BRAVE ENOUGH TO DARE: IN CONVERSATION WITH FRANCESCA SACCHI TOMMASI

FRANCESCA SACCHI TOMMASI Photo Credit: Gabriele Rigon

After attending the Koefia Academy of High Fashion in Rome, a brief stint organising fashions shows in Milan – Prada and Fendi amongst others – and working in art galleries in Positano, Francesca Sacchi Tommasi returned to her roots with the opening of Etra Studio Tommasi in Florence, an art space located in what used to be her grandfather’s studio. In this interview, she talks about beauty, passion and purpose, and why art is in her DNA. (Main photo by Gabriele Rigon, Black and Red Bracelet by Gaetano Pesce, Marble Eyewear…

NORDIC BAUHAUS MEETS RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE: AN INTERVIEW WITH TUOMAS KORKALO

DRAMAATTINEN SOMMITELMA - TUOMAS KORKALO

AS: Tell me a little bit more about your involvement with the Oranki Art Environmental Park in Pello. TK: The Oranki Art Park project was conceived in 2001 with four friends. One of them owns the plot of land occupied by the park. Since we already spent a lot of time there in summer, we thought it would be a good idea to invite a few friends over and work at some site-specific art installations. At the time this was just an occasion to get together, enjoy each other’s company…

JAVIER MARÍN: CORPUS

EN BLANCO - JAVIER MARÍN, 2015

Since the first time I saw the works of the Mexican sculptor Javier Marin in Milan – roughly 10 years ago at the Rotonda of via Besana, in the square of Palazzo Reale and at Piazza della Scala – I have been surprised by the monumentality and expressive power of his work. I have been lucky to see other works of his dotted around the world and despite the use of different materials, dimensions and subjects, each time my attention has been drawn to them like metal to a magnet.…

YOU & ME: ROBERTO CAMBI

YOU&ME - ROBERTO CAMBI, 2018

Why don’t we like changes? We don’t just resist making them, we resist being changed. The constant shift to adapt to different times and new circumstances is a vital process not just in our development as individuals, but also in the complex nature of human relationships. Yet most of the times it is fiercely opposed. And what is supposed to be a nurturing environment becomes a stifling one. YOU & ME is a double sided piece. Hanging from the ceiling at eye level, it is an invitation to peep through the…

A BLACK CLOUD ON THE HORIZON

SEVEN DEMONS - ROBERTO CAMBI, 2017

In Comrades of Time, Boris Groys writes: ‘We are familiar with the critique of presence, especially as formulated by Jacques Derrida, who has shown—convincingly enough—that the present is originally corrupted by past and future, that there is always absence at the heart of presence, and that history, including art history, cannot be interpreted, to use Derrida’s expression, as a procession of presences’. Roberto Cambi has shown an unwavering fascination with time and temporality throughout his career. His large scale installations might have roots in the past, but they are decidedly…

THE LIFE OF JULIE COPE: GRAYSON PERRY

A PERFECT MATCH - GRAYSON PERRY, 2015

Grayson Perry is exhibiting THE LIFE OF JULIE COPE at Colchester’s Firstsite gallery, in his home county of Essex. Perry describes Julie’s tale as representing ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life’, by portraying Julie’s life through tapestries, woodcuts, sketchbooks and an audio telling of her story. Seeing the smallest of details being studied and celebrated led me to reflect on other life cycles – I considered that of the gallery and the artist as well as that of the visitors. Firstsite is a relatively new gallery…

BOOM FOR REAL: JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT

BOOM FOR REAL - JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT

The Barbican is currently hosting the first comprehensive exhibition of works by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Together with Grayson Perry’s ‘The most popular art exhibition ever!’ at the Serpentine Gallery, BOOM FOR REAL left a deep impression on me. I was blown away. Whilst I found it moving, nostalgic and melancholic, some of my friends were more taken by the underlining racial tension, social criticism and pointy sarcasm. It is not difficult to understand why, though it is not immediately apparent. Licensing the images of his works to many popular…

ZANELE MUHOLI AT THE STEDELIJK

JULILE I - ZANELE MUHOLI, 2016

Zanele Muholi’s works at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam belong to three different ongoing series: ‘Faces and Phases’, ‘Brave Beauties’ and ‘Hail the Dark Lioness – Somnyama Ngonyama’. Dedicated to a friend who died of HIV related complications, “Faces and Phases’ is a visual record of black lesbians and transgender people in her home country of South Africa, a project she started in 2006. Though South Africa legalised same sex marriage in the same year, it remains a country plagued by discrimination and extreme violence against sexual minorities. A place where…

FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE: LA SAUTERELLE

LA SAUTERELLE - FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE, 1970

A few pieces have caught my attention at this year’s Masterpiece at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, but only one stole my heart in a flash. Or, more aptly, in a flutter. ‘The Grasshopper’ (La Sauterelle) by François-Xavier Lalanne is a striking Sèvres porcelain, steel and brass bar created by the artist in Paris in 1970. The influence of surrealism, art nouveau, modernism and more than hint of baroque can all be found in this eye-catching work of art. But it is the nostalgic journey back in time to a childhood…

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: THICK TIME

UNTITLED (BICYCLE WHEEL II) - WILLIAM KENTRIDGE, 2012

From the moment you step into ‘Thick Time‘ by South African artist William Kentridge, it is easy to understand why this new exhibition at The Whitechapel Gallery holds such broad appeal. It is bold, dramatic, visionary and nostalgic, making art accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. The many children present seem to love it. The common denominators of the six large scale installations are themes incorporated in most of his works: time, space and history. The mesmerising whirlwind of theatrical compositions manages not to lose sight of the details whilst upscaling the spectacle. ‘The Refusal…