Cary Fagan

As I walked in our courtyard the day after his arrival, our chairs were already getting stacked in different corners of the space, initiating a conversation, just like deers roaming through a park.
Written and Photographed by Daniel Civetta

Each chair reborn, into a different form, shape and concept. How long were they going to last? No one really knew, however what I did know was that every time I happened to walk past one, time suddenly stood still. Every once in a while I’d step out of the studio, and run into Cary in the courtyard, perpetually moving from one chair to another, sometimes sitting one of them for countless minutes… dwelling. It felt like an orchestrated act, he made the space his stage.


I first discovered Cary Fagan, through his photography. Most of his work at the time was fashion and portraiture, which instantly urged me to start following his work. There was somewhat of an instant connection. Months passed, and I noticed he picked up this new form of expression, by stacking chairs, something which isn’t so uncommon in the end, chairs have been stacked and designed to do so for many years. However, these chairs are stacked in such a contingent, sporadic way that it somewhat brought them to life. An inanimate object, suddenly sprung with character. 

Cary mentions “Chairs have personality; chairs tell a story. Chairs are people if you think about it.”

The kanji for chair in Japanese means strange wood child 椅 =木 wood 奇 strange. 椅子は人です.


I was intrigued right away, having developed quite an appreciation for chairs and furniture in general in the past few years. I mean, I even wrote my university paper on the subject, for crying out loud. So I immediately reached out to Cary, and a conversation took place. Quite a short one I should add, in a matter of days, flights were booked, and in the following months Cary Fagan’s residence at Numeroventi took place. A residency of two weeks, which turned out to be a stepping stone, not only by commencing a career as a chair stacking artist, but he also established a voice in Florence, a voice that many wanted to hear. It wasn’t with my surprise that Cary Fagan allured many young, international artists in our city by allowing them to express themselves in their purest form, but by stepping into their shoes and vice versa. 


There was this sense of stability in the air. The way the chairs held their balance throughout the days, the same was resonated in the people living and working in the palace. 

“deer reborn

I am the deer, no longer the wolf


a new journey is waiting for me”