Striking Out in Italian Design

Photo by Giacomo Maestri. 

New design brand LATOxLATO, founded by the young architects Francesco Breganze de Capnist and Virginia Valentini, presents its first collection of furnishings and objects that strives to tell a story of true passion for Italian design. Exclusively made in Italy, LATOxLATO uses the finest materials and refined techniques, all built on a search for the best artisans and craftspeople. 

“LATOxLATO comes from the wish of bringing the artisans’ knowledge passed down across generations to the public,” say designers Breganza de Capnist and Valentini, “and make people realize that in Italy we still have a great tradition of true masters of the art that mold one piece at a time with their hands … Our mission is to show the consumer everyday objects in a different way from the one they are used to seeing them, freed from the constraints of the usual trends through the constant dialogue between art, aesthetics and functionality.”

The duo is usually inspired by day to day life, taking their personal memories as well as the architecture of Italy and transposing generalized design concepts into household pieces. For those looking to outfit their home, both designers say that these pieces help to “tell a story about [the] owner.”  

“Each product has a unique and recognizable identity and is meant to embellish its new home and also bring value to its new owner. The goal is to give the consumer the chance to own a very unique piece that tells a story about him, what he likes and what are his dreams.”

There are several pieces in the collection, varying in look and purpose. The Fourmosa storage chest draws on the clean formal lines of classic Italian design from the 1950s, updated for the modern age.

The piece is in varnished oak, with masterfully carved sharp edges bringing a sense of continuity to the surface. Designed to fit together in infinite combinations, these pieces create a dynamic, personalized piece that can even be expanded over time.

The trapezoidal modules easily lend themselves to various free combinations, without the use of joints. 

Photo by Matteo Imbriani.

1950s design also provided inspiration for Aracne, an unconventional coffee table with an unexpected eight-legged silhouette. Its round glass top seems to float atop the elegant zoomorphic structure, solid and airy at the same time.

Its eight wooden supports, with rounded edges that allow the top to nestle into place with a natural elegance, create an evocative visual rhythm, interacting with its surroundings by projecting delicate threads of shadow into the light.

Precise woodworking and organic design make Aracne an elegant presence full of personality. 

Photo by Giacomo Maestri. 

Candleholders, vases and a centerpiece are a tribute to the Italian art and architecture that inspires their form and character.

The Vestalia candleholder boasts the natural elegance of the most precious marbles, from Carrara White to Carnico Gray and Imperial Green. 

A complex process of water-jet carving, entrusted to historic Venetian ateliers, brings out the stone’s edges and veining.

Their design, rich in tactile emotions and interactive possibilities, makes them objects of compelling sculptural presence. 

Photo by Matteo Imbriani.

The arched ceramic vases Marcello, Massimo and Vittorio offer a subtle allusion to Italy’s Palladian villas and palaces and to the perspectives of Metaphysical art.

The detailing in precious 24k gold or platinum creates reflections of light and motion in perspective.

The pure white of the surface showcases the precious glaze finish and the imperceptible differences in intensity that come from handmade artistry. 

Left photo: Marcello; Right photo: Massimo

Both photos by Giacomo Maestri. 

The beauties of artisanal ceramic return in the Sophia table centerpiece, inspired by the great piazzas of the città d’arte, Italy’s “Cities of Art.”

A meticulous study in proportion, Sophia presents itself as a scale model of the arches and porticoes of Renaissance architecture.

The result is an abstract geometric form, rich in sensory character and vibrant with luminous details that enrich the pure white of the ceramic. 

Photo by Matteo Imbriani.

Photo courtesy Niio.

Smart technologies and artificial intelligence are changing the way we consume art.

While many treasured works of art are safely contained in notable museums or in the homes of experienced collectors, a new tide is cresting along the shores of the art curation field with the influx of digital art.

Digital art, more widely known as new media art, is an interesting sector of the art industry to define, even for Beryl Graham, who is a professor in New Media Art at the University of Sunderland. She notes that the roots of this art form have drawn inspiration from a range of movements, from conceptual artwork to video art, which also began in the 1960s.

“It’s broadly digital but [it’s also] the kind of art that works in different ways in different kinds of behaviors,” Graham notes. One fascinating example would be an exhibition of software art in which the software, sometimes even artificial intelligence-based artwork, can learn and grow on its own. Graham explains that an artist might start a piece of software and watch it evolve, perhaps give it a virus and watch, showing to the audience that the “end point isn’t quite under the control of the artist.”

Magdalena “Magda” Sawon, owner of the contemporary art gallery Postmasters Gallery in New York, says that the digital age has only heightened the senses of curators and artists, who are traditionally at the forefront of new developments in culture and technology.

“Technology is a tool,” she notes, “it is also a moving target and changing constantly. The question is to be aware of new developments and adapt it intelligently to one’s needs and benefit.” Fittingly, as artists have been harnessing the power of technology within the art industry, curators and galleries have had to “keep up with the times,” and embrace digital forms of artwork and the systems and methods in which they are displayed.

