Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Venice: Spring Exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny

Venice: Spring Exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny.   The Palazzo Fortuny museum reopens for the Spring Exhibition, until May 8th, proposing three simultaneous experiences, always in line with its own connotation of exhibition space as both a museum and a laboratory.

Palazzo Fortuny: Roberta di Camerino – The Revolution of Color. In the evocative setting that highlights the interplays between the colors of the clothes and the paintings on display in a perfect harmony of intent between her “world” and that of Mariano Fortuny the Roberta di Camerino, The Revolution of Color exhibition, is mounted.
Above: The long dress in the center is called Califfa, 1974, it is in heavy woolen jersey with a trompe-l’oeil effect. 

Palazzo Fortuny: Roberta di Camerino. The “total look” of clothes, and above all accessories, through which the great Venetian designer, Giuliana di Camerino, in art Roberta (after the film that included the song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, which stirred deep feeling for her), is recognized for having effected a genuine revolution in the 1950s: the celebrated “revolution of color.”
Above:  The long dress at the front is called Clan, 1974, and has a trompe-l’oeil shirt, jacket, skirt and belt effect printed on it.

Palazzo Fortuny: Roberta di Camerino. Roberta di Camerino is Giuliana’s daughter; she also takes her name from the famous film so dear to Giuliana.

Palazzo Fortuny: Roberta di Camerino – a detail. A detail of a collection of four charm bracelets belonging to the designer and worn by her daughter round her neck.   All the charms were gifts from Roberta to her mother, over the years, and portray antique handbags. 

 Photograph by Manfredi Bellati

Palazzo Fortuny: Roberta di Camerino. The 1970s marked the years when the whole range of products were born with the trademark “R”, umbrellas, scarves, perfume, etc.

 Palazzo Fortuny: Roberta di Camerino.  Via a few very clever inventions, above all the use of velvet and unusual color combinations for women’s handbags, as well as fun and quirky shapes like the “Bagonghi” traveling case (much loved by Princess Grace of Monaco), the Roberta style brought a breath of fresh air and novelty in the world of fashion.

Palazzo Fortuny: Roberta di Camerino – detail. A detail of one of the sixty handbags dating from the 1950s until the 1970s that are present in the exhibition. Belts and buckles are recurring themes in Giuliana’s collections.

 Palazzo Fortuny:  Paolo Ventura – Automation. L’Automa or automation is an unpublished visual narrative journey set in Venice during the Second World War, created by photographer Paolo Ventura, who lives and works in New York.  The city of Venice and its components are described and interpreted via a score of photographs, a model and a selection of drawings and watercolor studies of characters and environments, presenting a reality at the same time faithful and fanciful, if not fundamentally dream like.

Photograph by Manfredi Bellati

Palazzo Fortuny:  Paolo Ventura. A set of Paolo Ventura’s New York studio is mounted in the palazzo. The ambivalent and antithetic nature of a theatre’s story is necessarily the result of the “modus operandi” of the artist who, with theses words illustrates his own work: “I reconstruct in my studio very realistic sets that then, once individuated the right point of view, I photograph with natural light.  This way of working enables me to give shape to my imaginary worlds and to create a relationship of ambiguity with who is watching them. What I do photograph doesn’t exist, but I try to make it look the truest possible.”

Palazzo Fortuny:  Paolo Ventura. The plot unfolds in 1943, under the German occupation.  Venice is an empty city, permanently shrouded in a thin, surreal mist that flattens the surfaces and turns it into a kind of theatrical backdrop.  Here an old Jew, by now all alone.  As well as his books he is passionate about automations”, and decides to build himself one….

Palazzo Fortuny:  Paolo Ventura. The model for the automation featured in the photographs.

Palazzo Fortuny:  Michelangelo Penso – Genetic Circuit RSBP.  Circuito Genetico RSBP or genetic circuit is the title of the exhibition by the Venetian artist Michelangelo Penso; a series of recent works developing the research based on scientific observation of the universe, which characterizes his most recent works.

 Photograph by Manfredi Bellati

Palazzo Fortuny:  Michelangelo Penso.  The observation and analysis of the images of micro-organisms leads to the creation of sculptures which have the titles and structures of complex mathematical formulas.  The distance and the dichotomy between image and reality is “bridged” thanks to science, which is used as a vector for staging the invisible: thus the work leaps the frontiers between Art and Science and joins itself to myth and the spiritual dimension.
Above:  The heart of the exhibition is the site specific installation Genetic Circuit RSBP inspired by the genetic circuits and created in oil-resistant rubber.

Palazzo Fortuny:  Michelangelo Penso. Other works in the exhibition are created using colored polyester straps in various forms complete the exhibition.


Palazzo Fortuny.    At the opening of the Spring Exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny, the Prosecco di Valdobbiadine was offered by Bisol and served in the courtyard.

Naïf  artist, Liselotte Hohs.

Venetian artist, Fabrizzio Plessi.

