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April 20 2014

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7 posts tagged "Francesco Vezzoli"

Federico Marchetti Adds Art to Yoox’s Oeuvre

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Federico MarchettiThe impressive second-quarter results posted recently by the Yoox Group, Italy’s e-commerce giant, was further proof that the future of high fashion lies online. But can CEO Federico Marchetti (left) work the same magic with fine art? It has been on his mind since he launched Yoox fourteen years ago. “I’ve always had the notion of the one-stop shop, with a mixture of modern and vintage, clothes and furniture,” he says. “The art component is the one that closes the circle.”

Marchetti tested the waters last October with Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, and the first-ever edition by Italy’s top Pop artist Francesco Vezzoli. “He did it to help earthquake relief in Emilia-Romagna, where I’m from,” explains Marchetti. “We did an edition of 399 priced at 399 euros, dollars, or pounds.” Yoox is now providing corporate sponsorship for Vezzoli’s Trinity, a series of three exhibitions in three cities, the first in Rome now until November 24, the second opening at New York’s MoMA PS1 in the fall, and the third at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. in early winter.

But any multimillion-dollar business can cough up sponsorship dollars. It was Padiglione Crepaccio (below), the much humbler Yoox initiative during the opening days of the Venice Biennale, which cast a more interesting light on Marchetti’s intentions in the art world. Curator Caroline Corbetta assembled work by ten Venetian artists under 30—the sort of creative types who are usually overlooked when the Biennale’s grand caravan rolls into town every two years—and exhibited the result in the house where three of them live. (A very nice piece of old Venice it was, too, calculated to make starving artists everywhere else in the world utterly puce with envy.) The twist was that the exhibition preview was online. “Like Saatchi, but in reverse,” says Marchetti. “Everyone else got to see it online before the art-world elite got there.” Which didn’t stop heavy hitters like Vezzoli, Diesel’s Renzo Rosso, and cherished art-world provocateur Maurizio Cattelan (a patron saint to young Italian artists) from showing up in person at the opening.

Padiglione Crepaccio at Yoox.comWith his Acne jeans and his Lobb shoes, Marchetti is almost correct when he describes himself as the Yoox customer. And he was setting a good example by shopping for art at Padiglione Crepaccio. (In keeping with the initiative, it was only possible to buy the pieces on the iPads provided, even if you were standing right in front of the art and the artist). Right now, Marchetti is picturing art on Yoox as “something like a TV talent show, 99 percent talent, 1 percent the special X factor.” But going forward, he imagines people picking up “a pair of jeans and a painting” when they visit the site. “It’s part of the plan to make yoox.com a playful lifestyle,” he adds. “But playful in a serious way. It’s not the Amazon approach. We’re serious about collaboration.” Serious enough, in fact, to partner with the legendary photo agency Magnum—its first venture into e-commerce—and Hirst’s publishing company, Other Criteria.

But when Marchetti insists, “Surprise is the beauty of Yoox,” I flip back to the young artists in Venice, in particular a painter called Thomas Braida. With talent like his in the equation, people are going to be picking up way more than one painting with their pair of jeans.

Photos: David Needleman (Federico Marchetti); Courtesy of Yoox

The Bitter Tears of Francesco Vezzoli

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Hidden among the old-and-new runway garb on e-tail megalith Yoox is a funny little last-minute holiday gift courtesy of art star (and W cover artist) Francesco Vezzoli: A new piece, Con Amore, Francesco Vezzoli (Francesco by Francesco), being sold to benefit the Italian National Trust’s relief efforts for rebuilding in the Emilia region after a recent earthquake. If you’ve ever wanted a framed portrait of Prada pal Vezzoli weeping sewn-on tears, today’s your lucky day—presuming you can beat the rest of the interested buyers for this 399-piece edition, which sells for an apropos $399. In a particularly Vezzolian touch, you can shop the precise edition you want: 399 pieces, 399 lots. One through 84 and 398 through 399 are spoken for, as are a grab bag of numbers in between. Find your lucky one if and while you can.

Photo: Courtesy of Yoox.com

Inside Prada’s 24 H Museum

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Last night, Prada and artist Francesco Vezzoli erected the ultimate one-night-only spectacle: an entire museum, curated and designed by Vezzoli, open for only 24 hours. With the help of Rem Koolhaas’ AMO (Koolhaas is a longtime Prada collaborator), Vezzoli erected “sculptures” (actually photos of statues mounted onto Perspex) and turned an assembly room into a cinema for the evening. Style.com’s Nicole Phelps recently spoke with Vezzoli about the project and his relationship with Miuccia Prada (“I think she has the copyright on irony for fashion,” he said). And Tim Blanks visited the vernissage dinner—alongside the likes of Salma Hayek, Catherine Deneuve, Diane Kruger, and Riccardo Tisci—last night, where a feast was served on Miuccia’s own china. Read more about that here. And keep reading below for more shots from inside the museum installation. Continue Reading “Inside Prada’s 24 H Museum” »

A Cinderella Of A Museum: Francesco Vezzoli On His New Project With Miuccia Prada

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And you thought her men’s show in Milan was a spectacle. On Tuesday in Paris, Miuccia Prada will celebrate her label’s new Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré boutique—not with a traditional store opening party, but with an ephemeral museum at the city’s historic Palais d’Iena (home of her Miu Miu runway shows) that has been conceived of and constructed by her frequent collaborators: the artist Francesco Vezzoli and AMO by Rem Koolhaas. Vezzoli, among other things, is famous for a faux Caligula trailer; a premiere of a play that never ran starring Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman; and a performance art piece at L.A.’s MOCA that united Lady Gaga with the Bolshoi Ballet. Style.com sat down with him to discuss his latest “overambitious happening.”

