Smokey Tunis, throne stool with armrests and painted cushion, circa 1960s-1970s. Found wood, nails, cushion, fabric, paint.
An Italian immigrant who held a studio in Larchmont, N.Y., Tunis is oftentimes referred to as a Beatnik artist. His furniture and wood carvings are unique in aesthetic among any other maker of the Twentieth Century, many of them utilizing found materials or exhibiting a style of carving that combines a folk language with a sense of gothic darkness. He did not attempt to create “beautiful” furniture, rather these were works that aligned more with art than design.
Tunis’ paintings are more commonly found on the market, though this throne stool features both mediums as the seat is hand painted to both sides. The front of the cushion is painted with a frontal nude female and the other side, appropriately, features her backside.
Little else is known about Tunis, though that was likely not his real name. He created art as an outsider, and can be considered one of the Twentieth Century’s foremost outsider furniture artists. Available.
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