Have you ever wondered what latest office chairs would look like as a person? Many people have often pondered this question. Okay, maybe that’s a bit far-fetched, but we appreciate those of you out-of-the-box thinkers.
Anyway, during a shoot that didn’t look to be going too well, Horia Manolache, an award-winning photographer, was inspired to mull over that very question. This then resulted in a somewhat comical yet intriguing portrait series. After studying at a technical university for two years, Manolache dropped out and decided to look for other things to do.
He went to look for something that could engage his imagination and give him that sense of freedom. During his one-year sabbatical from school, Horia rediscovered photography. He said he needed to express himself and show everyone who he really is.
After graduating from a Romanian film school, he decided to go to San Francisco and enrolled for an Academy of Art University’s master’s program.
Origin of The Project
This project began with Alessandra Sanguinetti at a workshop in San Francisco, California. Horia had initially been sent to document a certain upholstery as well as to take a picture with the owner of the place. The final portrait wasn’t good; however, after he had laid his eyes on a white chair that had a broken arm, an idea suddenly came to him.
He began to ask himself, what if the chair was a woman? How old would she be? He jotted all these ideas down and returned to his country thereafter.
After about a year, he then went back to San Francisco and started putting everything together. First, he took portraits of all the chairs and started printing them as soon as he was satisfied that he had enough for the story he wanted to tell. He took a look at each print and started writing what kind of person he felt that they’d look like. Are they young, old, melancholic, elegant, proud? He asked himself all these questions and used the answers as a guide.
Horia said that during this project, he slowly began to understand that to be a true photographer, your skillset needs to include more than just knowing where to put the light and making good compositions. The people, clothing, and accessories you find need to be the right ones, the idea needs to be spot on, and you have to know how to be both an assistant and producer as well.
Horia said that he believes he tends to see both people and things very differently. The Prix de la Photographie Paris 2014 winner stated that this possibly is why he could come up with such a project idea. However, he claims that he’d never looked at pieces of furniture this way before the project.
While artistic, furniture has always been regarded as a utilitarian feature in most people’s lives, including his very own. However, that greatness within will always looks for ways to sneak out and show its face to the world – and that’s exactly what it did in this case. Once you take a look at this series, you’ll never look at chairs the same ever again.