has garnered international acclaim and received numerous awards including the ICFF Award for Best Textiles in New York and the coveted Les Découvertes award at Maison & Objet in Paris.
“We are alchemists. We are not robots. We are so much more than something mechanical that is simply switched off when we die,” says artist and designer Cristian Zuzunaga. It’s an interesting comment from someone whose work focuses on the pixel, the cynosure of our digital life. Yet this Barcelona-born, London-based citizen of the world interprets that inspiration with analog traditions of the finest materials and a sustainable sensibility, grounded in hand craftsmanship. For the work, he has garnered awards including the ICFF Award for Best Textiles in New York and the coveted Les Découvertes award at Maison & Objet in Paris.
The son of a Catalan mother and a Peruvian father, Cristian set out at age 17 to travel the globe and define his place in it. Now settled in London where he finished his studies with an MA at the Royal College of Art, he also maintains a studio in his native city. Both his training as a graphic designer and his original interest as a student of biology inform his micro/macro view and use of color to provoke an emotional response. “We have to live for and through the senses,” he says. “That’s why I use multicolors.”