December 30, 2003
Constantin Boym - Missing Monuments and Beyond
Constantin Boym is the man behind the subtly ironic Missing Monuments and Buildings of Disaster architectural models. If you are ever in need of beautifully cast monuments to the OJ car chase or the Unibomber's cabin, Boym is your man.
Boym has a bit of Tibor Kalman's spirit in him. Both men where born in Eastern Europe and but built their careers in America. Perhaps their brand of humorous and clever commentary on Western culture can only be born behind the iron curtain? Who knows? It'd probably be unfair to attribute the unevenness of both men's work to their birthplaces. Neither is a virtuoso designer, but when work is both smart and funny perfect there is wiggle room on the execution.
Boym might also be the missing link between the early 80's Memphis design movement and the rising Brooklyn industrial aesthetic of the now. Works like his Salvation Ceramics and American Plumbing vases, place him slightly ahead of the pack as designers increasing plunder the cheap and overlooked for inspiration, while mixing in a touch of humor to hold it all together.