"It is not easy to be surprising nowadays. Giovanni Raspini manages to do so: he is a Gothic artist." With these words art critic Philippe Daverio describes Vanitas Mundi, in his preface of the book that follows the great exhibition of unique pieces from the Tuscan brand. Jewels, objects, furnishings, paintings: all these and even more suggestions will breathe life from 17 to 19 November 2017 in the splendid halls of Palazzo Visconti in Milan.
What are the Vanitas today, maybe a dusty, spectral theme? Not a chance, as for the Tuscan silversmith the "memento mori" becomes a reason for celebrating life, to sing happy and carefree years right through the artistic and natural metaphor of death. So the skull’s grin becomes an ironic smile and the shadows becomes light, featuring contemporary neo-gothic glamour. Here are necklaces made of serpents, skeletal earrings, scorpion chairs, allegorical mirrors and candlesticks with bats. Symbols of eternity such as turtles and shells, coupled with sentinels of the ephemeral such as cobwebs or butterflies. A bouquet of inspirations that start from symbolic and surreal elements to reach on what is Giovanni Raspini's top dish: moulded plastic, wax sculpture that becomes silver or bronze, with decorations and inserts in stone, coral, wax or resin.
The exhibition Vanitas Mundi is accompanied by the namesake catalogue, enriched by Philippe Daverio's introductory text, and is set up with the collaboration of stage designer and graphic designer Piero Figura, who will put in place a “night garden”, that is a real theatre scenery filled with dark atmospheres, purple velvets and soft lights taking inspiration by the British narrative of the Romantic period, where supernatural and mysterious used to be turned into charming and passionate tales.
"Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity", says the Ecclesiastes. "We seek marvel, beauty and life" replies Giovanni Raspini. Sic transit Vanitas Mundi.
Vanitas Mundi (a macabre dance between irony, glamour, gothic and kitsch)
17, 18, 19 November 2017 from 10am to 8pm - free entry
Palazzo Visconti, via Cino del Duca, 8 - Milan