Roy McMakin is both an artist and accomplished designer. He runs his design company Domestic Furniture out of Seattle. McMakin’s furniture is often incorporated into his artwork. He combines form and function, furniture and visual art, to produce hybrid objects of clean, sensuous surface with humorous underpinnings. His work often plays with scale and language, inviting both visceral response and conceptual contemplation.
In the text for Roy McMakin: A Door Meant as Adornment, Michael Darling writes:
Poetic interconnections with the words “adore,” “adornment,” “ornament,” and “store” make them ripe for McMakin’s gamesmanship and allow him to conflate disparate concepts and uncover surprising connections. For McMakin, furniture and domestic architecture have long offered a framework within which to enact these contextual corruptions, bringing poetic play home to where it naturally and comfortably encounters the body on a daily basis. As he has said, “There is something…about setting up systems and then having to break up the system because some bit of reality, of life, gets in the way… That delights me and interests me to no end.” The slight shift of letters and spacing, the glitch in the system, that transforms “a door” to “adore” is a metaphor for his dual practice as a problem-solving designer and problem-creating artist – a dichotomy that he has come to actively court and that sets him apart from so many others who veer into one realm or the other.
“The house is both an object that shelters people and also the artifact of my artistic expression. So I don’t know what else you’d call it except art.”
— Roy McMakin, Wallpaper, August 2008
“His clear-varnished wooden furniture uses elaborately figured, carefully chosen panels of wood to act as ornament. Coupled with the severity of the shapes, the intricate wood-grain patterns of the surfaces strengthen such works, firmly distinguishing them from the deadpan humor and occasional dull stretches of the white-painted pieces.”
— Matthew Kangas, Art in America, September 2005