Monday, September 26, 2011

"You Oughta Be Pictures, You're Wonderful to See...."

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Vintage Fornasetti
Milano Tema E Variazioni No 59 Plate

 "...You oughta be in pictures,
Oh what a hit you would be!
...Your face would be adored,
You’d make a great sensation..."

These lyrics from Little Jack Little come to mind when I look at this vintage Fornasetti plate.

Piero Fornasetti was an Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver, born in 1918 (died in 1988). He lived most of his life in Milan. During his military exile in Switzerland, he found his muse, the face of 19th century opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Inspired by her haunting face, Fornasetti created more than 11,000 items such as plates, screens, lamps etc. There are more than 350 plates alone that depict Cavalieri's face. He worked primarily in black and white, heavily influenced by Greek and Roman architecture.

Other common features in his work include heavy use of black and white, the sun and time. His style is reminiscent of Greek and Roman architecture, from which he was heavily influenced.

Today it's most common to see Fornasetti's style in fashion and room accessories such as scarfs, ties, lamps, furniture, china plates and tables. 
Vintage Fornasetti tie

When I was younger, I always wondered what kind of strange mind would create such crazy designs.  I see them now and I love the graphic quality of Fornasetti's works.  I love the black and white with almost surreal images.  His colours are muted as they are backdrops to the either super real or classical designs.