February 15 – April 12, 2014

Opening: February 14, 7pm


Courts have one sole task: to fulfill the demands of justice. Cultural institutions have over time adopted more than one task. The question this exhibition poses is: What is the task of cultural institutions today?


In this exhibition, culture, in the form of art and design objects, operates as a place to test society’s deeds. This exhibition calls into question citizenship, art and design as acts of passive observance by inserting active forces within the viewer, the buyer or the cultural consumer with consequences beyond the gallery walls.


Tough Love unloads a series of objects, from clothing to paintings, and traces social burdens that each of us carry. The exhibition reminds us that justice and evil are not things that are witnessed but exercised by acts of difference and indifference. Tough Love reminds us that too often we limit ourselves to just being humans, forgetting the responsibility we have to act as citizens, and conversely, that as citizens of narrow ideological lands, we often forget our humanity.


The work of Sebastian Errazuriz collapses product design and artistic practice with socially engaged positions. The works in this exhibition unveil questions of inequality, violence, fear or terror through a series of pieces that dwell on spaces of familiarity and uncanniness, simultaneously appealing and atrocious. Taking as context an over-informed society, the works presented force us not only to look and reflect on what is happening, but to reconsider our responsibilities as citizens.


About the artist

Sebastian Errazuriz, born in Santiago, Chile in 1977, was raised in London. Errazuriz took art classes in Washington, film courses in Edinburgh, and earned a design degree in Santiago. He later received his Master’s in Fine Arts from New York University. At age 28, Sebastian became the second living South American artist to have work auctioned at Sotheby’s Important Twentieth Century Design Auction.


Errazuriz was selected as one of the top emerging designers by I.D. Magazine in 2007, and received the title of Chilean Designer of the Year in 2010. His large-scale, public artwork has received critical acclaim, and his furniture pieces are incorporated in over forty international exhibitions in cities such as Tokyo, New York, Paris and Barcelona. His design work has been incorporated in exhibitions and pop up shows at the Copper Hewitt, National Museum of Design in New York, The Vitra Museum in Weil AM Rheim in Germany, and the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile. Sebastian’s work is a part of the permanent collection of Coorning Museum of Glass and several important international private collections. Sebastian’s design, fashion, and public artwork have been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, and NY1. 

Errazuriz lives and works in New York, with offices and workshops in Santiago, Chile. 

Errazuriz has a particular hability in reinventing himself and his work. 

Every week, Storefront will release images and short texts explaining and contextualizing the works on display. Follow @storefrontnyc on Twitter and Instagram for updates. 

“Art is a matter of Life or Death”

Sebastian Errazuriz, 2011

Oil paint and tape over stainless steel extinguisher 

Dimensions variable


Statistics show a direct correlation between the existence of properly maintained fire extinguishers and a decrease in large fire hazards inside the home.
This sculpture might save your life (and your home) one day.







Sebastian Errazuriz, 2013

Modified Varsity Jacket

According to statistics one in five women on a given college campus will be raped; 85 percent of those women will know their attackers; and 90 percent of those rapes will go unreported. The male student athletes accused of rape often receive support from the schools while the girls tend to suffer public shame until silenced.


According to legal reports, athletes represent a disproportionately high percentage of sexual attackers. School administrations, coaches and even the community tend to defend them because they represent the values of the school and because of the power and ultimately, money involved. Considering the NCAA estimates college sports generate about $6 billion in revenue a year, one could infer that money often stands in the way of justice.


The jacket and its potential sale will help fund the legal defense of a future victim of college rape and provide a broader public awareness and discussion of the issue.








“United States of Mexico”

Sebastian Errazuriz, 2013

Graphic logo and adhesive applications on construction safety helmets

Dimensions variable


Recent statistics show that in some states almost 50% of construction workers are undocumented. This information suggests that many sectors of the U.S. economy are dependent on immigrant labor.


Unfortunately current federal immigration policy denies them the right to work legally, forcing them into an underground economy where low pay, dangerous working conditions, and abusive practices are common.


The “United States of Mexico” logo symbolizes the biggest undocumented group (over 50% of illegal immigrants are Mexican).