 

Donna Holford-Lovell, director of The North East of North festival (NEoN), notes how the incorporation of interaction and participation into art displays appeals to today’s technology-savvy audiences that have been gradually reinvigorating focus on the digital art world.

“The idea of ‘curation’ has become ubiquitous and our audience is seen to be curating many aspects of their own lives,” Holford-Lovell says. NEoN is an organized event that aims to advance the understanding and accessibility of digital and technology-driven art forms by having the artist and curator work together to translate “the spectacle of experience,” via digital platforms within physical spaces, like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and even social media.

JONATHAN MONAGHAN (US)

The Phoenix and the Medusa (2018), Video, 7 min 69 sec, Edition of 30, Niio Commission Series.

With systems and platforms, from artificial intelligence to online-based forums, both artists and curators now are developing larger platforms and databases to contribute toward. As well as an educator, Graham is co-founder and editor of the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss, or CRUMB, a resource for curators of new media art that aims to help overcome any challenges presented from this rise in digital art, from installations to networks of artists and individuals versed in these practices.

PERRY HOBERMAN

Suspensions (2018), VR and mixed reality installation, Postmasters April 2018.

QUAYOLA (UK)

Camouflage (2018), Moving Image, 6 min 4 sec, Edition of 30, Niio Commission Series

On the luxury spectrum of art curation, Niio is a brand integrating digital art and technology-driven forms of collection and distribution that surges past the limitations of traditional artwork. Niio is an art and tech company aimed to enable the exposure of digital artwork in a time that to the company feels like a fourth industrial revolution.

“Art has always reflected the world we live in,” says Rob Anders, CEO and co-founder of Niio, “and artists will create their art with any tool they can access.” In today’s world, that tool has come to be technology. Anders, who understands the eclectic background of digital art from conceptual and video art, wanted to help designers and architects best fit homes with the art of today, and after speaking with top galleries he found that what’s really needed are new models of both the business and technological side that reach a broader audience — even better: one with a subscription.

 

“We envision a world where in homes people will have more digital canvases with interactive or immersive works, all on a centralized connected system that can very easily change,” Anders says, with access to top artists in the world in this ecosystem of artists, galleries and collections all on the Niio platform. Luckily, the CEO notes, the technology is “already there,” from artificial intelligence in devices like Amazon’s Alexa devices to smart televisions, all devices that can easily work with the Niio platform to display digital artwork.

To those interested in having access to the “world’s finest art accessible on-demand,” Niio is open as a limited edition membership at about $5,000 a month, with access to curated exhibitions and collections, or art “playlists” of over 7,500 art pieces on the platform that can be easily changed and displayed on devices like smart TVs, projectors, screens, et cetera, which can be installed by Niio technicians as well.

“Art curation is telling a particular story,” he says. “In order to give people these digital works, it’s not about just finding the individual works, it’s about giving people the ability to learn about the works they are looking at,” he says.
Rob Anders

CEO, Co-Founder, Niio

New York designer Aimée Wilder explores Eudaimonia, a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or “human flourishing,” in her collection of wallpapers, fabrics, rug and accessories. From the effects of the moon on the evolution of the natural world to the impact of astrological phenomenon, Wilder captures the many ways surroundings can influence our psychological state, and contribute to overall wellness.

“This collection was born through finding balance and stability in my own life,” says Wilder. “Once I learned that living to work instead of working to live, along with incorporating methods like Vedic meditation and natural healing into my daily routine, was able to create a peaceful environment around me, I hoped to thoughtfully reflect that feeling in each design.”

Eudaimonia consists of two wallpaper and fabric patterns, Pyramide du Soleil and Earthlight, with an additional rug pattern, Eclipse. All three patterns reflect the natural balance between the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon, evoking the beauty of cosmic balance. With this collection, Wilder introduces a new construction for commercial fabrics, tested for 50,000 double rubs and available with a range of protective coatings including anti-microbial and stain coating. In addition, for the first time, Wilder will offer wallpaper printed in Brooklyn, New York, where she resides and operates her design studio.

Pyramide du Soleil is a subtly optical pattern manifesting the ancient Sun’s shadow and its balance with the earth, Pyramide du Soleil features pyramid and Sun as they represent the illusive quality of time. It integrates pyramids and circles with sophisticated diagonals and horizontal stripes, inspired by the continuous synchronicity that exists between the earth and the Moon.

Earthlight focuses on the waxing and waning cycles of the Moon’s phases in an eye-catching, geometric pattern across wallpaper and fabric design. Named for the scientific phenomenon in which sunlight reflected from Earth’s surface indirectly illuminates the otherwise dark side of the Moon, Earthlight is sure to brighten any space.

Eclipse showcases the inversion of colors in this rug design suggests the effects of an Eclipse, a harbinger of change in the daily life that acts as a guiding hand when questioning one’s path. With a boldness that invokes a new take on a vintage aesthetic, the Eclipse rug comes in a range of warm tones that will add a welcoming touch to a room.

