When he's not exhibiting with the likes of, ahem, Core77 or dabbling in performance art, the mild-mannered Sebastian Errázuriz is a humble designer; indeed, he funds his artistic projects with commercial design work for the likes of Kikkerland. In fact, we had a sneak peek at his latest project for the Dutch-via-NYC company at their booth in International Home + Housewares Show earlier this year. Errázuriz shares the Sisyphean story behind the "Drowning in Debt" salt and pepper shakers:
Like so many of us, these two humble workers have found themselves buried under an inescapable debt. Whether its debt or unemployment, these two little salt and pepper shakers humbly attempt to represent the struggle that is the sign of our times. As soon as the seasonings are used the two workers slowly emerge, only to find that they will soon be covered again.
To extrapolate a bit, salt has myriad symbolism and cultural significance: it is both a preservative and a poison (i.e. in water), and, while it is essential to life, should be consumed in moderation. According to Wikipedia, "The word salary originates from Latin: salarium which referred to the money paid to the Roman Army's soldiers for the purchase of salt."
As for pepper... well, pepper adds spice. (For what it's worth, black pepper is the most widely traded spice in the world... but I hesitate to extend the metaphor much more than that.)