VANNI artist room is a space for VANNI’s projects connected to the art world, born from collaborations with artists, fairs, and contemporary art institutions. A free space where creative art and design meet, where fresh ideas and new perspectives on the world reign supreme.
VANNI artist room comes from VANNI’s commitment to keeping its link to contemporary creativity alive and well. A commitment sustained for over a decade thanks to the international competition Autofocus, that since 2009 has awarded over 40 young artists, supporting them in their artistic journey, buying their works, and organising over 20 personal shows.
CONCRETE by Cristian Chironi
In 2019 the encounter between the originality of design and the visionary quality of art takes place on new territory, departing from the paths that have already been explored, and stepping into the realm of eyewear with CONCRETE by Cristian Chironi. Fruit of a collaboration with Artissima, the international contemporary art fair in Turin where the artists of the future are discovered, CONCRETE is the first capsule collection of artist designed eyeglasses that physically incorporates, through the productive dimension of VANNI, the universal energy of emerging artistic languages.
The glasses become, from this new perspective, not only a tool for vision but representations themselves of a unique point of view: the one-of-a-kind, unrepeatable reflection of the artist that tightens the bond with the world of design. His own personal artist room in the home of VANNI.
INTERVIEW with Cristian Chironi
What better place than the artist room in which to pose 4 questions to Cristian Chironi, the artist with whom we collaborated, with the curation of Artissima, in order to realise the Concrete eyeglasses. We wanted to go deep into the creative process that inspired the 2 models and their original colour variants.
Now more than ever our houses are at the center of our lives. How have the houses in which you’ve lived influenced your research for the realisation of the Concrete glasses?
L'Unitè d'Habitation of Marseille, a residential complex ideated by Le Corbusier, has influenced the use of the sunblind on the front and the lateral temples, brise-soleils being present also on the external facade of the building. For the colour pairings I took inspiration from the polychromatic walls of the apartments. The brown tone of the upper lug accompanied my days in the residency inside apartment 50. The idea of a living cell also characterised the capsule containing the glasses.
Wabi House by Tadao Ando, which rises up close to Puerto Escondido, dictated more than anything the choice of material for the covering of the metal shell, an opaque varnish with a texture rough to the touch, reminiscent of the materiality of cement. A colour that coexists with the sea blue of the Pacific Ocean and the sand colour of the tips.
The stay at Pierre Jeanneret House, Chandigarh, was significant for the natural light, warm and enveloping, that enters inside the house, breaking the discontinuity between the landing and the street, sanctioning the meeting between internal and external, that we sought to develop in the harmonious choice of photochromic lenses.
Finally, Victoria Ocampo House, Buenos Aires, realised by the architect Alejandro Bustillo, that had to adapt a large part of the project, later coming to disavow it, to the choices of Victoria, a great female figure to whom the pink tone of the lateral lugs of the temples intends to pay homage, celebrating her determination and that of who will know how to wear this eyewear model, showing off their own convictions.
What are the objects you love to surround yourself with?
they are the objects I find on site. By my own choice I often change house,
city, country, confronting myself with different cultures and costumes and
developing an art of habitation and adaptation, that allows me to immediately
establish empathy with the objects that surround me. I think that every object
is worthy of observation and I let them be the ones to host me.
Art and design, different or complementary sectors of activity?
In my artistic research I utilise different languages, having them dialogue more often than not. Whether it be for site-specific works or for those with a performance or installation character. What interests me is the interaction with the environmental context, as well as the human one. Visual arts, performance, photography, architecture, design, are modalities that I use depending on what I have to say. I don’t ask myself the question of whether they are different or complementary, if not how these two can coexist in the body of the work and what each can contribute to realising it.
Where will we see you next?
In Marseille for les Parallels du Sud MANIFESTA13, with an exhibition at Unitè d'Habitation and a series of performances in the city on board a Fiat 127 Special (Camaleonte) together with the curator Elena Biserna. In October with a beautiful residency project for the Museion di Bolzano, with interventions scattered between the Cubo Garutti and the city curated by Frida Carazzato. November will be the month of the next stop in the project. My house is a Le Corbusier in the Villa Jeanneret-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Next in Turin with a project that I ideated titled “Le Corbusier. Travels, objects and collections”, organized by the Pinacoteca Agnelli in collaboration with the Le Corbusier Foundation of Paris, that will recount the research, ideas, and inspirations of the architect, through objects, designs, and photographs and interventions around my work.
Autofocus 2009-2018. A decade of VANNI in art, an extraordinarily creative experience.We kicked off in 2009 with momentum and motivation, moved only by curiosity for the contemporary. Autofocus is the VANNI eyewear competition for emerging art that has awarded more than 40 artists and organized more than 20 personal shows, in a gallery that has grown from a portion of the showroom into a project-space entirely reserved for art.
As a company, to invest in emerging art for a decade was not an obvious choice, and not a marketing strategy. From the start, VANNI had the desire to create a free space from which to draw inspiration, gathering visions of the contemporary moment that would reflect the perspectives of new generations, in their irreverence, creativity, and vivacity, free from constraints and conventions.
Each of the Autofocus winners receives a catalogue and a purchase offer: purchases with which Vanni has bit by bit built its private collection, that today, displayed in the spaces of the company, represents the vitality of emerging artistic practices.