Lacquer and acrylic on plywood
341/2 x 18 x 1 in. (90.2 x 45.7 x 2.5 cm)
The original Occupy Chairs were first designed by Sebastian to work as a complaint sign during the day that would fold out as a chair for the protesters to use next to their tents at night. The second stage of the project was to create an attractive pop version of the Occupy Chairs that could work as a Trojan horse for the 1%. Now camouflaged as a glamorous art-objects the Occupy Chairs where presented next to modern art masterpieces at the 2012 NY Armory Art Show in an attempt to get the collectors of the 1% to purchase the signs and take them home; where those signs would later hopefully start questioning their owners from within.
The chairs walk the boundaries between art and design as a functional piece that can also fold flat and be hung on the walls to work as a painting or a sign of political and social injustice. It was the artist's intention to avoid the easy demagogy of a politically correct art project that would simply attack the rich.
He was interested in illustrating how both the 99% and the 1% could be more similar than they believed if their economic circumstances where to change. This is why instead of simply pointing a finger at the collectors as the villains of the 1%, he decided the project also needed to question his own range of personal intentions and aspirations as an artist of the 99%.
The press release written by the artist purposely underlined that ErraZuriz would not disclose whether he would donate 1% or 99% of the profits of the sales of the Occupy Chairs.
He expressed that he didn't know if once he received the money he would stand by his ideals and donate the money to help the cause of the 99%, or keep the money for himself and give into the greed and fame of which the 1% are accused. Embracing both a selfish and selfless potential of the project in an open way ignited a much stronger and more interesting discussion on multiple news outlets, capturing a bigger complexity of thoughts and beliefs on the current wealth distribution.