Yep that trip to Italy really did inspire me, another artist I noticed while there, who had slipped my mind, Piero Fornasetti. Philippe Starck, designer of the Palazzina G incorporated many of his designs on the property. Those pieces created such a statement of whimsy but on such a sophisticated level. This entire boutique hotel was so art filled at every turn. With time at home over this holiday, I remembered a small book I had about a conversation between Barnaba Fornasetti (Piero's son) and Starck. Great little read and filled with great images of his work.
Our room in Italy, while designed with luxurious whites and mirrored pieces, was popped with Fornasetti's face chairs in black and white. This one little design element, in my eyes, turned what could have been a little overly glam, to artistic decor perfection ! It added just the right amount of edge and total sophistication.
Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) a Milan artist working in all sorts of mediums. A painter, sculptor, designer, craftsman and an engraver of art books. In his lifetime it is said he dreamt up and created more than 11,000 objects, most of which one-of-a-kind. Most famous for his tromp l'oeils, I love his precision, humor and elegance.
His son Barnaba continues the tradition today in their workshop in Milan. He has revived his father's most popular pieces as well as creating many new ones. I am a huge fan. Perpetuating the family's artisanal tradition he resuscitated many of his father's designs applying them in many new ways. He has thus made it possible to create a licensing system for various commercial sectors allowing for the production in many applications. Umbrellas, fabrics, lighting, ceramics, furniture, and jewelry to name a few.
While in Venice I scooped up two of his iconic plates to add to a collection of favorite things I am stock piling for our new mountain house. I plan to fill this get-a-way with sentimental things turning this little piece of heaven in the woods into a place with items of meaning. I tell this to all my clients when I leave a few blanks in the design - travel and collect, don't just one stop shop.
I know you know the work of Fornasetti. Wall paper, objects, lamps, chairs - there are out there. In Starcke's conversation with Barnaba he said "Fornasetti is above all luxury for the mind .. haute couture and not for everyone. A very cultivated person will appreciate the references, but someone else who is just looking for something funny, will love it just as much."
Visit the Fornasetti site and take a look behind the scenes at Fornasetti Atelier here. Amazing videos of what's happening on each floor of the Atelier in Milan.
I love a few days off !