Our latest obsession is this guy, Isidro Ferrer, the Spanish surrealist illustrator and graphic designer who recently collaborated with LZF Lamps to create a madcap menagerie in miniature, aptly named Funny Farm.
Produced in timber, with the FSC tick of approval, these strangely wonderful little beasties are sure to become a collectors’ items. There is Atom Ant, Big Bird, Dolly, Grumpy Goat, He & She Monkey, New Yorker, Mad Mouse, Octo, Penny Gwin, Ronny Rhino, Sheepdog, and Toro the bull to name but a few.
LZF (formally Luzifer), long-time admirers of Ferrer’s work, had previously employed him to re-brand their logo in 2008, (a lamp with little horns and a forked tail of course). This time around, their brief was simple; there was no brief, no conditions, no rules, and no guidelines. Absolute freedom. For a man who had built a hugely successful career on reinterpreting ordinary, everyday objects and exploring their meaning through photography, sculpture and typography, this must have been a dream come true.
In Ferrer’s words, “…On the one hand, I knew right away that I would use wood and that the richness of the colours of LZF’s lamps would be present in the project. On the other hand, I was looking to develop something unique and original, something completely different from what LZF had been doing until then. I began to experiment with the shape and the look of their lamps, and began to play with small wooden pieces inspired by the morphology of their products. My experiments led me to a peculiar, funny family made up of nineteen wooden animals, including, among others, monkeys, a fish with legs, elephants and rabbits. That was when I knew I had created the Funny Farm”.
Ferrer is living proof that surrealism and the art of strange is literally alive and kicking in Spain, and although Dali may be the grandfather of the movement, it is not his exclusively. Ferrer views the world in a highly original way, yet it is also relatable, because his imagery is many things, including funny, playful and light-hearted. One cannot help but come away after an encounter with Ferrer’s work without seeing the world a little differently too.
His career has been likened to the greats like Pierre Mendell, Armin Hofmann and Anthon Beeke, and he’s designed everything from posters to cultural branding, book illustrations for adults and children, comics, to cartoons for television and packaging. Recipient of the National Design Award, Ferrer’s most standout work includes that for the National Drama Centre, graphic design for the Luis Buñuel centenary and his work for the newspaper El País.