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ANIMALITA’

Posted on January 28, 2015 by Luisa Fazio

In a lifetime, the need of not feeling alone is physiological, especially in our domestic space. Who has not welcomed home a chubby pig-shaped piggy bank or a stinging doorstop under the shape of a hedgehog? We loved the company of useful objects but also objects that have renounced their functionality. Do not forget the improbable collection of turtles, elephants and bunnies! Ten established and emerging international designers have intersected their passion for furnishing with love for animals, in a sympathetical and imaginative way. In collaboration with Bosa, Venetian ceramic laboratory, known throughout the world, they have created ANIMAlità: a zoomorphic collection on display at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan. Design objects from animal shapes such as cats, armadillos, beetles, toucans, unicorn colorful, funny, ironic, everyday usage but also playful and apotropaic. Animality in the service of matter. The zoo collection is strictly of refined ceramics. Designers have very well passed the risk of running into banality and bad taste. There are no unnecessary and superfluous objects, but only objects that make us feel good, really good.

 

www.triennale.org

 

LES VOLIèRES CHALLIEèRES – PARIS

Posted on November 25, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Home-made lovers will certainly find, in an abandoned cellar, an old birdcage and some (exclusively and without identity) trivial polystyrene birds. Too bad! What they will try to create will be just vaguely similar to unique creations of French designer Mathieu Challières. Braided copper to form an aviary and the colorful birds that dwell in and out, the vintage touch, the lyrical light coming from his Paris studio: Les Volières. Caged in any shape and height, the light reflects and generates on walls and ceilings shadows and silhouettes giving a relaxed, romantic, magical and lively soul to the room. It has the feeling of living in an enchanted forest full of life, spring in the air all year round! Probably, it was just that the personal and urgent need of the artist when, at the end of the nineties, something pushed Challières to leave the corporate world and decide to produce in his laboratory furniture and decorative objects that shortly would be sold in nearly thirty countries around the world. It was an autumn day…

PILOT FISH, THE SHARK’S GUARDIAN ANGEL

Posted on October 30, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Like a ship is driven from its helm, so a trusty little fish has been ferrying and preceeding (for millions of years and long trips across oceans), the most powerful predator of the sea: the shark. Silvery gray pilot fishes (Naucrates ductor L.), with a elongated and compressed body and broad dark blue vertical stripes, take stand on head and in front of shark’s snouts. They guide him, accompany him, and warn him in advance if they spot preys. In exchange, the shark is their safe haven. The “satellite fish” eats leftovers (sometimes, seen as the scavenger between sharp teeths) – it feels safe from the dangers of its worst enemies, thanks to the authoritative protection. Will it able to escape its patron’s sharp teeth? The sea king is not capable to swallow the pilot due to its fast pace. Sounds like a fairy tale and a good story is about to begins… “There was once a small fish, a negligible striped fish, escorting a big cartilage fish as if it was an angel. Its love for sharks was so great and dedicated! Without abandoning it, day and night, the shark wandered here and there without ever getting lost. So, they lived happily ever after, as two friends so fine. THE END.”

THE OLDEST BOTANICAL GARDEN BECOMES HI TECH

Posted on October 9, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

It is the origin of all botanical gardens in the world… ” – as explained by the beginning of motivation that made it UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. We are in 1545 when, in Padua, was born the “herb garden” – Hortus Simplicium – the oldest university botanical garden in charge of medicinal plants cultivation for therapeutic purposes or study. After half a century, it gives birth to new spaces and opens its “historic portals” to the future. Restored, renewed, expanded without altering the urban fabric of the Italian city that proudly does the honors. Leaving intact the perspective on byzantine domes of Sant’Antonio’s Church (North) and on renaissance domes of Santa Giustina’s Abbey (South), the futuristic “garden of Biodiversity” was annexed to the old part: five high-tech greenhouses with a botanical blaze of 1300 plant species, from tropical to arctic. Thanks to high level of technology used (computerized temperature and humidity measuring, roofs constructed of super light panels, most transparent in the glass) the greenhouses, in respect with the CO2 and eco – sustainability, living their own life. It was 1586 when Goethe watched and praised in his writings a specimens of Saint Peter palm (Chamaerops humilis L.). Now, it has reached the height of 12 meters and it is considered the oldest plant in the garden. We are on the threshold of 2015 and in synergy with Expo, the “new garden” will be part of the Italian Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Milan. The nature combined with high technologies, always gives supreme forms of entertainment. We all very much hope that will a reminder to thousands of visitors… Hurry, run!

