August 19, 2012
SUNDAY FROM MY DESK
What do we do for freedom?
Every summer when most Italians take August for holiday, to keep faith with freedom,
I free everything here in 10 Corso Como. The walls, the garden, the pavements and ceilings are revitalized. We strip everything down and start again.
In the name of freedom I work in the dust and paint with the same enthusiasm
of 21 years ago when we first opened. And what is more beautiful is to see the people working next to me believe as much as I do.
This week the doors are closed at 10 Corso Como and I see nothing but circles.
The cover of this just released book is about the freedom in the minds
of some of the great POP designers. A visual guide to the fashion and graphics
of Mary Quant, Biba and others who explored the theory of Pop design, fashion and culture in everything they did, to the extreme freedom of throwaway paper dresses.
While London was an exciting place with lots of energy, Pierre Cardin in France quietly went alone his own way. He broke all marketing boundaries with his personal sense of fashion, furniture and accessories. From these ideas he then created a whole new world of distribution as well. A free and visionary entrepreneur, he brought his collection to Asia and went like an explorer into China at a time when no one was even traveling there. Now Cardin continues his visionary life, breaking ground this week for his controversial Palais Lumiere designed with his nephew Rodrigo Basilicati in an old industrial neighborhood of Venice.
At 245 meters it is twice as tall as the bell tower of St. Marks at the heart of Venice.
This week being so consumed with circles and dots, I saw this piece by Louise Bourgeois who for so many years went her own way creating her art. Only recognized late in her life, her choice of colors seems poetic and powerful.
A small piece of fabric I wish I owned.
A circle moving creates a spiral – they belong to each other.
Here another wonderful Louise Bourgeois piece of fabric, a collage with inks.
So pure and perfect.
When it comes to circles, for me they are so rich with meaning, and there are so many ways to present them that it becomes impossible, finally, to describe them!
The spiral grows into a circle, where life’s purpose, spirituality and relationships, and what we envision is always interesting to think about.
And Knowledge, of course is one of the first steps.
This beautiful piece by artist Yvonne Richer explains in 4 words a great secret to help understand life. Knowledge directs understanding.Understanding affects knowledge. Ours is a world of cause and effect.
Legend says that Pope Boneface VIII was commissioning work for Rome and the great artists of the day sent drawings so he could choose the best style.
Giotto took up a brush with red ink and in one movement drew a perfect circle without a compass. The messenger was stunned – “is this all you send to the Pope?”
Giotto replied, “That is more than enough. See whether it is understood or not.”
The Pope understood. Giotto got the job. With one circle.
Here, Giotto’s portrait of Dante who was known for writing about circles.
Martin Saar, an Estonian artist now living in New York in 2008 did Blue Utopia, seen here. From his series of “bubble” paintings.
Giacomo Benevelli was a great sculptor who lived for 40 years in Milan and taught at Brera. He loved the sphere – the circle in three dimensions. In 1964 he was asked to exhibit in the Venice Biennale and made a series of sculptured lamps during that time. Here the Roto Lamp, the most famous, another jewel of Italian design.