Luminous Beings, a collection of “light sculptures” by model and artist Katharina Kaminski, was a highlight of this past weekend’s Human Kind–themed Design Miami/ fair, which offered designs for a more equitable and interconnected future. The unconventional clay candelabras appear lit from within and are a partnership between Kaminski and her boyfriend, Rodrigo Garcia, founder of the sustainable candle brand Amen. The two Uruguay-born, Paris-based creatives were thrilled to have their work featured at the DM/BX booth for emerging designers showing for the first time in the United States.
Kaminski poses with her Hikari light sculpture.
COURTESY OF AMEN
For Garcia, Amen has always been about breaking barriers and doing things differently. The vegan candles—sold at Net-a-Porter, Matchesfashion, Bergdorf Goodman, and Dover Street Market—are hand-poured in Grasse, France, the historic capital of perfumery, from paraffin-free wax and come wrapped in biodegradable mycelium packaging.
Luminous Beings is also about challenging expectations. The curvilinear forms of the two models, Hikari and Philo, are inspired by Kaminski’s recent discovery that she was born intersex. “The curves speak to sensuality without gender,” she explains. “A ‘luminous being’ for me means someone that enlightens you with their presence. Luminous Beings is a celebration of diversity.”
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The names of the sculptures were chosen for their gender-neutral qualities: Hikari means “light” in Japanese, and Philo is Greek for “loving.” Each sculpture, available in a sand bisque or glazed white satin finish, conceals a custom oval-shaped candle (available in Amen’s three most popular scents: Santalwood, Roses, and Eucalyptus). The candle is called Luz, which means “light” in Spanish, Kaminski and Garcia’s mother tongue.
Luz candle inside Hikari light sculpture.
COURTESY OF AMEN
As much as 1.7 percent of the world’s population may be born with intersex traits, comparable to the number of people who have red hair. “But I only learned the term intersex because of Hanne Gaby Odiele,” Kaminski says of her fellow model and intersex activist. “She is doing an amazing job as a voice for intersex people. I realized everything she was sharing resonated with me. I did a blood test encouraged by my amazing, supportive boyfriend and confirmed my XY chromosomes.”
Now, Kaminski looks forward to sharing her light. “I just want to open the conversation about intersex, explain to people what it means and tell them that we exist,” she says. “I hope I can help to cut the stigma and invite everyone to celebrate life beyond everything we have learned until now of what it means to be human.”