A OTHERWORLDLY BOUQUET, AZUMA MAKOTO

Posted on September 9, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Forget the ikebana art, the traditional wedding bouquet, lazy days spent to grow bonsai! Modern organic sculptures (with the addition of minimal inorganic materials) by Azuma Makoto, Japanese flower artist, are something more. Strong gladioli and delicate lilies give them character. Composition and decorum are two important ingredients for his always winning recipes. Difficulty: easy. Essential condition: a high amount of emotional attachment to flowers. In his studio-workshop in Minami-Aoyama district in Tokyo, he demonstrates every day his obsession and sensitivity towards beauty. He fixes any idea on a blackboard before realizing original projects while a background music calms the plants and helps him to find a way to bring out beauty and allure of vegetables. Amaryllis won’t be put in the pot but leaved suspended in a steel frame with bulb and roots in view. He also dips the bouquet in glass bottles filled with water where the flowers fade it, showing their veins, they float. Always fascinated by space, he is recovering from a unique experiment in plant ethology beyond their physiological respiration and photosynthesis. Operation Exobiotanica: from Black Rock Desert in Nevada he launched into the stratosphere – about 27,000 feet above the Earth’s surface – a pine-bonsai inside a super light metal frame and a spherical bouquet composed of about thirty different species of plants including lilies, hydrangeas, irises, orchids, tillandsia. He observed the reactions of flowers and plants outside the context of land. Makoto, in Japanese means “truth.” It is also the name of Azuma. Nomen omen, the destiny in his name which can be summarized in John Keats words: “Truth is beauty, beauty is truth” Makoto does not stop there. Next mission: Mars!

WOLFGANG LAIB, THE ARTIST WHO SIFTS POLLEN GRAINS

Posted on July 24, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

While his works takeS shape he, crouched for a long time, becomes an extension by HIS work. His name is Wolfgang Laib, German, born in 1950. He collected with meticulous care, for decades, pollen grains from pine trees, dandelions and kernels. The soft dust of flowers anthers, natural “gold”,  so yellow, bright and evanescent as sun it’s not only spreaded by wind with such mastery. The artist sprinkles it on the floor with a sieve, drawing large parallelograms and small domes of great simplicity but of intense conceptual meaning. “The pollen is not what I have created, and therefore it is more than what I could ever do,” says Laib, praising the pollen as pure art, as carrier of single energetic force. It’s  an example of “Divine art”. Animated by an aura of preciousness and brilliance, his zen and minimal creations surround every area of life with radiance and luminosity. The artist of simple materials dazzles us enormously, without abusing and without ever confuse our view! Fiat lux! As God said.

 

FRANK GEHRY’S BIO MUSEUM

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

That “confused” genius of Frank Gehry has struck again! Ignoring order and linearity, the “the dream maker”, as defined by director Sydney Pollack, has designed another marvel which is, as usual, abstract and asymmetrical. Our impression is that the newborn creature is made up of colorful crumpled clippings suddenly broken away from a painting by Piet Mondrian. How do you fell about that? It’s “just” the Panama Bio Museum. Eight galleries to celebrate a rich biodiversity on Panama’s Isthmus, a small strip that divides Atlantic Ocean from Pacific Ocean. The same strip that long ago, very long ago, allowed osmosis and meeting wildlife species between the two  Americans sub-continents. Once separated, then reunited by earthquakes, American Continents saw a mass escape of animals, which took place three million years ago, that gave birth to a rare and precious ecosystem.  After 10 years of work  the Gehry’s prehistoric dream is due to open.

A TREE HOUSE, THE DREAM OF EVERY DREAMER

Posted on June 17, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Built since most ancient civilizations. Moghul Emperors sat on the “chabutra” between the branches of their beloved sycamores. Japanese, instead, built “walking trees” in order can to admire autumn leaves and colors. In the Middle Ages, monks and hermits used to retreat often on trees. Living in a tree house it’s the dream of every child and fans of the Jungle Book by Kipling, for sure would love to part of Bandar – Log’s happy tribe. The group of monkeys that had freedom, so much freedon none other animals had: they can fly between trunks and leaves, where no one could reach them. This meant secrecy, independence, refuge. Today, thanks to the joint of architects, cabinet makers, academics, carpenters, agronomists, we are scattered on every continent buildings floating in the sky. For which, the trees become their foundation. In Peruvian amazon there is one shaped like a bird’s nest. In Japan there is a house surrounded by pink cherry blossoms that rises into the clouds leaning from a single trunk of cypress. They are recognition of the needs and spirit of our times: who would not want to find a place to rest at half height? A place to stay for dreaming and reading in touch with nature? I’d like to have a shelter in the trees instead of the usual, customary, swimming pool. With a rope ladder to pull up in those particular periods “off limits” during which we don’t like to get down with feet on the ground. Years pass by but the tree house never looses its charm.

THE PLANT THAT BLOOMS ON THE DAY IT DIES

Posted on May 28, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

It is the agave, the mighty and strong succulent plant protagonist of my sea holidays  since the early 70s. It was quite simply a part of that mediterranean landscape with rocky coastline. When I was a child, I found it similar to a huge artichoke with gray-green fanned leaves. At its center stood a very high stem like a big asparagus, with flowers arranged in candelabrum. I did not know that the plant had come from central America where it thrived in warm and desert areas and that produced an intoxicating fire drink: tequila! Instead, I had taught that I could distinguish with a naked eye a young specimen from a specimen at the end of life because its gigantic inflorescence foretold the death of a plant. The agave (from the greek agavós which means “beautiful”) is a monocarpic species: it blooms only once, releasing a single, swollen shoot of its existence when it reaches maturity and becomes an adult. Then it dies. For this feature, I like to see it as the symbol of  man who “dies” when he loves, who spends all energy at his disposal to achieve in just one the day a spiritual perfection. A plant that does not repeat itself, a “wonderful” plant that has found the answer in love.

