Chairs are people by Cary Fagan

``I had a plan of how I was going to utilize the space, but as you know; most plans fall through when the moment inspires you. I sculpted something I did not imagine.``

Houston-born and based, photographer and filmmaker Cary Fagan has already racked up substantial industry credits; contributing visuals for Solange’s “When I Get Home” project as well as shooting the cover of A$AP Rocky’s 2018 album “Testing” – the latter which landed on Billboard’s top 20 album covers of the year.

Chairs Are People is the study of still life bringing together a curation of chairs for the process of experimentation and documentation. This project highlights chairs as they are and their interactions.
#chairsarepeople is a unique idea using everyday objects as subjects in my art and process. The art of stacking chairs is a visual representation of how I see a community and how when we come together we build something. Stacking chairs challenges the mind to view chairs from an abstract point of view.


Numeroventi: This was your first time in Italy. How did Florence impact your work and approach?

Cary: I was overstimulated in the best way, all of my senses were triggered – foreign territory brings thrill to a curious mind; or to anyone, of that matter, who has never traveled to Florence, or anywhere else in the world. I call Italy my second home now, due to the fact that, other than the subtle prejudice, I still feel comfort. I would come back over and over if I had to; I will. – Florence helped me evolve. 

N: Chair stacking is not your only medium of expression. Could you let us in on how you got started in your creative realm, and how did chairs come about in your life?

C: I cannot depict the exact time chairs came into my life; the appreciation was born from the aesthetic chairs have. Each chair is different. Some chairs have families – I remember walking into a hotel lobby one afternoon and zoning out. There were so many chairs to analyze. I soon began to make the correlation that Chairs are simple yet complex at the same time; as humans can be. Think about a time you’ve made a connection with a chair. I’ve noticed people can go back in time, and their words ultimately bring life to this imaginary object. 

N: How would you describe the relationship Italians have with chairs, and overall connection? 

C: Easy, I think Italians appreciate their chairs. If I’m not mistaken most designs come from Italy; prolific. I visited the Triennially in Milano. It’s nice to know the appreciation existed; exists.

N: Is there a moment when you can feel a sculpture being completed? Are they ever at their final stage? 

C: Funny you ask; when I created the sculpture here at Numeroventi, I had no idea what I was doing – actually… I had a plan of how I was going to utilize the space, but as you know; most – plans fall through when the moment inspires you. I sculpted something I did not imagine. Somebody asked me what I thought of the piece when I was finished.. first word that came to mind “enigma”. 

N: Has working at Numeroventi changed any aspects of your practice?  

C: Waking up every morning in Numeroventi gave me a sense of invulnerability; nothing could stop me in that time period. I would like to add that this new space gave me the ability to grow in some sort, learning to take things slow…


Photos & Curation: Daniel Civetta