Horsing around: 14 local artists redesign an iconic rocking chair

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Originally designed for Magis by artist Marc Newsom, "the unbeatable Rocky" gets redesigned by 14 local artists, through the partnership of Dimensione and Secret Fresh.

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Just how many times can something be turned new? Fourteen times, it seems, for the 14 local artists who redesigned “the unbeatable Rocky” (an iconic horse figure) as part of the 40th anniversary of the international design giant Magis and its exclusive partner in the Philippines, Dimensione.

Magis, an international design firm established in Italy in 1976, has earned global accolades for its desire to provide highly functional and technological products for the home. In celebration of the landmark twin anniversary, Dimensione has partnered with Secret Fresh, a designer toy store, to pool the efforts of 14 of its local artists to redesign “the unbeatable Rocky” – an “unbeatable, indestructible, rocking horse” originally designed by artist Marc Newson for Magis. Locally, Magis products are carried by Dimensione.

All 14 artists — Renato Barja Jr., Iya Consorio, Egg Fiasco, Mark Andy Garcia, Jagnus Design Studio, Yeo Kaa, Luis Lorenzana, Galaxie Maria, Gene Paul Martin, Jason Montinola, Jason Moss, Christian Tamondong, Clairelynn Uy and JJ “Exld” Zamoranos — took liberties with Rocky and gave him 14 new identities.

The result was a Rocky that was as diverse as each artist’s style and technique. Tamondong imagined Rocky in a children’s tale, where “he saw plenty of fancy plants, flowers, and trees,” as painted on the figure. Jagnus Design Studio reinterpreted him as “Darkhorse,” made of clean, lightweight wood finished in black. Meanwhile, Moss’ playful piece, titled “Pacita, your horse got loose,” took its cue from the late artist Pacita Abad through its use of acrylic paints and yarn to embellish the rope fastened to the horse’s mouth. Barja, who called his piece “Dead horse,” depicted Rocky as the horse of the working class, utilizing, among others, resin, fiberglass, and false teeth.

Meanwhile, Maria’s “Kandinsky Lily” asked the question — what would it be like if a horse imagined Kandinsky (an artist who painted horses)? Her piece is an “ingenious indulgence” of Kandinsky’s work. Uy, meanwhile, infused Rocky with an unexpected dose of pop culture, by painting a popular comic figure on his body.


All works are exhibited at the Studio Dimensione showroom, located at 28th Street corner 7th Street at the Bonifacio Global Center in Taguig, and will be available for viewing until September 4, 2016.