HIRUNDO RUSTIC AT CASTELLO SFORZESCO

Posted on May 12, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Uit uit uit uit! That’s the sweet music they make with their long forked tails. They are capable of speeding fast making precise trajectories or repetitive tumbles. They are emblem of freedom, they don’t tolerate slavery in a cage. Bearers of good time and good weather. Swallows have arrived announcing the “Milan’s Spring”! After snails between spiers of Milan’s Cathedral and frogs in the dock of Navigli, the Cracking Art Group, have installed “swallows nest” adding a piece to the “modern art that regenerates ancient and monumental art”. Swallows live close to men, building their nests under eaves roofs of houses. We, human beings, have received them as “roommates” that “chat” and flutter until dawn. Until June the 30th, the courtyards of the Castello Sforzesco will be populated by giant Hirundo rustica, and their eggs, sculpted in multi-colored plastic will show that the nesting period has begun. The purpose is to raise funds to restore the equestrian marble statue of Bernabò Visconti, symbol of the Castle. In return, a multiple swallow sculpture that deposits eggs will be symbol of the regenerative operation. It is recommended to leave a window open… it is said that if a swallow flies into the house, it brings all sort of happiness. Good luck!

2000 SKIN COLOR SHADES, HUMANAE

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

If on the other hand it protects us, from the other it puts human organism in direct contact with the outside world. After heart, human skin is the biggest indicator of emotions, feelings and moods. While heart is beating fast, skin, whatever color it is, sweats, blushes and shivers at all latitudes. Angelica Dass, Brazilian photographer, born in 1979, “has focused” on it. In a portrait mode, she has cataloged more than 2000 on line photographs (She’s still in work in progress today) portraying all possible people’s skin color shades that she met while wandering around the world. The result? HUMANAE: an inventory of faces, all different and specific. Each “faces passport” has its personal and unique shades  which corresponds to a code of the famous color scale Pantone. Does not exist in nature white, black or yellow skin. The shades of color that human skin can take are endless and its pigment varies only according to age and the skin area. Moral of the project? Everyone has a skin color with a specific “value”. So, races do not exist. Angelica Dass is Pantone 7522 C.  What skin color are you?
http://humanae.trumblr.com

MARNI’S ANIMAL HOUSE

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Consuelo Castiglioni’s brand has transformed the space of its showroom in Viale Umbria, 42 in a zoo without borders. Among many contributions seen at “Salone del Mobile” 2014 in Milan, this project was unique. The initiative was called “Animal House.” Contrary to what it is said in 1978  movie directed by John Landis, where John Belushi made his breakthrough, in Marni’s Animal House giraffes, ostriches, flamingos, donkeys, ducks and rabbits belong to the same Club. Wild animals and poultry cohabit the same environment, without distinction of race and social class. Made in metal and bright colors PVC, all furnishing is hand made by a group of Colombian women. Thanks to collaboration with Marni, those women found their free, independence and emancipation, creating unique pieces and personal combinations. Traditional chairs with two armrests, seats with a single left or right armrest, benches, tables, chaise longue, rocking chairs complete the collection. When the world of fashion and design meet, we always get excellent results. When social redemption and charity come together, success is guaranteed (a good portion of the proceeds from the sales of manufactured goods will be donated to organizations that deal with childhood diseases). “Animal House”, an original zoo-social project!

FASHION IN LEAVES

Posted on April 8, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

She designs glamorous models bodies with Indian Ink. She dresses those elegant bodies with leaves and petals that come directly from her garden. It’s a series of Haute Couture sketches by twenty-four years old freelance graphic designer Tang Chiew Ling, a fashion minded girl born in Malaysia. “I never thought leaves can be so beautiful” said Ling that creates every dress depending from  structure, patterns, shape, line and shades colors of leaves. From yellow to brown, from dark green to light green, linear, flouncy, with tail and hats, Tang’s evening dresses are for refined and extraordinary women, like Audrey Hepburn parading on the red carpet with a simple and timeless sheath dress. “Fashion in leaves,” an abstract work, a great conceptual collage. Have a green look! Always.

http://www.behance.net/tangchiewling

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUPO ALBERTO!

Posted on March 31, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Its eyes are at half-mast, it has long furry ears, a bulbous funny nose: it’s called Alberto. A Canis lupus, the great-grandson of Wile E. Coyote. A all-blue-haired-hero by cartoonist Silver since 1974, who now celebrates his 40 years of life. It isn’t the usual alpha dominant male who controls forests and trees. He is not a fierce predator. Lupo Alberto is a canidae with a heart of gold, sympathetic, romantic, good-hearted, a little unlucky. He’s loyal and listens and helps his friend Enrico, a mole. He goes against nature: he’s madly in love with Marta, a free-range chicken. He doesn’t eat chickens! He isn’t discouraged when Moses, a bobtail who acts as a guard at the McKenzie farm, takes bludgeoned. A series of exhibitions will celebrate his birthday all through Italy. Until the first of June 2014 @ WOW Spazio Fumetto – Museo del Fumetto di Milano. Wof!

