Diego Villarreal Vagujhelyi is a photographer and designer from Madrid, Spain residing in New York City. He is one of the artists featured in our SIZED SELECTS partnership with Dries Van Noten at The Little House in Los Angeles. This past year, Diego launched, VAGUJHELYI, a space to produce art and design objects. He named it after his mother's maiden name and as an ode to his family’s Hungarian descent. As part of, VAGUJHELYI, Diego designed two white brass sculptural design objects entitled, Handcuffs. We caught up with him to learn more about his process and the themes he explores with these pieces.
Photos by Diego Villarreal / Video by Steven Klein
Can you tell us a bit about your design process for Handcuffs?
These cuffs come in two versions, both crafted from white brass. The nickel-plated finish is lighter in weight and features a hollow interior, while the heavier version boasts a rougher finish. Each design offers a slightly different aesthetic appeal; some may prefer the robust feel of the heavier cuffs, while others may opt for the light quality of the more reflective version. To fasten the cuffs, two pieces are screwed together, securely holding them in place. If handcuffing someone with their hands in front of them, the right hand is placed in a crossover position over the left hand, aligning with the ergonomic shape of the handcuffs. The two screws are then tightened to securely fasten the cuffs.
What did you feel you wanted to say with Handcuffs?
Handcuffs come as the second piece I created after the 20lb weights. They act as a complementary object to expand within the realm of what I think are items one must have. After producing an exercise object it was obvious for me that the following would have to tackle the world of creating a shared experience. I wanted the Handcuffs to experiment with the idea of being constricted by someone else. Even the action of putting them on is quite a moment as well.
You have documented these Handcuffs with gorgeous photo and video content. Can you tell us a bit about where and when you shot?
What I appreciate about the cuffs is that they are easier to transport [than the 20lb weights]. Therefore, I've been taking them with me wherever I have gone in the past few weeks. I shot some of the images in different settings in Tokyo and Osaka during the sakura season. Some shots were taken in a Hotel in Los Angeles. For the video, I asked my friends Steven Klein and Matt Vandy if they could help create a tutorial. We were on Steven’s farm and they were doing construction so they had a lot of sand, plus it had stormed the night before, so that sand turned into mud, and I like how you can see that on Steven’s index finger while he is screwing the cuffs together. I thought it was the perfect setting and timing.