Judy McKie – Monkey Chair (1994)
The Monkey Chair from 1994 is a delightfully elegant furniture designed by the American designer Judy Kensley Mckie – a design where Mckie fused everyday function with charming zoomorphic forms inspired by African and pre-Columbian art.
Initially designing and making straightforward, spare furniture while she learned woodworking, she began in 1978 to explore forms and techniques outside usual furniture repertory. Judy McKie joined a cooperative furniture shop called New Hamburger, and continued to explore the use of fanciful creatures and figural elements in her furniture, even making models that were cast in bronze.
Her carved work has inspired many other makers to use carved figural elements, and exploring the possibilities of cast versions, incorporate color, and use of various materials to realise their ideas.
Rather than showcasing applied decorations as an end unto itself, her work springs more from an artistic process in which she conceives the idea, figures out how to solve the technical issues, builds the actually object – oftentimes adjusting her ideas as she proceeds – and integrates the decoration as she builds.
Author: Anna Marie Fisker