NEW YORK—Browsing through Anthropologie is always an adventure. Even if the clothes aren’t your style, there is a beautiful coffee table book to be had next to the scarf display. And often, there is well-curated art to admire.
At the retailer’s Chelsea Market location, there is a parliament of owls on display downstairs. Thai sculptor Ajan Daeng created the group of wood and metal owls from found local materials. While the intriguing pieces are rough hewn, they manage to convey a sense of whimsy.
Keith Johnson introduced Daeng’s work to Anthropologie. Johnson travels the globe for the company, scouring markets for unique finds and searching rural villages for talented artists and artisans unknown beyond their local regions. The sprees are documented on the Sundance Channel’s “Man Shops Globe.” Johnson, the store’s buyer-at-large, met Daeng on a trip to Thailand. Originally from Phichit province, the sculptor works out of a studio in Chiang Mai.
Last year, Anthropologie’s Rockefeller Center store featured The Red Professor, an exhibit of Daeng’s found material works that included a school of wooden fish entwined in wire and a series of small clay birds.
The current installation is called “Owl in Love.”
Photos by Arts Observer