Fernando Mastrangelo debuted the Capital Collection this week at Downtown Editions, Dubai Design Week's platform for collectible and bespoke design. Drawing inspiration from Dubai's natural resources, Mastrangelo used hand-dyed sand and powdered glass to create the trio of limited-edition mirrors: Aurora, Marina and Sahara. Sahara references the sun and climate; Marina alludes to the impact of waterways and steel; and Aurora (above) pays homage to Dubai's sunsets. All three are currently on show on D3's Waterfront terrace.
"Interpreting the landscape, history and essence of a unique region through my sculptural language is integral to my artistic process," says Mastrangelo.
"I'm incredibly humbled to have that opportunity with Dubai and with this special series. If I have at all been able to capture or translate a fraction of Dubai's intensity and beauty, I would consider that a success."
The pieces are a creative continuation of the New York artist's Drift series, a sculptural mirror, sofa, bench and side table that capture the stark beauty of glaciers and natural Earth formations. Drawing on voyages to the Grand Canyon and Patagonia, Mastrangelo used topographical views of glaciers breaking over the surface of the ocean to inform the collection.
There is an interplay between meticulously polished elements and surfaces that retain an exquisite ruggedness – the mirrors mimic the calmness of the sea, while cast sand captures the irregular beauty of glacial formations. The Drift mirrors were a clear precursor to the Capital Collection.
Best-known for his collectible design pieces, Mastrangelo, who lives in Brooklyn, also experiments with large-scale sculptures and experiential installations. All of his creations are sculpted by hand from natural or repurposed materials – whether sand, salt, silica or crushed and powdered glass.
His concern with ecological issues is a defining feature of his works, which are to be found in private collections around the world, as well as the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum and Cooper Hewitt Museum.
Mastrangelo completed a BFA in Sculpture at Cornish College of the Arts in 2002 and completed his MFA in Sculpture in 2004 at Virginia Commonwealth University, before setting up Fernando Mastrangelo Studio (F/MS) in 2006.