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Art and Artists

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Guest Post: Contemporary Venetian Style

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Please welcome to architect, interior designer and blogger Elisabetta Rizzato, who will be taking us on a trip to her hometown of Venice, Italy, where we’ll stop by some of her favorite haunts to check out contemporary Ventian style.

In the eyes of a careless observer, the city of Venice might seem like a place that has remained unchanged over the centuries: waterways, streets (“calli”), ancient buildings, everything seems to be indifferent to the passage of time.

But there are many examples of how Venice shows its link with contemporary times: In new architectures, places, commercial activities, art, design and in the people who live and study there. In particular, I would like to talk about some shops in Venice that either demonstrate modernity while maintaining continuity with the past or that have a clear break with the past.

The first category includes numerous examples of how old products or new interpretations of old forms are reproduced and sold in our times; one of the most interesting examples is certainly Venetia Studium, whose main store is located a few steps from San Marco square. Venetia Studium speaks the ancient language of elegance and good taste – rich fabrics, high craftsmanship and attention to detail are the characteristics of the products sold in the store, with a wide range of home furnishings and clothing accessories .


The store also contains the famous Fortuny lamp. A timeless design object, it’s a floor lamp that turned 100 years old in 2007. It was designed by Marià Fortuny Madrazo, also known by the name Mariano Fortuny (Granada, May 11, 1871 – Venice, May 3, 1949), a Spanish painter, designer and set designer. The lamp is considered as one of the most interesting products in the history of industrial design and it has revolutionized the world of lighting, thanks to the special lighting effect it produces – the bulb is turned inward and is projected on a fabric used for reflection. More than a lamp it is a great light projector, which in its dynamic lines evokes a confidence in the future and modernity that make it contemporary.

I stumbled by chance in an upcoming opening of the new store, located on a street side to the Peggy Guggenheim museum:


A shop that always attracts my attention for its clean cut from the past is called Fiorella Gallery and is located at the corner of Campo Santo Stefano, a short walk from the Accademia Bridge. From its windows you can perceive the huge contrast with the surrounding environment: – bright colors, neon and works of irreverent art appear from the traditional architectures of plaster and brick of the field.

Inside, there are unique pieces from contemporary artists and irreverent designers, including works by Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass, Rod Dudley, Still and works of the owner, Fiorella Mancini. The store has been around since the 1960s and has a very interesting history.


To see more of Elisabetta’s beautiful inspirations and learn more about her work, be sure to visit er interior design.

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Friday, April 12th, 2013

For the Birds – We Still Love Them

Becky

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The butt of a Portlandia joke: Yup, after the whole bird flu thing and  their proliferation on everything from coffee mugs to living walls, birds have been dissed lately, but you know what? We still love them and think they are cool. In fact, we’ve had one on our logo since the beginning of Design Public.

If you do do, we say go for it and put birds on whatever things you want. Whether it’s a Charley Harper cardinal on your house or a folk art Eames bird on your shelf, birds that are done right will never go out of style. Here’s a few different bird styles:

Hippie Bird: The white dove, long a symbol of peace became a symbol of Woodstock where it became a free bird. By the way, you can scoop up a poster on Etsy.

Mid-century modern: This little bird was inspired by an original piece of Adirondack folk art that Charles and Ray Eames picked up an honored with a space in their home for many years. They used it in some of their great photo styling, and when their fans inquired about where they could get one, reproductions were created based on 3D models of the original. They are manufactured by Vitra.

Finnish: Over the last 40 years,artist Oiva Toikka has designed over 400 beautiful and unique mouth blown glass birds for iitalia; each one is a work of art. The only problem I have with them is that I cannot seem to choose one; I have several favorites and the first place slot changes daily. Shop a wide selection of them here.

Chinoiserie: This proud peacock adds Asian-inspired flair to the bedroom.

Post-Modern: Kontexture’s take on the rubber ducky gives a nostalgic familiar form an edge.

So peeps, how are you feeling about birds these days? Would you let a heron print in the house but kick out a tote bag with a robin on it? Let us know in the Comments section.

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Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Around the Web This Week

Becky

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What have you all been checking out on the web lately? I’ve been all over the place and yet seem to wind up in the same old places as well, like a favorite, Colossal

Colossal introduced me to these wire birds perched in trees in Geneva, created by Cédric Le Borgne and part of an outdoor tree lighting festival. Of course, if you have ornithophobia, waking up and looking out your apartment window at this could be dangerous for your health.