Lamya Bottazzo and Doge. Note her Roberta di Camerino handbag.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

VENICE: Erica Jong - poetry reading

Venice - Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana: Erica Jong – poetry reading.  The venue for Erica Jong’s intimate poetry reading took place in the vestibule of the library of the Sala Sansoviniana of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Piazza San Marco.  The Library room’s ceiling is covered by a vault decorated by works of seven different artists, chosen by Titian and Sansovino and on its walls are portraits of philosophers, amongst which are some by Tinoretto and Veronese.

Erica Jong – poetry reading.  The well-known American novelist, poet and essayist, Erica Jong is photographed before her poetry reading in the vestibule of the Sala Sansoviniana.
Erica is looking forward to: the publication of her book Sugar in my Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex, published by Ecco on June 14.

In Venice Again with You
Erica Jong
In this great ghost of cities,
the dreams rise
from the murky lagoon
and you dream
you kill your father
and I dream again of my bad reviews.

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading. Marina and Vittorio Gregotti.
Vittorio is looking forward to: the publication of his book, Architectura e Post Metropoli published by Giulio Einaudi  Editore on April 1.

A dagger hovers
In the air –
or can it be a pen?

The ghosts
are restless.

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading. Professor of American studies at Venice University, Rosella Mamoli Zorzi, who introduced, translated and read in Italian Erica’s poetry.
Rosella is looking forward to:  the exhibition, opening April 2, at the Istituto Veneto di Scienza, Lettere ed Arti, called Il Veneto di Hemingway, to which she wrote the essay in the catalogue.

Lord Byron limps
across the Grand Canal
walking on the water.

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading.  The president of The Venice International Foundation, Franca Coin.
Franca is looking forward to: the exhibition at Ca Rezzonico, Barry X Ball, opening on June 2.

The doges mumble
in the baths of blood;
and Tintoretto, painting, painting,
asks: “What matter
if I paint a Christ
or a satyr
as long as the chiaroscuro
is mine, all mine?”

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading.   The Manera family, Manfred with Ulysse, Caroline and Maia.
Manfred is looking forward to: the opening of his art and textile gallery called The Merchant of Venice on April 30 in Campo Sant’Angelo.
Caroline is looking forward to: he exhibition at The Merchant of Venice during the Venice Biennale.

At San Marco
the pickpockets dance,
fluttering stolen bills
like New Years’ Eve

The Vestibule of the Sala Sansoviniana.  The ceiling of the vestibule of the Sala Sansoviniana was painted by Titian in 1560 and represents La Sapienza (Wisdom).  The very thin Japanese paper tape on the ceiling is placed in specific places to monitor any cracks that may appear.

and the old assassins
from the past
dash through
the alleyways
transformed into cats.

The poet.  Erica Jong.

The dogs sniff history
through their muzzles
and find it stinks.

The pigeons wheel and dip
making black holes
in Turner’s luminescent sky.

The poet.  Erica Jong is very charming and expressive when she explains her poetry before a reading.

It is all a stage set
for our dreams
as we wheel  and turn
thrashing up our pasts.

Erica Jong – poetry reading.  Erica read some poems from her book of collected poems, Love Comes First and from her other book Becoming Light, Poems, New and Selected.

Is this why lovers
come to Venice,
city of cemeteries
 and black burial boats?

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading.   Photographer Mark E. Smith.
Mark is looking forward to: the launch of the book Labirinto Ducale written by Federico Moro, photographed by Mark Edward Smith and published by Elzeviro in April.

To set the ghost
To rest
and build their lives
upon the dark lagoon
of death?

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading.   The vice-director of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Maurizio Messina, Erica Jong and artist Liselotte Hohs.
Maurizio is looking forward to: the opening of the exhibition Aspettando L’Unita 1850-1866, Venezia Verso L’Unificazione nelle Collezioni della Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.
Liselotte is looking forward to: her exhibition of tapestries and carpets entitled Animal Magnetism at the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana due to open on August 30.

O my lover,
I have walked through
the crumbling palaces
with you
promising things
history teaches
 that we cannot promise.

The Venice Poem – In Venice with You Again.  An extract of the poem featured above, In Venice Again with You, by Erica Jong (copyright Erica Jong) is used by kind permission of the author and is taken from the book, Gondola Signore Gondola, Venice in 20TH Century American Poetry, curated by Rosella Mamoli Zorzi with the collaboration of Gregory Dowling and published by Supernova.

The ghosts
are laughing.
They leer and pronounce
dire warning
from behind
their terrifying masks.
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Monday, March 07, 2011

Milano: Emporio Armani Autumn/Winter 2011-21012 collection

Seen at the Emporio Armani Autumn/Winter 2011-2012 collection. Tina Turner.

Seen at Emporio Armani. Ricky Martin, his new album M A S has just been released.

