"For me, light is like a material, to be worked; but, of course, this material is sublime—ephemeral. I like to call it 'taming the light.'"
Although Antoni Arola claims that he lacked the belief to become an artist, no one who has experienced his designs can doubt that he has an artist’s eye, mind, and soul.
Born in Tarragona in 1960, Arola settled in Barcelona while attending the Eina University School of Design & Art. Upon graduating in 1984, his talents earned him a place with the Lievore and Pensi design studio, which he then left to join Associate Designers. In 1994, he moved on once again, this time to establish Estudio Arola.
1994 was also the year that Antoni Arola produced his first lighting design. This led to a long-term collaboration with Santa & Cole, beginning with the subtle and elegant Nimba in 1997. The result of a fanciful experiment with technology and materials, the Nimba went on to win an ADI-FAD Delta Award, and led to many other designs for Santa & Cole, including the Sin, Leonardo, Cirio, and the classically timeless Lámina.
In addition to his multiple-award-winning designs for furniture, spaces, lighting, and even bottles for perfume and cologne, Antoni Arola’s artistry is also clearly expressed in his “ephemerals”: temporary installations which draw our attention to the characteristics of light and our relationship with it. Those who experienced Reflexions. 2 China: Chasing for the Polaris, a 2020 multimedia ephemeral he created with Max Milà, were drawn into a kinetic light and sound display in which reflections are given life in order to highlight the transmutative power of light.
Antoni Arola may not call himself an artist, but that has not prevented him from being one.