i was browsing around on some auction sites yesterday when i came across this dressing table by french artist Gérard Rigot. oh MAN what i would give to own that piece! Monsieur Rigot was born in the suburbs of Paris in 1929, and began sculpting furniture after moving to the country at the age of 49.

When the painter Gerard Rigot bought a farmhouse in Toulouse, France, he began to make furniture. Inspired by his cat and using native oak and pine, he carved and painted naive animal furniture: cat chairs and toucan benches. In Mr. Rigot’s small atelier an assistant cuts the wood into rough shapes. Mr. Rigot uses hand tools to refine the shapes, and he joins them with dowels. When he paints the pieces he takes liberties with the animals’ colors – a camel might be yellow – but he captures the particular charm and posture of each animal.

The furniture thus combines fantasy and function, but it is also comfortable. One chair has a cat on each side, the arched backs serving as armrests. A chest is in the guise of a hippopotamus wallowing in water, the wavy stripes painted beneath the animal’s body suggesting rippling water. The back of another chair is formed by two kissing giraffes, their necks gracefully arching toward each other. While most of his furniture depicts animals, Mr. Rigot also uses people as inspiration; a cupboard is in the shape of a voluptuous woman.

i found the blurb above from a 1987 article in the NY Times. look around on his website for more about his paintings & sculptures.

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