 

THE GENTLE BIRD LOVED BY FREDERICK II : THE HAWK

Posted on March 25, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Small head, large eyes, sparkling and sharp look, strong and curved beak: it is the hawk, the free and fugitive bird. It swoops down on live preys from above with closed wings, reaching nearly a speed of 240 kilometers per hour. Symbol of power, ruthless predation, elevation. It is noble in bearing and in flight, it was the bird of sovereignty. The wise and charismatic Emperor Frederick the II of Swabia, the stupor mundi, was fond of hunting with trained hawks, to write a medieval treatise of ornithology and falconry, “De arte venandi cum avibus”. He would say: “a day without hunting with a hawk is a wasted day”. He considered falconry a real art. His favorite birds were the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus). Both had exceptional predatory skills and were employed in spectacular huntings. The hawk is also know how to be a gentle bird: it courts the female making reckless developments in flight and to impress her it gives a previously captured prey just for her. It reaches very high heights using updrafts, and rising to the rim. It is an intriguing predator but too high for us to be visible. It dominates its prey and us from heaven!

 

GRAFT BY QIYUNG DENG

Posted on March 18, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

It’s been her thesis project presented at ECAL, the prestigious design school of Lausanne. There isn’t a commercial producer yet, but “Graft” is already a successful eco-idea around the world. Qiyung Deng, Chinese designer, has borrowed the shape and textures of fruit skins and vegetables creating an original disposable, a tableware set. Made from biodegradable plastic produced from raw vegetables, forks and spoons have handles similar to celery stems, tea spoons have handles of a carrot or an orange peel. An artichoke petal becomes the bowl of a spoon, a pineapple leaf is the blade of a knife. Carved in vegetables, respecting ancient Thai art. Deng’s cutlery is beautiful, fresh, innovative, functional and dynamic. Perfect for an elegant table. Are we ready to set aside the good silverware service once? Above all, are we sure  we want to throw away them after use? They are so chic, wouldn’t it be a real shame?

THE MAGIC PAUL SMITH!

Posted on March 10, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

In his wunderkammer-Studio, sourrounded  by  books, magazines, paintings and strangest objects, he gives birth to ideas with a psychedelic and fairytale mark. All his creativeness then migrates to a new collection, in this case  Mens Spring-Summer 2014. We are at Kean street in London and this magic place is owned by Sir Paul Smith. Red Agaricus muscarius with dence white warts (Amanita mushroom, fly agaric in England) and colorful psilocybe mushrooms, singly or combined to the base, decorate sweatshirts, t-shirts, shirts. It’s the effect of humor, fantasy and optimism of the designer. For the next season, Sir Paul takes inspiration from very poisonous mushrooms whose hallucinogenic and intoxicating properties were known by ancient shamans of American and Alice in Wonderland  from 1865. Smith’s man is called to be open minded, to dream to get into a white rabbit hole where sizes change direction simply by eating a piece of magic mushroom. He’s called to start a “good trip” during which he may find the right road. The heart way, where man can naturally feel strong and happy.

THE ARTIST OF EPHEMERAL, ANDRES AMADOR

Posted on March 4, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

The survival of  his creations depends exclusively by periodic fluctuations of the level of sea water. For six hours and twelve minutes, approximately, during low-water mark when the sea withdraws its waves, we can enjoy the beauty. Andres Amador, from San Francisco, is an artist who has made a super eco-friendly choice: he uses the beach as a canvas, the natural environment as a frame. With a garden rake and a stick, he waits for the full moon to draw on the sand very imaginative embroideries, creating a play of light and dark. They aren’t usual sand castles but flourishes, flowers, geometric shapes sacred inspired, labyrinths. They can be as large as one thousand square meters. Ephemeral, transient, for that reason unique and extraordinary. Eternal only in our memory after the sea took them away forever. Oblivious that his signs do not leave a mark, the artist expresses the concept of the temporary passage, lasting ephemeral of all things, the enjoyment of the beauty of that moment. Carpe diem, another drawing will appears in six hours!

