I imagine that travelling the world as a 21st century furniture dealer is quite different today than it was in the eighties or nineties. We have this thing called the internet, and I rarely leave my desk. (That’s a bit of hyperbole. I do leave my desk, but the point is we rarely have to fly to see the work we’re accessioning.) Granted the gallery of which I’m associated with, The NWBLK, in San Francisco, covers a spralling 16,500 sq ft, and managing the facility is akin to running a marathon, both mentally and physically, and time is precious, if not raucous.

It was in this context that, one day, I came across a piece of furniture that literally changed my life.

It was angular, minimalist, the opposite of opaque, and read like a page from the Bauhaus. The Ponte table by Tom Strala featured in Design Milk was the height of artistry in furniture.

I later learned that Tom was a trained architect that expatriated to his hometown in Zurich, Switzerland to make a life building furniture. As I looked through his portfolio of limited edition and small production furniture and lighting, each piece read like a scene out of a motion picture. Modernity through the eyes of a European, and the hands of an artist committed to his craft.

The architecture of light that distributes like a perfect metropolis from the TMS series is arresting, and everyone that lays eyes on it when day turns to night in the gallery, is blown away.

Great works of art can slow us down and force us to notice, to appreciate the essential beauty of our environment, and inspire us to travel down new roads. Tom’s work was a windfall for the New Black. May the leaves fall gently to the ground.