Buenos Aires-based studio Six & Five works at the “frontier zone” between art and design. Specialising in still life with a twist, founders Andy Reisinger and Ezequiel Pini create bold, surprising visuals with an unsettling edge.
Take Morbo [above], a hyperreal series of amorphous 3D-printed sculptures that blurs the line between pleasant and unpleasant; or No es la Cantidad, 100 artworks exploring “the weight of the continuous process” [below].
Both pieces, like the rest of the studio’s portfolio, are stunning and intriguing. But how do you navigate unchartered territory in your work and remain relevant? And how do you persuade clients to come along with you?
“You have to study art,” Reisinger told us, before their talk at OFFF 2016, Bareclona’s annual three-day conference on all things creative.
“Go to art shows. Go to places where there is art. Do art where there’s no art. Do art where there’s art and nobody wants you. Eat art. Get ill and call it art. And don’t show crap in your portfolio, unless you want crap back.”
Reisinger and Pini liken their way of working to having two rooms – one containing the world of art, and the other containing the world of design resources. “We’re always visiting both rooms,” says Reisinger.
“We like to apply design concepts to art and vice versa to break society’s crystalised conceptions of each. In a commercial way, our philosophy is always to propose what we think is best; what works well and makes a strong impact.”
“I’m not going to lie,” he adds. “There are clients who prefer the safer route, and in that case we will propose our vision as an alternative. However, we love it when clients do well in their business from blindly trusting our vision.”
And their clients do trust them. Uniqlo recently commissioned the pair to provide art direction, design and illustration for its Heat Tech campaign, while luxury magazine Bloomberg Pursuits called on Six & Five to develop the art direction of a feature highlighting 10 items it’s hyping for the summer.
Travelling keeps them fresh: “We’re always moving around the world. It’s perfect for this kind of work because our brains are in constant adaptation for new environments,” says Reisinger.
Their biggest bit of advice at OFFF 2016 for taking your work into new frontiers? “Work. Move. Share with people. Work a lot again and connect with new people.”