ANNA MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN, THE LADY OF CATERPILLARS AND BUTTERFLIES

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

She was born in Frankfurt in 1647 where, when very young, was fascinated by the Bombix mori, the silkworm. She observed its metamorphosis from caterpillar to white moth. Anna Maria Sibylla Merian, naturalist and botanical artist, became famous in 1699 when she undertook a journey to the greenest country in South America, with an incredible biodiversity: Suriname. She studied caterpillars, pupae, butterflies, flowers, plants, eggs, lizards, snakes in their natural habitat, recording every detail on pictorial boards designed with great natural refinement, delicacy and precision. Her graphic works were obtained by a combination of  burin and dry point work and then colored. In 1705, her illustrated tables were published in magnificent and valuable books on the metamorphosis of insects of Suriname. Someone wrote: “I was about 8 years old when, in a storage room of our country house, among dusty objects of all kinds, I found some wonderful books purchased at the time when my ground mother had been interested in the natural sciences … I carried down in my arms extraordinarily and unique volumes. The writer was a fan of  lepidopteran insects. He was Vladimir Nabokov. The attractive volumes were those of Anna Maria Sibylla Merian. What a lucky inheritance!

LA FIORITA BY GAETANO PESCE

Posted on February 17, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

It requires little care, it doesn’t need to be fertilized nor to mown the grass. It doesn’t suffer from cold or periods of drought. With the arrival of spring, it spontaneously becomes full of wild flowers. In wood and metal, stuffed with expanded polyurethane, coated with “green grass” fabric. It can be enriched, where necessary, from soft and colorful pillows in shape of flowers. It is “La fiorita”: the couch-grass by Gaetano Pesce. Extravagant Italian designer who has engineered for Meritalia and who has been inspired by spring, the most cheerful and coolest season. The time of awakening, optimism, positivity, flowering. Are you ready for a unusual picnic in early spring? It would be ideal to sit back and relax, in complete serenity, barefooted on “La fiorita”.

THE MOST FRAGANT DEER ON EARTH: MUSK DEER

Posted on February 10, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

It’s considered  and classified as deer only in its name. It hasn’t antlers covered in velvety skin, nor facial glands. It doesn’t fight horn to horn to prove its strength and, in love, it doesn’t bell. The male musk deer (Moschus moschiferus) has long upper canine teeth like fangs and two restraining glands placed under its belly. Its glands contain and secrete small grains of a black, strongly odorous substance: white musk. This precious extract was already used by the ancient Romans. During mating period, musk deers sow their fragrant seeds in woods soil to mark their territory and to attract and seduce their better half. It is known that females are crazy for perfumes! Unfortunately, their bizarre “sexual call” is the real reason behind an horrendous and indiscriminate hunting. Musk sacs are required by perfume industry and by illegal market for traditional Chinese medicine. For a long time, deers haven’t  appeared among trees of forests of Asia. Their timid and suspicious being has been capture for many. Too many. We say no to animal musk and to abuse against animals.

ARCHIVIO DEI SOGNI

Posted on February 3, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

The exhibition Naturalia, Artificialia and Mirabilia is a contemporary twist of artist Antonia Ciampi. Until March the 30th in the “little house of owls ” of Villa Torlonia, visitors will discover a dreamlike, rarefied, poetic and mysterious atmosphere, thanks to the artist’s “drawers of memory”: an archive of natural elements set in glass cases, memories of past emotions. Leaves, feathers and nests, twigs, dried flowers, pebbles, shells, sometimes combined with lead, mirrors, canvas, foam rubber. Her works express the encounter between art, men, nature and the size of border between reality and dream. In perfect harmony with the positive symbolism of the owl (a yellow-eyed rapace stylized on the deco–styled–little-house). The house was formerly chosen by Prince Giovanni Torlonia Jr as his residence. The owl (Athene noctua) does not show at night, it remains all day in his corner in a pensive attitude, meditative emblem and symbol of the boundary between real life and esoteric dimension. Archivio dei Sogni is a deep sensory journey, a dream. 

IT’S TIME TO BE RADIANT! CODE 18-3224 BY PANTONE

Posted on January 28, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Like a James Cook, like a Charles Linneo, like a John Laroche: Pantone Color Institute explores, classifies and hunts countless shades of color. This year, they have selected and categorized Radiant Orchid, an unique mixture of fuchsia, purple and pink. New Pantone’s color will imbues 2014 with all qualities that an orchid infuses and, for sure, we’ll have an exotic and beautiful year. Orchids are so stunning to upset those who stares at them, like a Stendhal syndrome! They are sensual, they are the sexiest flower par excellence. Word “orchid” comes from the Greek Orchis which means testicle. In many species a swelling of the root forms two oval bulbs. Creating elegance, Zen harmony and grace, they are airy flowers  detached from the ground, symbol of quietness and spiritual perfection but also a symbol of creativity and originality. Orchid is also a master of deception and transvestism  (ex. Orchis apifera). Its hairy lip is believed of some insects to be a female but it’s just a visual illusion. Male insects make love with an orchid unaware of the trick of reproduction, the only goal that really matters. Monkey Orchid (ex. Dracula simia and Orchis simia) simulates monkey’s face while Venus Slipper  has a swollen lip that allows seeing the tip of a slipper (Cypripedium calceolus). On fashion catwalks, instead, 18-3224 has already  blossomed and seduced:  make-up artists, interior designers, creatives in general. For both males and females, for me too. I’m going to put some sexy nail polish, and of course, it’s a Radiant Orchid one.

THE RESULT OF BAD INDIGESTION? IT’S HONEY!

