If chairs were people

What would chairs look like if they were people? This is the question that photographer Horia Manolache seeks to answer in his project The Chairs, where he matches a chair with a person that best represents it.

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The idea behind the project started when Manolache was documenting upholstery and taking the portraits of its accompanying owners for a workshop. A broken white chair led him to ask the questions: would this chair be a woman? What age would she be if she were? A year after, upon returning to San Francisco, he photographed chairs and thought up of descriptions for them, sometimes asking the help of friends to find the people he imagined would best personify a certain chair.

Horia Manolache

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“It was like the creation of a character for a movie, a process that I think I enjoyed most in constructing this series,” says Manolache. “For each chair I tried to exploit the story that was already there so that is why, sometimes the balance between aesthetic and narrative is heavier in a way or the other.”

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The more you look at the photo series, you’ll be amazed at how spot-on the character assignments are. Manolache chooses twins wearing flowered shirts to represent a two-seat flowered sofa, a man in leather clothes mimics a worn-out leather chair, and a woman in a flowing velvet dress matches a red Victorian couch perfectly.

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Says the artist, “I chose to do this project as a bet with my imagination, with my film director abilities because with each character I worked to convey different feelings.”

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See more of chairs and their matching models here.