In this East City Art post, arts blogger Anna Flaaten profiles artist Dino Almaguer. Here is an excerpt:
“’Papurniture’ is art first, functional furniture second. Composed of 100% recycled paper and opting for No-VOC paint over the use of toxic resins or finishes, Dino Almaguer handcrafts work that is both playful and environmentally-friendly: ‘It’s a perfect blend of my love for design and the environment.’ Papurniture is a 3-D sketch put together in ways that are visually pleasing. Having developed the concept while attending the Rhode Island School of Design, Dino asserts ‘a sketch is as fresh as an idea can be, in its most organic form.’
But it’s not just form over function. He aspires for his work to be ‘interactive art where people can touch it and not have their hands behind their back. People have been afraid to sit on it because it is made of paper, and I reassure them that my Grandpa has sat on this, and he’s big.’ Although upon initial sight, audiences may think his work is made of plastic or bended wood, Dino attests that ten people have once stood on a bench made of paper in his studio (at the same time).
Dino Almaguer has been a Washingtonian since the age of 11 where he attended open drawing sessions at an old mechanic shop off of New York Avenue close to Marrakesh and a fine arts program in a Suitland, MD high school. Then at RISD, his shop class was accustomed and classic. He grew tired of plane a piece of wood to perfection, laminate, steam, bend- where the work would transform from a sketch, to building design, then models and prototypes: ‘the freshness was lost in this reproduction process, human nature is to fiddle with things until they are reworked too many times.’ ”
Image in the post is of a chair by Almaguer, from the artist’s website.