Friday Five with Sebastian Errazuriz

Chilean born, New York based Sebastian Errazuriz is a self-proclaimed obsessive workaholic who walks a fine line between both art and design, dabbling in both disciplines and doing both with equal verve. Leaving Chile, he headed to New York University where he received his Master’s in Fine Arts and later went on to become the second living South American designer (at age 28!) to have work auctioned at Sotheby’s Important Twentieth Century Design. Recently, he began prepping for his very first museum solo exhibition happening in 2014 at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Let’s see what keeps this young artist/designer inspired in this week’s Friday Five.

1. Glenn Gould playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations
Creativity is often defined as the ability to create original combinations based on the same ingredients. Classical music is all about the exquisite combination of the same elements and a reminder of how different artists can create something sublime with very similar base elements. My father, an art professor and a huge fan of Bach, named me “Juan Sebastian” in honor of the composer. The best Bach interpreter for any Bach fan is the late Glenn Gould. I grew up listening to his Goldberg variations. Nothing is as beautiful to me as Bach’s Goldberg’s variations interpreted by Glenn Gould.

2. Music, particularly Metallica’s Enter Sandman Live in Moscow ’91
Beyond inspiration and the blind search for the sublime, a huge part of creativity seems to be just the raw energy to create. The energy to create and keep on creating, working, transforming something into something else until you are exhausted. To hold on to an idea or project past the point where most would quit or feel satisfied. Bach personally just doesn’t cut it in this stage; I need raw music pumping loudly through the studio speakers. Either old school hip hop or classic hard rock works best for me: Metallica – Enter Sandman live in Moscow 91 is one of those moments of just sheer energy.

3. Taking risks
Inspiration for many of us appears to be a constant tease; it demands that you follow blindly and take a risk based on a hunch that appears to barely insinuate itself on that boundary between your unconscious and your conscious. That blurry instinct most of the time doesn’t seem to rationally make sense; yet that blurry vision demands you stop listening to the rationale against it; trust what makes sense for your unconscious side of the brain and simply take a leap of faith. This famous photo by Yves Klein reminds me of that.

4. Truth and meaning in art
Great work often feels honest; it makes sense in its immense simplicity. The belief that we can use our aesthetic judgment to ascertain how close an art work or a even a scientific theory is to the truth is deeply held by some of the most notable artists and scientists of our century. The hardest thing to do is to change how we see what we have always seen with the most minimal artistic intervention. One way of doing that is to simply add two different elements and make them collide against each other and explode in their multiplicity of new meanings. The sculpture La Nona Ora by Maurizio Cattelan reminds me of that power.


Photo courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery

5. Artistic discipline
Finally knowing when a piece does not need us to be fabricated and is simply there existing right in front of us; already finished and waiting to be picked up and celebrated is one of the hardest things to do. Few contemporary artists have the beautiful contained discipline of Gabriel Orozco.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.