Menswear aficionado, Andersen - Andersen retail and marketing manager, Kevin Kafesu talks about his lamp!
Kevin’s Mantis Lamp will stand the test of time
and outlive him...he hopes!
Interview by Hugo Ross
Photo by Kevin Kafesu
Mar 31, 2019
VM: Please choose an object…
KK: The Mantis Lamp, designed by Bernard Schottlander (1951).
VM: Describe it, ‘objectify’ it and describe it in concrete terms.
KK: The Mantis is Art and Engineering at once.
VM: Where did you get it? Or from who?
KK: It was the first lamp I purchased for our apartment about a year ago. Luckily the Finnish Design Shop carried stock of the lamp at the time so I didn't have to wait up to 6 weeks for delivery since the lamps are usually made to order.
VM: What’s your relationship with it?
KK: It reminds me of the works by Joan Miró and Alexander Calder. I've always felt drawn to objects with such resemblance. To me, the Mantis is not only a reminder but the closest connection to the artists. To me, it is functional and sculptural at the same time.
VM: Where does it sit in your house/person?
KK: I've placed it or didn't have any other choice but to place it next to the sofa, this is also due to the fact that we did not have any other means of lighting in our living room area when we moved in so the best place was next to the sofa. Now we have a lot of lamps in the room so it has kind of just stayed there now.
VM: What is it you like best about the object?
KK: The sheer simplicity and its anonymity, it’s there but it is also not there, in a way it just blends in with its surroundings. But upon close examination, you are wowed by the subtle details such as the joinings and counterweight and the intricately placed height adjustment holes.
VM: What does it mean to you?
KK: To me, this piece exemplifies great design and craftsmanship as well as great material choice, all key factors to achieving what I would consider a life product.
VM: Has it been a source of inspiration to you?
KK: Yes, every day! It reminds me of the importance of form and function. The purpose of an object should be the starting point for its design and this is something that I have applied to my everyday working.
VM: In your profession, interacting with beautiful objects on a regular basis, do you feel more in tune with material culture?
KK: I feel in tune with material culture, this is in combination with my further studies and fashion industry experience. There are a lot of products out there in the world and one can go absolutely crazy and buy up anything and everything but there is an art in filtering, one thing I have learnt over the years. To surround yourself with beautiful objects you love and feel inspired by is all apart of enjoying life. In a way, it is a personal curation.
VM: In light of the current socio/political/environment climate do you try and consume less? / How do you combat your desire if so?
KK: I definitely try to consume less, it isn’t easy especially when you work in the fashion industry but it all comes down to filtering and getting to know what and why you are consuming? I find it best to go to the specialist per category, these are usually factory brands that are equipped in the production of one thing and they usually do it really well. Let's just put it this way, I wouldn't buy a pair of sunglasses from a fashion house when Moscot exists.
VM: Do you buy and consume in order to pass things on? (We spoke about Vitsoe and the tides of inheritance here!)
KK: With every purchase now, especially with furniture. I feel that each item I bring into my possession has to live long after myself. This, of course, eliminates things such as electronics and perhaps plants but a good lamp, a good chair, a Vitsoe shelving system, these are all things that can reincarnate in different environments over and over and over again. We should definitely do the earth a favour and make less but better out of its precious resources.
VM: Many thanks Kevin. Look forward to catching up soon :-)