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Ride the wave! Barcelona designer Cristian Zuzunaga applies his pixelated view of the world to his luxe wave-patterned beach towels for a pulsating Op Art twist. To wit, the work of Op Art pioneer and Brit painter Bridget Riley provided provided a Cristian a diving off point for his own escapades into optical illusion. The graphic waves here suggest a sense of movement for an effect that is both calming and exuberant. Carefully made in Portugal in pure 100% cotton with a dual-sided finish—velour on one side and terry on the other—for an oh-so-soft feel and a quick dry-off.
“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.”