Ray Hollis by Starck

6 - 31 Dec 2022
  • Polished aluminium 7.5 x 11.5 x 10 cm Conceived in 1985, edited in 1986 Edition 3 Suisses for France Edition...

    Polished aluminium

    7.5 x 11.5 x 10 cm

     

    Conceived in 1985, edited in 1986

    Edition 3 Suisses for France

    Edition XO for abroad

     

    Platinum Circle Award, Tokyo, 1987

     

    350 €

     

     

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  • It is just as beautiful to see as it is to describe. A true synthesis of the 1980s, born from the encounter of industrial design and the rampant imagination of Philippe Starck, the Ray Hollis ashtray remains a paradox. Indeed, its creator reasoned backwards, calling into question the very function of the object he designed, curiously for the benefit of non-smokers. Because after all, he said: "Smokers already have everything they need."

     

    This objects receives, as it should, the cigarettes on an elegant cover with a profile in the shape of a wing, then, once extinguished, ingeniously makes them disappear with the simple flip into a secret chamber. The contrast between the lightness of the aerodynamic cover posed on a compact and angular monolithic body creates a subtle tension that we could qualify, again paradoxically, as dynamically-immobile. 

     

    From the very beginning, Starck already imagined a new scenario for the future of design: the bio-mechanism. 

    This future offered a formal alternative, all while announcing a new affective, even carnal, relationship to the object considered to be a direct extension of the body. He was openly inspired by the concept and the esthetic of prostheses so dear to the cyberpunk literature from which the cult novel Ubik, by the legendary science-fiction author Philip K. Dick, fascinated Starck for its visionary intuition of modernity.

     
    Thus, in 1982, Philippe Starck baptized each of his creations, from his first series of furniture to meet great success, with names of the characters from Ubik including the ashtray: Ray Hollis.
     
    A worrying metaphorical character at the head of a multinational company exploiting personal data, Ray Hollis foreshadows the current problems linked to social media forty years in advance. In this way, the ashtray carries the heritage of the meeting of two visionary geniuses in a fascinating synthesis. It bears witness with a rare capacity to express in physical form this mix of poetry and somewhat muted violence that is at work everywhere in our society.