This award-winning low-relief artwork was commissioned by the Design Exchange for a fundraising auction. Provided with a limited budget to go shopping at IKEA, and then deconstruct and reassemble the purchased products in any way they liked, the architects created “Knob Portrait: Mayor Ford. ” The artwork is made up of 983 IKEA cabinet door knobs (5 colours) and 1 IKEA table top.

“Knob Portrait: Mayor Ford” is inspired by Andy Warhol’s portraits of celebrities such as Chairman Mao and Marilyn Monroe. Based on photographs, Warhol transposed the images into colourfield compositions through a screen print process, one which visibly links them with the mass media culture of his time. This new portrait of Toronto’s mayor transforms IKEA’s mass produced consumer products into a pixilated, digital-like image.

“Knob Portrait: Mayor Ford” forges a tangible, intense poetic connection between people and place. The artwork garnered the highest bid at the auction, and the funds are going to support Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage.

24″ x 48″, 983 cabinet door knobs, and 1 table top

Toronto, Canada