Inkjet on paper face mounted on acrylic

78 3/4 x 70


Violence, tragedy and truth telling are the three elements that photographers, editors, producers, curators or artists address through ethic-related questions.


“During the U.S.-led war in Iraq, news managers have been faced with many controversial images: the bullet-riddled bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons (Romano, 2003), the charred re-mains of four U.S. contractors hanging from a bridge in Fallujah (Crain, 2004; Perlmutter & Major, 2004), nude Iraqi prisoners being humiliated at Abu Ghraib prison (Hersh, 2004), and the retaliatory beheading of U.S. contractor Nick Berg (Walt, 2004).


Even images that some viewed as patriotic became controversial. Questions were raised about the impression given by images widely used in U.S. media (Schwalbe, Keith, & Silcock, 2003) that seemed to show a mass of Baghdad residents hailing U.S. troops after the toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein on April 9, 2003, when wider angle versions published abroad and on the Internet showed that the crowd was far smaller (Fahmy, 2004).


Beyond Iraq, the March 2004 bomb attack on four commuter trains in Madrid resulted in a powerful image by El País photographer Pablo Torres Guerrero—and a difficult choice for editors. Should they show news that included a bloody femur, crop the photo, digitally re-move the body part, or not use a photograph that left no doubt about the horror of the attack (Day, 2004; Irby, 2004)?

In September 2004, still and video images depicted the bloodied bodies of Russian children, victims of a commando raid on hostage takers who killed more than 300 at a school in Beslan (Rivard, 2004).


The December 2004 tsunami in Asia brought more images of tragedy and destruction (Winslow, 2005), as did bombings of three Underground trains and a bus that killed more than 50 people in London on July 7, 2005.


Questions were raised about whether news media outlets acted responsibly in airing leaked images of unexploded bombs seized in investigations of the London attacks (Associated Press, 2005) and in publishing camera phone photographs made by survivors of the London blasts and the crash landing of AirFrance Flight 358 in Toronto on August 2, 2005 (Madore & Phan, 2005; Memmott, Levin, & Livadas, 2005).


Later in 2005, tragic images of victims of Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,300 (Weeks, 2006), became icons of “all that went so tragically wrong” (Lawrence, 2005, p. 1A; Filosa, 2005). Editors and producers were forced to decide whether images of the dead, such as The Toronto Star’s photograph of a body crushed beneath the rubble of a motel in Biloxi, Mississippi, should be published because they captured ‘the true dimensions of the tragedy’(Burnside, 2005, p.F6) or should be withheld because they might be disrespectful to the storm’s victims or offend readers. How well are the ethics guidelines given to visual journalists and those who work with them keeping up with these challenges?”


Susan Keith
Department of Journalism and Media Studies School of Communication, Images in Ethics Codes in an Era of Violence and Tragedy.







“Portrait of US”

Sebastian Errazuriz, 2013

Acrylic paint, ink and natural dyes on cotton

2 Framed sweaters

48 x 80 x 2 each frame


“Portrait of US” presents two framed reproductions of the hoodie and sweatshirt that Trayvon Martin was wearing the day he was killed.


Newspapers announced that George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering unarmed black teenager on July 13, 2013. Civil rights leaders argued that Zimmerman had probably targeted Martin because he was black. Statistics prove that white people who kill black people in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states are 354% more likely to be cleared of murder.


The images depicting the framed hoodie were presented to the court during of the Zimmerman trial in a similar manner as paintings are presented at auctions to the scrutinizing public. They constituted not only evidence of Trayvon’s death but also a portrait of our society.


Complementing the replicas, a series of altered hoodies are available for sale. They are fashion garments of anger and protest one can dare to wear. With “Portrait of US,” aesthetics and politics come together to create a movement that has the potential to become a social force for the much-needed modifications to the “Stand Your Ground” law and other discriminating racial laws.


100% of the proceeds from the sale of altered hoodies will be donated to the Trayvon Martin Foundation.







Sebastian Errazuriz, 2013

Oil paint on particle board, gilded antique frame

54 1/2 x 82 1/2 x 3 1/2


Painters like Goya, Caravaggio or Rembrandt have historically constructed martyrdom by using aesthetics to manufacture empathy.


