Matthew Phillips explores Arik Levy’s latest aesthetic as part of the HSBC Bank’s Connection Collection….
International banks are not usually renowned for their liberalism but, at HSBC, Arik Levy has been given ‘‘carte blanche’’ during the creation of The Connection Collection. The principle creations, Rocksplit and Rockshelves, offer insights not only into how the modern world has shaped nature, but also how nature continues to influence mankind.
Such ergonomics are in harmony with the themes that permeate Levy’s work. Reflective steel rocks, which have become the artist’s signature pieces, reveal much about his aesthetic. These metallic boulders do little to physically impose on their surroundings, save to alter how the beholder perceives an environment now mirrored in their oblique planes. The visual trickery is so subtle that one could be forgiven for believing that they are indigenous, yet non-biological, features of an open landscape.
Where other designers seek to embellish or define space, Levy distorts the natural forms that already exist in any given area. His often quoted mantra – “the world is about people, not tables and chairs” – laconically conveys his approach to industrial art structures. By placing people at the centre of his art, Levy’s objects are primarily intended to facilitate a relationship between his audience and their environment.