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May 01, 2003|David A. Keeps | Special to The Times

Artists of every stripe are treating the throw pillow as a new canvas for creativity, and their boldly graphic designs are quickly becoming cushy collectibles.

"Stylish people cultivate their environment as well what they wear," says streetwear designer Mikey Seiler, 26, whose pill-imprinted pillow is "functional art that could rival a T-shirt for making a statement." Seiler's company, Losangelistic, also produces pillows by cutting-edge artists such as Shepard Fairey.

Accessories designer Mark Rose hand-stitches vibrant grids of supple lambskin, hip ceramicist Jonathan Adler parlays his pop sensibility into needlepoint designs, and Angela Adams applies the signature swirls of her famous rugs to linen pillows.

Repeat patterns are also making a repeat performance. House Industries, which produces typefaces licensed from Richard Neutra, uses the silhouette of the Los Angeles architect's famous Boomerang Chair to create an interlocking design. Maharam's Textiles of the 20th Century includes prints by fabric and furniture designers Ray Eames, Vernor Panton and Alexander Girard, who also has printed alphabet pillows produced by Maximo.

Still other artists explore texture, affixing nickel studs in chains of circles on buttery Ultrasuede or covering metallic sequins with silk organza to produce pillows with all the elegance of an evening bag and all the comfort of home.

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