How did the idea for an ephemeral museum come about?
Mrs. Prada and I have already worked together. For many years, we looked for a new project, but not to do another exhibition, not to do anything predictable. We’ve often discussed how these huge companies have big budgets for parties. And we brought up the idea of baroque parties. In the sixteenth century, great architects would produce these feasts. Mrs. Prada liked the idea. It’s taking the funding that normally would be used for something frivolous [a store opening party] to produce an artwork. An artwork involving different brains, and involving them in a big, risky, and funny game.

What will this game, as you call it, look like?
We will upholster the whole grand room with neon lights like a big cage. There will be a nightclub with a dance floor. And I produced all these sculptures which are sort of a fake pseudo parody of a retrospective. And we are transforming the Palais d’Iena’s mini parliament just for the night into a movie theater, where we put my favorite movies. So, it’s like a big fantasy. Both to Mrs. Prada and I, it seemed like a good place to make our dreams meet.

Why the Palais d’Iena?
It’s an incredible building, the size of the New York Public Library. On top of that, it’s a pillar of modernism. Auguste Perret did it between ’36 and ’46 and it was supposed to be a museum, but it never really became a museum. Today, it’s the Conseil Economique, Social, et Environmental. So, there’s this idea that we are squatting not only on the history of architecture but squatting on politics as well. We are occupying it for 24 hours. We are political Cinderellas. The beauty of the project, the true Prada nature of the project, is that Mrs. Prada is putting into a clash two aesthetics that are very different—mine, which is perceived as more melodramatic and camp, and Studio Rem Koolhaas’, which is perceived as dry or sophisticated.

And you’re tearing it down the next day?
It’s a 24-hour experience. You can call it a climax or an anti-climax depending on your perspective. It starts with a dinner hosted by Mrs. Prada, with only the people close to her. And then there’s a much bigger party, and then it’s going be open all night, hopefully for mischievous and vicious and dangerous events. Then there’s going be a pseudo press conference, and then an opening to the public until exactly 24 hours after the first person stepped into the room for dinner.

How do you see it, as a climax or an anticlimax?
For the celebrity seekers, it’s an anticlimax because the dinner comes first. Me, I’m way more interested and worried about the general public’s reaction. I’m worried that nobody will show up, or that they all show up and they hate it, or they feel it’s vilifying a monument. This is the risk that we’re taking. It’s not an institutional critique, I don’t have that pretension. But it’s certainly a way to discuss the role of institutions today. For me and you, a museum is a museum, but for a president of a bank, a museum is a venue on his list. It’s like, “Oh, where do we do the Christmas party? Do we do it at such-and-such museum, or do we do it at Cipriani 42nd Street?” Museums have become hubs for different types of social gatherings. Here, we are doing the opposite; here we are taking a place used by politicians and turning it into a Cinderella of a museum for 24 hours. And after that, all this extravagant setup will disappear. Continue Reading “A Cinderella Of A Museum: Francesco Vezzoli On His New Project With Miuccia Prada” »

Strings Attached

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Fashion’s newest rock star is…a violinist? Acne Paper is the latest coup for the 25-year-old English virtuoso Charlie Siem, whose classical chops (and model good looks) are quickly making him into an a sensation. At a party last night at the Ritz in Paris for the launch of Acne Paper‘s 12th issue, editor Thomas Persson remembered first encountering Siem—via YouTube. “A friend of mine told me about Charlie and after I heard him play I knew I wanted to do an issue on youth and talent,” Persson said. “My grandfather was a violinist. He wasn’t at this level, of course, but I grew up in my grandparents’ house listening to this kind of music.”

In the new issue, Siem is shot by Andreas Larsson for one spread, and in another, by Bruce Weber, who imagines his 25th birthday party with a cast including actor Aaron Johnson, skateboarder Matt Giesler, and rugby player Paul Bester. Siem was on hand last night to play a few pieces for Couture-weary attendees like Alexa Chung, Francesco Vezzoli, Kim Jones, Philip Treacy, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, and stylist Hannes Hetta, who produced a moody shoot for the new issue with his sister, photographer Julia Hetta. Those expecting AM-dial classical got a jazzy, high-wire rendition of Antonio Bazzini’s Dance of the Goblins instead. (It also features on his new album.) “You can surprise people with a violin,” the handsome musician—who also stars as one of the faces of Dunhill’s Spring ’11 campaign, and recently appeared in VMan—said.

Photo: Courtesy of Acne Paper