 Seen at Emporio Armani – the front row.  Tina Turner, the lead singer of the indie rock group Moda’, Kekko Silvestre, Ricky Martin, Donatella Finocchiaro and American football player, Kerry Rhodes.


Emporio Armani – the runway.   The inspiration for the Emporio Armani Autumn/Winter 2011-2012 collection are film noir.  The nearly  all black collection where beauty is concealed behind a pair of dark glasses and under a hat tilted over the forehead to suggest hidden mystery.  This enigma is heightened by the perception of a life without frontiers, according to a plot that follows an aesthetic journey between different worlds.  It’s a stylish take on international espionage.  Traveling through time and distance, referencing the beat of great nightclubs and the silence of famous hotels.

Seen at Emporio Armani. Donatella Finocchiaro, the Italian actress is appearing on stage in La Ciociara and in cinemas in Manuel of Love 3.

 Seen at Emporio Armani.  Italian soccer player Billy Costacurta and his wife TV actress Martina Colombari who’s first book La Vita e Una (You Only Have One Life) has just been published.

Seen at Emporio Armani.  Ilaria D’Amico is a television presenter and sports journalist and hosts the programme Exit on LA7.

Seen at Emporio Armani.  The indie rock group Moda’.  Following their runner-up position at the San Remo music festival, their album Viva I Romantici is the current bestseller.

Seen at Emporio Armani. Sylvie Van der Vaart. The dutch actress and television personality is the wife of footballer, Rafael Van der Vaart.

Seen at Emporio Armani.  Ricky Martin gives the thumbs up to Emporio Armani all black collection.

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Milano: Marni Fall/Winter 2011-2012 collection

Marni: Fall/Winter 2011-2012 collection – Backstage.  Anna Wintour visits the backstage at Marni’s to get a close-up preview of the collection before the show.
Question:  What is she and Marni’s creative director Consuelo Castiglioni looking at?


Answer: the fitting board.

Backstage – Marni.   Rigorous shapes; geometry as decoration; a restrained and elegant sense of embellishment: the Marni collection for Fall/Winter 2011- 2012, is strict, yet softened at the edges.  Blotchy windowpane motifs and colored grills.

Backstage – Marni.  The silhouette is lean and coherent, with rounded shoulders and hemlines that stop right below the knee. Precise as a diagram, garments encase the body, as they were soft cocoons.  

Fabrics.   Fabrics have an intense, tactile hand: double-faced wool crepe; wool fil boucle; bonded lurex knit; knitted wool felt; bonded leather. Furs are mink, fox, beaver and raccoon.  Metallic jacquards look exquisitely decorative.

Backstage: Marni – the hair. Paul Hanlon created the hairstyle for the Marni collection.
Note: the enlarged Xeroxs of the hairstyle on the wall behind Paul.  Also note the cans of hairspray on the table.  Every hairdresser for every show used cans and cans of hairspray this season in each show.

Backstage: Marni – the hair.  “The hair is super simple.” Paul Hanlon explains “It is grungy without going the whole way.  It has a feeling of the 1990s.  It’s a bit messy with a side parting.  It’s as if a model had walked into a casting.”

Seen Backstage at Marni. Matteo Marzotto and Carolina Castiglioni.

Backstage: Marni – the make-up.  Make-up artist Tom Pecheux is reflected in the mirror with some of his “tools” in front of him.

Backstage: Marni – the make-up.  Get this; Tom used the M.A.C. violet Bordeauxline Powerpoint eye pencil on the lips and the lipstick, named, One of a Kind, on the cheeks.  The oil in the background was used to prep the skin to give it a dewy tone.

Backstage: Marni – the make-up. The Make-up Tom Pecheux created for Marni using M.A.C. Pro products is  “Very moody. Very monochromatic and has a dewy skin finish.  It has an edgy, grungy romantic feeling.

Backstage: Marni – the accessories. Elbow length, outsized gloves have an industrial feel.

Backstage: Marni – the accessories. Accessories include constructivist pumps on wooden platforms, intarsia Mary-Janes with stack heel and embroidered sturdy-heel sandals. A sense of precision characterizes the bags: perforated bonded-leather clutches and printed purses closed with metal levers.

Seen Backstage at Marni. Marni’s CEO Gianni Castiglioni and international P.R. Karla Otto.

Backstage – Marni.  The tone is graphic, dry, non-romantic: juxtapositions of colors and textures give garments a constructivist feel; straight lines and dense fabrics define a new dialogue between clothing and body.


Backstage: Marni – the jewelry.  Deco bijoux with architectural volumes reflect the restrained spirit of the collection:  necklaces made of multifaceted horn, wood or resin solids interspersed with quartz or pyrite flakes; oversized pendant earrings made of multifaceted boules and elongated solids mixed with colored resins elements; sculptural rings and colored sunglasses.

Backstage: Marni – a detail.   Furs add a tactile element through intarsia patterns and unexpected tonal combinations; contrasting materials highlight the sum of parts.

Backstage – Marni.   Fruit is always welcomed backstage. 

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