I also took a thorough virtual tour of Bob Hope’s desert home, now on the market. This home is supposed to look like a volcano and was designed by beloved architect John Lautner. It’s over 23,00o square feet, which is crazier than living in a volcano. It has views of the Coachella Valley, so I’m very curious to know if you can see TuPac’s hologram from the patio during the festival.

Take the tour over at Zillow’s blog. Be sure to check out the e-brochure, as the sketches and black and white photos are quite breathtaking.

Speaking of popular architects, it’s been about a week and a half since we found out Toyo Ito won the Pritzker Prize, but it takes awhile to get to know the body of work from his long career. Whenever I need a little break from work, I head on over to Toyo Ito & Associates for inspiration.

Speaking of breaks from work, I love to giggle over Passive-Aggressive notes dot com, don’t you? The busting of Alex really cracked me up. I picture this guy having Popeye arms and a serious tab down at GNC.

What are you checking out on the internet this week? Shoot us a link in the Comments section!


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Friday, March 15th, 2013

Field Trip: Museum of Design Atlanta

Becky

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Last week I had a chance to sneak away to Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) at lunchtime. Located across the street from the High Museum, this little gem is a lot of fun to visit. Another bonus – the receptionist told us that movie stars are constantly walking by and she’s seen Owen Wilson riding his bike out front on several occasions. A single membership is only forty bucks and they have fun events in the evening all the time.

“Recess in the City” by Willem Stear and Didi Dunphy

The current exhibition, The South’s Next Wave, is also a competition. Interior/set designers and object designers paired up to create vignettes. Visitors receive a ballot and get to vote.

As I rounded the corner to check out “Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully Blue,” by cg creative interiors and Lisa Humphreys, I could swear I smelled frosting. Sure enough, several of the odes to Marie Antoinette were cake, including the tall corseted column in the middle and the pillow with the shoes on top:


In “Energy Required” by Thom Borwn and Michael Kress, the vibrant color of heavy duty extension cords provide a dynamic backdrop for Kress’s boat and chair.

In “Fashion in Captivity” by Michel Boyd, Maken Imcha, Christian Harris and Caroline Mae Heidenreich, frills, swag, draping and scale create drama. Check out the way the folds in the drapes contrast with the malachite wallcovering.

“Sound Lounge” by Michael Habachy and Peter Soloman is a space I think Prince would love. If Memorex cassettes were still a thing, this would be a perfect set for their commercial.

Yes, the swing outside is decorative AND functional!

Have you checked out any cool exhibitions in your town lately? Let us know in the Comments section!

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Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Design Interview: Pete Borowsky, Founder of Zatista

Becky

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Hey All!
We are so excited to announce that we are now carrying original artwork curated by premiere internet gallery Zatista. Thanks so much to Zatista Founder and CEO, Pete Borowsky, for helping us get to know what Zatista is all about today.
Hi Pete! What inspired you to start Zatista?
When moving into our first house with my wife, we wanted to find some great original art to fill the walls. We were ready to take a step beyond the framed Ansel Adams poster, and were looking for art that was unique and said something about our style.  However, when we set out to actually find something in our budget, it was both a confusing and dissapointing process.  Zatista is my answer to the daunting world of collecting art.
To you, what is the importance of providing original pieces?
Art as a part of your home and life is so unique.  There are so many talented artists, creating amazing one-of-a-kind works, that you are sure to find something that speaks to you on a personal level. And the amazing thing is that when you find that work and add it to your collection you will be the only person on the planet with that unique work.  In a world of big box stores and mass produced products art remains unique …  and for the same price as a print you might get at pottery barn, why not own an original?

Do you remember the first original piece of original artwork that you ever bought for yourself?
The first work I bought was a little watercolor when my wife and I were on vacation in Venice.  It’s just a small work hanging in our bathroom, but it’s a daily reminder of that trip which we love.

How does Zatista help artists?
Artists are the creative power behind Zatista and their work is what makes what we have to offer so vibrant and diverse.  For that, we work hard to bring exposure to their art all over the world. As an artist it can sometimes be difficult to reach beyond your local community and we help with that. At the end of the day, we work to connect artists and art collectors for the benefit of both.
What types of styles and media do Zatista have to offer?
At Zatista, you’ll find a full range of artwork including oils, acrylics, mixed-media, and drawings.  We’ve got everything from contemporary abstract works to fine art, and even photography (only in signed, limited editions of 99 or less).  You’ll find both small and large scale works so it’s easy to find the perfect work to fit the space you’re looking for.

I am amazed at the selection Zatista has to offer, as well as the affordable prices for original art. Every piece we’ve shown above is linked to where you can buy it, as they last.
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