Posted on January 21, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

In addition to being essential for the pollination of flowers, honey bee (Apis mellifera), donates a divine edible secretion. Not at all stingy, it gives us the fruit of its great fatigue: honey. Approximately 60000 round trip flights – from home to work –  to produce a kilogram of ambrosia. Have you ever tried to pick a honeysuckle to suck their base trumpet? It’s sweet! The sweetness derives from a sugary substance that is formed at  bottom of the flower and cause of that inexorable bee’s voyages in search of nourishment (pollen and nectar). Proud of their all-female society and tireless workers (except queen bee with legs in the air, who is able to reproduce), worker bees according to their age, can be nurses, ladies in waiting, architects, sculptresses, street cleaners, gravediggers, bodyguards. Satisfied with their coexistence, they are always happy and never tired back with “booty” to their unitè d’habitation. Once arrived in the beehive, bees regurgitate what’s previously collected , like nectar in a honey bag which is located firstly in their stomach. Nectar’s process is then completed by fan bees who, flapping their wings, create air currents to accelerate the evaporation of honey which is still too wet. Then, honey is stored in honeycomb’s hexagonal cells. A delicacy that everyone likes, Yogi Bear and his shy friend Boo-Boo included. Zzzzzzzzzz 

CALLE, ALCATRACES, TINA AND MEXICO: 1927

Posted on January 13, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Even if they are without rhizome and soil, this Calle’s pair is a still life that lives. They have a soul. The two tall and sinuous stalks approach and then diverge, culminating with the fine flower of calla from the characteristic flute shape. It’s turned towards those who want to quench their thirst. For its elegant and sensual lines is a mirror image of the woman who has photographed them: Tina Modotti. Tied hair and slender body, desired, free, independent, carnal, throbbing with life. Italian, from Udine, emigrated to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles, Mexico, Germany, France, Russia. She was an actress, model, muse, political activist, the first to wear blue jeans in Mexico City. Primarily, her personality has very much left its mark as a photographer. Favorite pupil of Edward Weston, she made it soon with her camera (a Korona later replaced by a lighter Graflex) to create her own photography style. A photography imbued with essentiality, humanity, sensuality, depth and feeling. The contradiction layed just on the name. Calle. The word in italian clashes with the original word in Spanish. In Mexico they are called Alcatraces. These flowers look like seabirds, “sule” in Italian, which give its name to the former San Francisco penitentiary: Alcatraz. A rigid and gloomy place, from which it was almost impossible to escape and be free…

McQUEEN + HIRST = ENTOMOLOGY

Posted on December 16, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

If we merge two things that have never been together, we get a magnificent aesthetic osmosis. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the creation of his original and unmistakable skull scarf, fashion maison Alexander McQueen lends itself to art. In the meanwhile the artist with the most macabre taste, Damien Hirst donates himself to fashion. This very time, Hirst does not put sharks in formaldehyde or composes black paintings formed by thousands of dead flies. Colonies of butterflies, spiders, beetles, stick insects, leaf insects, worms are repeated symmetrically, populating a light and soft meadowsof of cashmere, silk pongè, chiffon and twill. Capturing eyes will recognize a skull in the background, previously camouflaged. We aren’t facing the classical cataloging of insect with use of entomological pins, this time, it isn’t a natural processe of decomposition. It’s the “Entomology” collection (30 foulards of limited edition) designed by Hirst for the British fashion maison Alexander McQueen. A versatile accessory that can’t fail to delight. A precious gift idea. The only risk: all the people to whom we would like to donate one of these colorful and hypenothical “remnants” may suffer from entomophobia!

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A BLINK OF WINGS, A HEART-SHAPED LOVER: THE DRAGONFLY

Posted on December 9, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

It can be a missile, a glider or a helicopter. It can dart in every direction changing  suddenly curse, putting into reverse without turning around. It can climb and descend vertically, planar, and even remain stationary in the air. The dragonfly is an old flying machine. Thanks to the Odonata, for instance, our plane flights have become safer. Once, the wings of airplanes coming into vibration would  crack. It is said that entomologists and engineers realized that it was necessary to weight the wings towards the end. In the same way in which dragonflies used an anti-vibration device. At the bottom of each wing there is, a stabilizer, a ballast of their hemolymph. They are healthy carriers of  gene inspiring  great works of genius. Shouldn’t we give this insect a patent? These amazing air acrobats, couple while flying. The male grasps with its prehensile appendages  at the extremity of its abdomen, the front chest of the female. The receptive female bends its abdomen forward to reach the male organ. Going beyond all imagination, in a miraculous balance, the two lovers make a lovely and romantic “wedding heart.” Dragonflies are extravagant in love and ravenous eaters. At the same coupling, the “flying gems” continue hunting flying mosquitoes and other insects casually, as if nothing had happened. It is as if it were a thing that you can do even if you are making love. As the English would say: brilliant and multitasking insects! As the French would say: Son Altesse imperial, l’Empereur Napoleon!

THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES BY JEAN GIONO

Posted on December 2, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

It’s the story of a tireless, solitary, simple and peaceful pastor living slowly with sheeps and a dog. Elzeard Bouffier is “The Man Who Planted Trees” that writer Jean Giono met during a walk in the ancient region of the Alps that penetrates into Provence. A wasteland where the only vegetation that grows is wild lavender. Without wanting anything in return, he sowing acorns and grows countless oaks with care. He does it with the sunique mission of restoring life, harmony, happiness, giving oxygen to the villages and the land. Without that the land belongs to him. Behind this unusual story lurks a positive message of love and hope of centrality of man and nature together. This man is against destruction, this man makes a trip up to cruel and cynical deforestation and to greedy farmers. Bouffier can put up alone, in company of his insight and strength, day after day, season after season, a giant natural forest. We are faced with a parable about ecology no fanatic, no idealistic but pure and selfless. True story or legend, it does not matter. – There is anyone in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago – cit.

THE TEA PLANT IS A CAMELLIA

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

The flower of Camellia brings to mind Marguerite Gautier, heroin, sinful protagonist of the novel by Alexandre Dumas, “The Lady of the Camellias”. She could only tolerate this flower, the other flowers made her cough. Many camellias (as an example Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua) have become plants of great ornamental value. Since half of the XIX century we have seen beautiful gardens with flowers in bright, quirky, fascinating colours. Surprisingly, one species of camellia, Camellia sinensis, is the Tea plant. From the leaves that are left to dry on racks, we extract the most popular and more ritual drink in the world. It’s a drink discreet and innocuous that never comes in conflict with any culture and religion. Tea reminds us to the Orient (evergreen plantations expanses that fascinate even the most casual traveler). In China it is the plant of civilization, in Japan is the king of the famous ceremony which induces to calmness and meditation. In Russia the samovar puffing, in North Africa is the hospitality in the desert, in the UK it’s tea-time. It is the trait d’union of the two worlds, East and West. Initially it was considered to be a medicinal taste of bitter chicory, then it became a beverage voluptuous drink by nobles, rich and ordinary people. A “sweet dew” as it would call Buddhist monks used by them for its stimulant properties that helped them to stay awake during meditation. There’s something for every taste: aromatic, black, green, red, white. Everyone is free to drink as chosen, even if the orthodoxy says that to ensure the persistence of the original organoleptic characteristics, it should be drunk pure. No sugar, no milk, no lemon (the real tea-tester does not add anything). And dutifully prepared with only water source. The ideal would be to water dripping from stalactites in the caves of mountains. Tea with jasmine fragrance, delicate or intense aroma? The important thing is to sip it in friends company or in complete idleness to get enjoyment, benefit and carefree. Good relax!

THE TURDUS MERULA OF CHARLES AND RAY EAMES

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

He surely can’t be “classidied” in any professional category. Charles Eames was everything: architect, inventor, designer, scientist, director, professor. An eclectic artist and a brilliant “creator.” In 1941, he married artist Ray Kaiser, becoming a single entity: “The Eames”. Everyone knows the legendary Eames Chairs. A tribute to their appearance, philosophy, look. They were beautiful, simple, practical, elegant, sophisticated, different. In addition to chairs, their house in Pacific Palisades, California, designed and built by them in 1948, was model of simplicity and diversity so much to become a typical image of textbooks. A Mecca for architects and designers from around the world. But looking at its interior we discover a blackbird, a Turdus merula. For more than 50 years it has found its ideal habitat in the living room of the Eames. It is a piece of American folk art, a rare and precious artifact very dear to the Eames. A souvenir from the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States (The handicraft product was created by Charles Perdew in 1910 which left his “normal” job to devote himself full-time sculpturing birds, especially using pine). It’s a part of their crowded interior collections of pieces brought back from their long travels and that has often peeped in their photo shoots. Continue Reading →

THE FUGU, DELICIOUS BUT PROHIBITED TO THE EMPEROR

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

I have always been fascinated by people from “the Rising Sun”. Their extreme pursuit of harmony, purity and refinement, their being a living ikebana, a fair balance, a simplicity  in gastronomy. In fact, Japanese food is sophisticated, light and fat-free. The white flesh of the puffer fish (fugu in Japan), has the particularity to swell up like a ball – ingesting a large quantity of water – when attacked or captured. It is one of the many delights for  palate. But its meat is to be considered “more delicious” than those of other fishes especially because you try to consume it in the thrill of risk. It’s a shiver of Russian roulette. “Make-or-break” occasion! We are facing a real “forbidden fruit” that leads into temptation true gourmets. Puffer fish contains tetrodotox in ovaries, liver and skin: a poison thousand times more powerful than cyanide that can kill a human being in a very short time. In Japanese restaurants where fugu is served, fugu-chefs must have a government license stating particular cooking skills in cutting that fish. They must carefully separate damaged and poisonous parts that from edible ones. This is a painstaking work, precise and meticulous, an art of great mastery. The pleasure is guaranteed by the fact that they must leave small and right amount of toxin in meat in order to give a slight dizziness and a tingling of the tongue. Pleasure and ecstasy, but not death. Despite aspiring chefs are prepared by a hard and long training and successful completion of a complex theoretical and practical examination (only 30-35% of test takers pass the test!) every year, many people die because of fugu, in spite of any antidote. I would eat sushi and sashimi twenty for seven. But when I discovered the existence of this Japanese delicacy I thought: courage, direct to Osaka (here you will find the best licensed restaurants with specialized chefs serve fugu). Waiter please, I’ll have a fugu sashimi! And here I would see coming all to myself a large ceramic plate with floral motifs full of fugu-sashi: thin slices, almost transparent white meat arranged radially like to remember a chrysanthemum. Oh my God, in Italy it is the flower of death!

