Nik bentel says the inspiration for his most recent project hit while he was cooking his â100th bowl of penneâ. Back in the early months of quarantine at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York-based artist and designer returned to shopping for largely non-perishable foods and wanted to immortalize the familiar feeling. to look at the back of the Barilla Blue pasta box.
The result of this experience is an ironic approach to spending a year inside: a meticulous rendering of the classic pasta box like a leather handbag aptly named The Pasta Bag. Adorned with a gold chain handle and shoulder strap, the handbag features all the details of the original box, including its nutritional information panel and cooking instructions. Although the project is not affiliated with Barilla, Bentel’s design is surprisingly precise compared to its cardboard counterpart.
The designer described to HYPEBEAST the year-long process to create the bag. âI started by talking to bag and leather experts who knew what materials and manufacturing processes I should use,â Bentel said. âFrom there, I went to a number of bag manufacturers to collect samples. ”
He described the UV printing on the surface of the leather as “the key to making the bag as realistic as possible”, in which a layer of ink is deposited and bathed in UV light to leave a glossy and long-lasting pigment.
While the bag marks Bentel’s foray into accessory design, it certainly embraces what he calls “a constant theme throughout. [his] projects âofâ a little humor â. This is the third part of his Storytelling Projects series, preceded by a loop chair composed of steel bike carriers and a floral dress straight out of Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece “The Birth of Venus”.
âThe idea with the series is to reimagine everyday objects that really tell a story, almost like episodes from a TV series,â Bentel said. He plans to post a new project every month for the next year, teasing that the next project will be a “very crazy looking candelabra.”
In addition to leading the forefront of original product design, Bentel is studying for a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University, an obvious influence on the building element that goes into his creative endeavors. âI like to think of my practice as somewhere between pure utility and pure aesthetics,â Bentel said.
Priced at US $ 199, a limited run of 100 units of The Pasta Bag will be available tomorrow, August 11 at 10 a.m. EDT on Bentel site.
In other art news, the Fenimore Art Museum features an extensive collection of works by Keith Haring.