Sgt Sean Murphy, a photographer for the Massachusetts State Police pictured the alleged Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013 in a dry-docked boat in Watertown, just outside Boston during his capture by special police forces. On July 18, 2013, Sgt Sean Murphy published the image above in Boston Magazine as a response to the image portrayed of Tsarnaev in The Rolling Stone August issue.


Hours before this image was taken, Tsarnaev witnessed the death of his brother. Friends and colleagues of Tsarnaev still do not understand what happened to their neighbor.


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces a probable death sentence based on large amounts of evidence that allegedly will prove him guilty of an attack that killed three and injured hundreds.








Sebastian Errazuriz and Carlton DeWoody, 2013

Office printer, shredder, news clips and video projection

Dimensions variable


In the United States, authorities do not maintain a record of civilians permitted to acquire, possess, carry, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition. Privately owned guns in the U.S. are estimated to be approximately 310,000,000. With an average of approximately 30,000 deaths a year caused by firearms, one would expect strong government control.


The printer reproduces a selection of past newspaper articles announcing different gun massacres that have happened in the United States. The non-stop roll of terrifying articles manages to exist for barely enough time to be read by the viewer, before they are destroyed and forgotten by the shredder.


Each shredded news clip of gun massacres over the past 10 years is framed and available for sale. This artwork will continue to evolve and will only be completed by the artist when a comprehensive gun law is passed in the United States.








Sebastian Errazuriz, 2013

Acrylic and oil paint over wooden baseball bats

Dimensions variable


According to the U.S. Justice Department, 25% of women polled admitted having experienced domestic violence.


There are approximately 1 million domestic violence incidents each year.
On average, 3 females and 1 male are murdered by their partners each day in the United States.


The public is invited to download the stencils and create their own Justice bats and share their personal stories.








Sebastian Errazuriz, 2013

Oil paint over welding mask

Dimensions variable


Statistics indicate that manufacturing jobs in the U.S. have hit a 60 year low.


Despite the harrowing conditions in which many of the workers endure on a daily basis, both the workers and the industry know that without policy changes, their jobs are dooming.


Metal fume fever is the most common acute respiratory illness experienced by welders. Chronic Manganese poisoning can cause Parkinson’s-like disease and other respiratory illness.


The color of Manganese is pink. 







“Fuck BP”

Sebastian Errazuriz, 2011

Acrylic paint on oil cans, custom safety pins and industrial grade elastics

Dimensions variable


Conceived during the reckless procedures of British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, “Fuck BP” embodies the public’s anger after irreversible natural disasters produced by multinational oil companies.





“Occupy Chairs”

Sebastian Errazuriz, 2011

Acrylic paint on wood

Dimensions variable


Originally designed as foldable chairs/signs for the protesters of Occupy Wall Street, “Occupy Chairs” provide the users a sign to protest during the day and a fold out chair to gather together next to their tents at night.


The second part of the project consisted of creating a refined version of the chair enhanced to emulate commercial pop art in an attempt to attract the rich collectors of the 1% to buy the complaints of the 99% and take them home like a Trojan horse.


The third and final step of the project consisted of a declaration to the press of fabricated doubts about how much of the profits obtained from the sale of the chairs would be donated to the 99% movement.


The purposely ambiguous and ironic gesture sacrificed what was previously a “politically correct” artwork to question how our own position towards social inequality changes depending on what position on the income bracket we hold at any given time.


The “Occupy Chairs” were first presented at the NY Armory Show, where 99% of attendees tend to constitute the 1%.







Sebastian Errazuriz, 2013

Oil paint over axes

Dimensions variable


Axes were incorporated into public institutions as a safety measure should fire victims find themselves in a position where they needed to cut themselves out of an exit.






Sebastian Errazuriz, 2012

Embroidered wool hat and photograph

An embroidered hat

Dimensions variable


New York has over 50,000 homeless people in municipal shelters. 22,000 are children.

Recent statistics show that homelessness has already increased 13 percent more in 2013 than in previous years.







Sebastian Errazuriz, 2014

Inkjet on canvas, resin

Blow up of a police poster for a missing child

78 3/4 x 55


Tatianna Lindo was reported missing exactly a year and one day from the opening of this exhibition.


Her portrait, like many other missing children has been widely circulated online and posted around the city.


800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States.