MANDRAGOLA, THE MOST POWERFUL TALISMAN !

Posted on November 4, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

If you are in a cemetery, or in the ruins of an abandoned city, and you seem to see a shadow, it won’t be a ghost. It’s a careful and enterprising seeker of a special and unusual plant, a more “virtuous” and portentous talisman known for over 3000 years. It’s the Mandrake! (Mandragora officinarum L. belonging to the Solanaceae family, a close relative to the potato, it grows throughout the Mediterranean basin and it seems that prefers humid places, dark and gloomy spaces). It’s a very, very capricious plant in need of a lot of attention. In all ancient traditions, for its eradication difficult, it shall be used of numerous rituals through which ensures that the plant will certainly be cared for, treated well and respected. It has to be fed twice a day with milk and cookies, bread and meat. A sort of vegetable man! In case of negligence, we earmuffs and protect our ears! The demon that dwells in the plant will emit a cry of despair, “a cry that will be fatal to those who will listen!”(cited in Harry Potter and the chamber of Secrets – herbology lesson of the students on mandrakes replantation). It’s a multi-faceted herb.

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EVERYTHING IS NOT LOST! SOMETHING LESS FOR AN EXTRA LIFE – STARFISHES

Posted on October 28, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

When I was a child , I loved to catch starfishes and then let them dry on a rock. Once dried, I brought them into my house. I felt that with their ‘five arms’ they would bring me luck. A quintuple luck. So, they became my amulets. Among echinoderms, starfishes are capable of autotomy: they defend themselves from any kind of danger in order to survive self-mutilation. They voluntarily eliminate one or more arms. These arms, over time, re-grow completely thanks to the regenerative power of the injured tissues. They lose a part of them but they save their own lives! Think people, starfishes teach! They ‘roll up’ their sleeves (oops, arms!) and regroup and rebuild what’s lost, without gettting demoralized. 

Today, I think of them as an example of strength, rebirth, hope, clinging to life in memory of what’s no longer necessary. “Non Omnis moriar” i.e. I will not die at all. It’s a verse of Horace’s poem included by Wislawa Szymborska (Polish poet – Nobel Prize for Literature 1996) dedicated to the particular duality of echinoderms. Bye bye past, welcome the future! It’s a new beginning!

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CHRIS MAYNARD: THE CARVER OF FEATHERS

Posted on October 21, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

They are taken from their daily chatter while perched on branches or reeds. They spread their wings and, together, forming circles or triangles, they migrate away. They are “The birds” of Chris Maynard. Watching his reduced dioramas, you feel the lightness of a breath and at the same time the mystery of the art of flying ( bird’s feathers are light and flexible, but strong and sturdy). Maynard steals surgeon’s working tools: scissors destined to eye surgery, tweezers, scalpels and magnifying glasses to carve with impeccable precision waterproof “beards” of feathers of every bird species. Turned into a vector of art, feathers,  lost naturally by birds during their moulting period or from private aviaries or zoos, becomes a conceptual work. Animal rights activists, it’s under control! When everything seems concluded, when life is put to an end, the American Maynard continues, thanks to his exceptional creations, to revive the spirit, the soul into every single feather, the beauty and complexity of nature. Don’t you feel alive in the recall of his flocks?

www.featherfolio.com

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HE REALLY DOES EXIST: IT’S THE IPPOCAMPUS!

Posted on October 14, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

Us, women, from all over the world, have always been convinced that the man of our dreams existed in real life. We have embarked on a frantic search of the perfect male, being so rare. Well, we were not wrong about it…or at least not entirely. He really does exist! The invention most unique and fascinating of Nature, lives in the sea. For his unusual lifestyle, it’ s the seahorse, the prototype of the male that every female would want beside him. Among the seahorses, the males give birth to tiny pony after a ” pregnancy” during which they are recognizable by the presence of a bulging pouch. It’s full of eggs previously issued by the female and the male fertilizes the same and welcomes him into the ventral pocket that acts as an incubator. Its true equality of the sexes, baby! The females have a flat stomach, because being without ” bump “. Without neglecting the fact that seahorses (owing their name to the fact that their little heads resemble those of horses) are a symbol of marital fidelity. From perfect monogamous: the pair once formed, gallop along by keeping the same partner for life. Fair enough, don’t you think?