The mayor of Los Angeles – Apartamento

Over coffee and the hand-built omelettes of Donna Shire, Peter Shire, Ryan Conder, and I talk shop, LA history, and we daydream of a Malibu with a more romantic crowd in the water. Breakfast is in the courtyard at Peter’s studio, a colourful, garden-lined outdoor space with funky vessels of cacti and colour-coated stairs and handrails. What’s outside the studio is as considered as what’s inside the studio, it’s a complete universe. Indoors, brightly speckled hand-painted toolboxes sit alongside newly polished stainless steel geometric trees – both of which are tucked between utilitarian Shire-core shop tables and a small dining bar where Peter hosts guests for espresso or tea. Over the last 30 plus years, Peter has pioneered a funky, technical, visionary path for furniture and functional objects. His rigorous sculpture studio has produced some of the most iconic works of the last three decades. His community works have shaped the visual language of Los Angeles through public projects, both big and small, all the while proliferating domestic wares under the name of EXP Pottery to coveted homes worldwide. Built from an array of interests from the common to the niche, the ugly to the hot, these likely contradictions have produced a refreshingly unique body of work. Peter is an icon for the city in which he was born and raised. A crazy cultural mash-up, full of do-it-yourself professionalism, glitzy high-enders, and a near perfect climate. You can see all of these elements in
the work he makes, they are as woven into his material as his multi-striped wardrobe.

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