Nikola Nikolov of Studio Re-Creation takes discarded, broken materials and gives them new life by incorporating them into sculptural works of art and design. The concept is by no means new, but the results stand out in terms of quality, creativity and heart. In his own words, "Who we are and how we communicate are questions that have been with us since the beginning of time. They have led us to a history of many cultures. Today, more than ever, we strive to segregate ourselves, into who we are as individuals. As a result of this, many cultural traditions have been shattered into a million pieces, like a fine piece of porcelain lost forever on a hard stone floor."
When you exhibited at Tuttobene during the Salone del Mobile in Milan, the larger than life dog got the most attention. People seem surprised to see such work being done with broken and discarded objects; why do you think that is?
It could be that some people were surprised about the potential of what
they throw away, but perhaps the people were not so much surprised by the
use of discarded materials in itself, but by the way that the materials
were put together in the indeed larger then life form that is The Dog.
You have a chair made of tableware and a glass made out of glasses. How did you come to start working with such materials?
The experience of growing up in Sofia, Bulgaria, in contrast to living in
Paris, I created The Glass as a metaphor. Feeling torn between the
differences in culture, I was simply trying to express the re-creation of
When I later came to The Netherlands in 1997, I worked as a dishwasher to
make ends meet. It pained me to throw away good materials just because they
were damaged. That's when I decided to start making more works with these
materials. Sometimes making it personal, as I would be the one to have
dropped them by accident in the first place. ;-)
While people are interested in re-using and recycling now, do you think the interest will start to fade as more designers and artists turn to used materials? How can you keep the freshness in work such as yours?
That is like asking if interest in paintings will die, just because
suddenly paintings are fashionable again. I'd like to believe that my
customers do not buy my objects just because they are fashionable, but
because they are attracted to my style on a personal level. Remember that
much of what I make is made by personal belongings that were difficult to
throw away in the first place.