Leonardo DiCaprio is known for many serious things ... his award-winning acting, his philanthropy, his mystical ability to transform from bearded dad to drop-dead in the blink of an eye ... but as it turns out, these silly endangered-animal seating pods can be linked back to him, too. Allow us to explain ...
... The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is all about building climate resiliency, protecting vulnerable wildlife, and restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. So how can they raise funds and awareness for these goals — or more specifically, their wildlife conservation goals? By selling off seating pods that take the form of endangered animals (designed by South African artist Porky Hefer), obviously.
So, the SFA Advisory (a private art consultancy specializing in modern and contemporary art) commissioned an exhibition — titled Endangered — at Design Miami/Basel this June to showcase these seating pods in benefit of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
The pods depict an orangutan, a polar bear, a sloth, a blue whale, and a great white shark — all endangered animals. Of course, each pod is made of eco-friendly and recycled materials. Hefer worked with textile artist Ronel Jordaan and craft collectives Heart Works and Mielie to translate his designs into reality. The animals are crocheted, felted, stitched, and embroidered with unique embellishments.
"I think it's important to show what beauty humans are capable of with their hands rather than the destructive mass production that technology is driving the modern consumerist society toward," Hefer said of the project.
Twenty-five percent of the sales from these seating pods go to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which may not seem like much, but that's quite the chunk of change considering they range from $75,000 to $130,000 each. Three of each endangered animal seating pod is available for sale through the Southern Guild gallery, and you can shoot them a note to enquire further about pricing. Fingers crossed that Leo hand delivers.