Pyramide du Soleil

Photos courtesy Aimee Wilder.

Eclipse

Photo by ©Dylan Chandler 2018.

Earthlight

Photos courtesy Aimee Wilder.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Artefacto is committed to designing with function and style in mind, while blending global influences from Italy, France, Brazil and beyond. The new collection arrives this month to the U.S. and embodies Artefacto’s signature contemporary aesthetic, now with a tribute to cinema and technology.

 

 

The pieces are all inspired by classic movies, with textures and finishes like exotic marble, stainless steel and sophisticated fabric. Every piece in this new collection features a star-studded name straight from the silver screen, like the Harrison Chaise Lounge, Carrie Lounge Chair, Indiana Lounge and Lauren Chair.

 

Paulo Bacchi, CEO of Artefacto, feels the new collection perfectly blended the old with the new. “Artefacto borrowed the styles of classic old Hollywood to create a timeless new collection that is simple yet elegant,” he said, “Completely customizable, these pieces have a refined versatility that will add a touch of character to any space.”

 

As for the Hollywood influenced pieces, Bacchi said, “Hollywood represents an eclectic industry that is all about glamour, sophistication and lasting style. Rich textures, satiny finishes, polished metals and deep colors are central to our new collection.”

 

Deep, rich tones like navy, dark brown and black inspired this collection, according to Bacchi. evoking luxury and dramatic glamour. His favorite pieces include the Float Shelf and Carrie Swivel Lounge Chair. “Their smooth shape, polished finish and subtle, metal details make them timeless, sophisticated pieces,” said Bacchi.

Constantin Buffet/Bedside Table

 

Made of a stainless-steel base, with wood and suede interior. The main frame of this piece comes in a variety of high-gloss or matte colors, including white, sand, noir and black. The suede interior is available in sand or paprika, depending on customer preference.

Carrie Swivel Lounge Chair

 


This gorgeous swivel chair is made of a stainless steel base and upholstered fabric with leather option. The swivel base of the chair is also equipped with a return system.

Float Shelf

 

Completely customizable, the Float Shelf is made of wood frame and steel base, and along with the legs, are available in a variety of colors.

Hara Chair

 

This stunning chair is made of natural, woven Brazilian Burati palm fiber with stainless steel base. Legs and backrest are available in a variety of colors.

Indiana Collection

 

The Indiana Collection is made of stainless steel, natural fibers, woven using a Malacca weaving technique. The legs are available in a complimentary finish of polished silver, gold or rose. The cushions come in a variety of colors and materials, based on customer preference.

Arteriors, a leading provider of luxury lighting, occasional furniture and decorative accessories, is debuting its latest guest designer collaboration with interior designer Celerie Kemble. The collection recently launched online in advance of the April release at the Spring 2018 High Point Market.

“Celerie brings a different design vision to the Arteriors assortment with feminine, soft designs that bring a light and playful element to interior spaces,” says Mark Moussa, founder and creative director for Arteriors. “She has a special sense for shaping materials that, when combined with the skills of our factories, resulted in a truly exciting collection that we are thrilled to share with our customers.”
The Celerie Kemble for Arteriors collection features an assortment of wicker, rattan and bamboo pieces showcasing the natural materials that are signature to Kemble’s design aesthetic. “I designed this collection to be very tactile, with materials that pull from the natural and the handmade, where coastal informs the urbane,” says Kemble. “These pieces are meant to add levity and warmth to interiors — a touch of whimsy or flight of fancy, balanced with a modern edge.”

Ecru Ottomans, Set of 4

This neutral set of leather ottomans, offered at $5,670, can fit together to form one larger ottoman featuring a platform base plated with an antique brass finish.

Tinsley Bar Cart

This sleek bar cart is crafted with a vintage brass finish, featuring two tiers plated with antiqued mirror glass with a whimsical pattern. The bar is footed with 360-degree swivel casters for mobility and available for $1,800.

Waterlilly Sculpture

Rich in organic textures and lifelike details, this aluminum bowl has a polished brass finish to accentuate the intricate veining, leaf textures and natural curves. This piece, offered at $450, makes a great table accent or can be installed on the wall.

Calla Sconce

Made entirely from brass from stem to petal, this sconce is finished in a warm polish for added gloss and shine. Hand-punched details in the six lampshades cast dots of light around the room. At over two feet tall, this light is offered at $570.

Mystic Lamp

Sultry, wine-colored glass is hand-blown to form this bottle-vase lamp. The iridescent, deep lavender hue casts a natural allure in this sleek and modern lamp, offered at $900.

Calliope Chandelier

With over 150 stainless steel metal disks, this chandelier, available for $3,300, has an antique brass finish and a unique design. Three fittings hold standard-size bulbs, and a frosted acrylic plate beneath filters downcast light beautifully.

Photos courtesy Arteriors; headshot courtesy Josh Gaddy

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