Xavier MaÃ±osa, the 28-year-old Spanish ceramicist who goes by the name Apparatu, works every day alongside his parents.
Upon moving back home last year after a five-year stint in Berlin, MaÃ±osa set up camp with his father, Juan, and his mother, Aurora, inside a dust-covered workshop in the affluent Barcelonan suburb of Sant Cugat.
The elder MaÃ±osas work with more traditional forms, flecked with MirÃ³-like strips of color, while Xavi finds inspiration in readymades, his cast objects taking the form of traffic cones, fire extinguishers, cow udders, beer bottles, inner tubes, or the sleeves of hideously unattractive puffy coats.
It took moving 1,000 miles away to convince Xavi of the value of his upbringing. He opened a studio in Berlin, and when he began collaborating with the digitally obsessed trio Mashallah Design, he realized he could experiment with materials and push the boundaries of the medium to make things that were nothing like the vases of his childhood. His most recent collaboration is with Alex Trochut, the Spanish graphic designer and illustrator whoâ€™sÂ created drippy DalÃ-like typographic campaigns for the likes of Nike and Estrella beer. MaÃ±osa contributes mold-made forms (the aforementioned inner tubes and sleeves) while Trochut applies his signature brash graphics.
For all of Xaviâ€™s experiments with decoration and design, though, in the end it comes back to the original form.
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