Juan Montoya’s first solo furniture line, the seven-piece Artistic Collection, debuts tonight at Biasi Catani in New York. More pieces will be added this fall, to a collection which is also the first Montoya had designed and manufactured in his home country of Colombia. For the occasion, the designer shared his insights into the collection with EAL.
Walk us through the process of designing your first furniture line.
I created the Artistic Collection to demonstrate how art—sculpture and painting—can be related to and juxtaposed against furniture design. The collection is sculptural in dimension and I’ve utilized their materials so that each item is a piece of art. For instance, the Flower Coffee Table is a series of triangles that evoke individual petals of a flower.
How did you decide to work with Biasi Catani?
I had a meeting of the minds with the principals of the company, whom I met during a symposium in their showroom last fall. I had the most wonderful conversations about the creative process with the two families that run the business, who are Brazilian, and Arthur Casas, another Brazilian architect who was on the panel with me. I speak Portuguese and love everything Brazilian. It seemed like a perfect fit.
What did you draw your inspiration from? How did you decide which materials to use?
I created the collection and had it built in my country, Colombia. I worked with many of the country’s indigenous woods, like rosewood and macana wood. And by combining those woods with stainless steel, I was able to give the pieces of furniture a new dimension—a contemporary, sophisticated look.