In Conversation with: Cary Fagan

In Conversation with:

Cary Fagan

Multi-disciplinary artist Cary Fagan has renewed our love for chairs. Inspired by the interplay between the human form and physical objects, Fagan has developed a practice and a mindset, dubbed Chairs Are People Too, in which he uses chairs as his medium. This spring, he installed chair sculptures at our Lamar store, accompanied by a visual guide, 15 Ways to Wear a Chair, which showcased Austin-based movement artists and dancers wearing chairs.

Learn more about Fagan's creative practice below.

Can you tell me a little bit about your background? How did you get your start as an artist?

Sure, my name is Cary Fagan. Originally, I am from Arizona but I've lived most of my life in Houston, Texas. I've been working in photography for over a decade, inspired by my father, who is also a photographer. How did I get started? I wasn't afraid to try new things and put myself out there.

How do you approach your creative practices?

I've learned not to be so hard on myself when it comes to producing something. Just recently, I discovered that the unfinished product still has impact. This idea has allowed me a sense of ease within my creative process. There is no limit in my ability to produce new works; anything I produce is a discovery.

What led you to an interest in chairs?

The interest began as a simple curiosity: "What if I can make chair sculpting a thing?"

Can you tell us a little bit about how your work with chairs and chair sculpting has evolved over the years?

Sure, it started as a passion, something that gave me a spark or feeling when I began the practice of chair sculpting. It often put me in a meditative trance that I would later recognize as part of my process. An admiration for chairs is something I'm sure many of us have in common. For me, the simplicity of a chair is timeless. Chair sculpting has given me a window to share my vision and use my voice. 

What's next for you? What else are you working on?

What's next.... Well, after completing this install, I said to myself that I would like to appear in more spaces, where I am manipulating space for public viewing. It's been rewarding. During the time of this installation, I was simultaneously shooting a music video for my first album, an experimental project I've invested my time in over the last year. My project involves quite a bit of character-building for my persona(s). This year, chairsarepeople and I are planning to do some volunteer work and get more involved with the Houston Furniture Bank.

There is no limit in my ability to produce new works; anything I produce is a discovery.

Cary fagan