Jonathan Trayte - Wildsippe - Friedman Benda - Design Miami/
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Jonathan Trayte


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A visual raconteur, with a keen perception and eye for the obscure, UK-based artist Jonathan Trayte finds the surreal in our everyday surroundings and within the fabric of daily life. Embracing contradictions between the organic and the artificial, Trayte reimagines natural forms, coalescing them with appropriated, highly stylized motifs from product packaging and advertising ephemera to form a nuanced commentary on the universal language of consumerism. Emblematic of Trayte’s approach to creation and executed with his trademark tongue-in-cheek sensibility, Wildsippe, a recent chandelier, sees quotidian twiggy branches reimagined as soft green crystalline lengths studded with pink gem-like fragments, finished with smoked-glass shades.


“Color is so important as a means of persuasion, persuading people to consume in particular kinds of ways, or in appealing to specific social groups. I create synthetic painted veneers and compositions of materials that either reflect or distort this language; they’re like skins of paint or textures that create a kind of chameleon appearance,” says Trayte.   


Stainless steel, glass, reinforced plastic, epoxy, dolomite, crushed marble, light fittings


Jonathan Trayte


Drawing inspiration from the surreal aspects of seemingly-mundane objects in our daily life, Jonathan Trayte’s approach is largely informed by our global language of consumption and the manipulation of consumer decision-making. Trayte was born in 1980 in Huddersfield, UK. Coming from a background in fine art sculpture, Trayte received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from University of the Creative Arts Canterbury in 2004 and a Masters of Fine Arts from Royal Academy Schools in 2010. Trayte combines his broad experiences in other fields—including as a chef and foundry metal worker—with his keen eye for finding the obscure aspects of daily life that would typically go unnoticed. “The work that I tend to make comes together all at once, like a cast of characters,” says Trayte. “There’s always some weird older brother, the ‘black sheep,’ that doesn’t quite fit.” Using a wide range of materials, methods and processes, his work explores the psychology of desire through surface, material, light and color. In thinking of food as a basic material, he uses castings and facsimiles to examine the many ways in which we perceive and utilize our resources. His work has been included in numerous international exhibitions including Psychotropics, The New Art Centre, Wiltshire, UK (2020); The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018); Tropicana, Christies, London (2017), Milk, Christies, London (2016), Polyculture, The Tetley, Leeds, UK (2016); Experiments in Consuming, The Kings School, Canterbury, UK (2016); and The Shoppers Guide, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2015). Recently, Trayte was selected by Sculpture in the City to create a large-scale site-specific installation entitled The Spectacle (2019) in London. Trayte lives and works in London.

  • Material/

    Glass, Marble, Stainless Steel

  • Dimension/

    61.0 x 75.0 x 187.0 cm (24.0 x 29.5 x 73.6 in)

  • Heritage/

    Great Britain

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