Nacho Carbonell on Recreating His Eindhoven Studio at NYC’s Armory Show

The work of Nacho Carbonell can best be described as fantastical. His arboreal Light Mesh LED sculptures emulate saplings growing from a destroyed concrete base—his poignant take on what can grow in the aftermath of destruction. Carbonell creates these fixtures with objects and materials found in his studio. The collection will display at the 24th edition of the Armory Show, taking place March 8-11 in New York City, where Carbonell will recreate his Eindhoven studio in Carpenters Workshop Gallery’s booth. Displayed around his personal workshop table is a luminous forest of Light Mesh sculptures and personal objects that give insight into his process. Carbonell explains the idea behind the booth concept and what he likes most about living and working in Eindhoven.

Interior Design: Tell us about your Light Mesh series.

Nacho Carbonell: Every piece is unique and has its own requirements. Scale is irrelevant—each can range from centimeters to meters. Most start from a smashed piece of concrete, its base. From this apparently inanimate seed, an organic shape transforms into a light object. What remains is a piece that grows even in the most arid environment.

ID: What inspired you to recreate your studio for the Armory Show?

NC: The studio is more personal and intimate than the work itself, and we keep showing it to the world in order to be seen, to be exposed, and to be judged by others. I’m bringing in a specific time of the studio, a moment of transition when the pieces were about to travel to be shown. The work is in constant movement, and we want the studio to represent that. In general, this collection talks about the transitional moment when something mutates into something else, a space-time where things are happening. 

Another essential element is memories, which my workshop table symbolizes. It tracks the past, present, and future of my studio’s dynamics. It's a personal cabinet of curiosities where I can read the studio’s history, look at the present, and generate new ideas for the future.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery booth at the Armory Show in New York, featuring Light Mesh sculptures by Nacho Carbonell. Photography by Matt Harrington, courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

ID: What’s your favorite part about working in Eindhoven?

NC: The alienation. I’m able to focus on my work. There are many people working the same way there, which keeps me motivated. 

ID: You show regularly in Europe, but not so much in the United States. In your eyes, how do the two markets differ? 

NC: I’m here to experience that and understand it better. Creativity is difficult to market and if it’s easy, we’re doing something wrong. People want to understand what you do and hear the stories behind your work.

ID: What has your experience been at the Armory Show so far?

NC: Everyone has been fantastic!

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