Gaetano Pesce Lecture and Exhibit Opening

“The future is the time of originals.” – Gaetano Pesce

Last night marked the official debut of Gaetano Pesce: Pieces from a Larger Puzzle. Pesce himself flew over from Italy to lecture at the Hammer Museum, commenting on his previous works and noting his own perspectives on the future and humanity.

Pesce began by blatantly stating that his lecture will be short for two reasons: one, he knows his own work, and two, his work is of the past. What is interesting is Pesce’s take on time, his outlook on the future. As the lecture proceeded he intertwined the concept of time and moving forward and using design as a catalyst to do so.

As Pesce flipped through numerous images on a projector, he briefly commented on each piece giving an explanation of material and concept. The first object he noted was the “Up5” and “Up6”, also known as the “Donna” Chair. Pesce designed this chair when he was 28-years-old with the thought that women have been historically and presently mistreated, and through this chair he interpreted the life of woman as a prisoner, a “ball and chain”.  This chair is his political statement, “I believe the future is feminine,” Pesce clearly stated, advocating that we help elevate women to administrative status.

Flipping through more photos of chairs, Pesce discussed another concept, “If people are different, than objects have to be different.”  Each chair was similar, but the distinct differences are what make each chair unique;  it is good to be unified, but important to maintain differences.

Material and medium are also important in Pesce’s designs. The morphed, dripping vases made of resin are his solutions to the tragedy of a traditional material: glass. These vases, if dropped from a tall building will jump and bounce, not crack and break. This, Pesce said, is the progress of material, an intelligent material.

Pesce’s latest endeavor is his collaboration with the eco-shoe brand Melissa to design a new line of shoes. The Fontessa Shoes are made of resin and are customizable to the liking of the consumer. Instead of creating passive buyers, Pesce wants to stir creativity and expression, again staying true to his mantra of maintaining uniqueness amongst rooted similarity.

Following the inspiring lecture, we made our way over to the Italian Cultural Institute for the exhibit opening. Francesca Valente, the Institute’s director, presented Pesce with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and outstanding achievements in design. Vittorio Sgarbi, noted Italian art critic, who also flew from Rome to comment on this momentous occasion.

Over 200 people packed the Institute and experienced the show with prosciutto and limoncello in hand. The intimate exhibit, thoughtfully curated by Peter Loughrey and John Geresi, showcased a survey of chairs, couches, vases, jewelry, plates, bowls, tables, and even audio and video.

For more information on exhibit times and location please visit the exhibit website.

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