Cover_question mark table. sketch and product, 2017
With a career in the creative sector spanning four decades, Gaetano Pesce is one of the most renowned voices in Italian design. Born in La Spezia in 1939, Pesce’s works range from architecture, to interior design, to sculpture, vases and even jewellery. A convinced supporter that creative intuition is liberating, when talking about the present he speaks of the past; when recalling his creative coherence, he explains the incoherence of expressive language. Pluralism and variability are for this architect/sculptor/designer the very fundamentals of every design process, just as new materials and shapes are the basis of the new semantics of aesthetic.
You are a 360-degree creative: can you tell us about your creative process? How does it change when designing, for example, a vase, versus a lamp, an interior concept, or a building?
Creativity has no boundaries – and neither do ideas. Some ideas are better suited for creating architecture while others can be useful for creating objects, and others still for making music or writing poetry. This is called multi-disciplinarianity. To understand what I am saying, just look at some of the important artists of the Renaissance. Raffaello designed uniforms for the guards in the Vatican while at the same time sketching out the urban planning of the Vatican City, in addition to – as everyone knows – painting extraordinary canvases paying homage to Italy still found in major countries around the world. That’s not to speak of Leonardo or Michelangelo or other multidisciplinary artists of the Renaissance. To go from object to architecture to sculpture, nothing changes other than the scale. The motivation of each project is the same, expressed through different media.
Your materials research: foam, resin, polymers – how much does the material serve the creative objective? How much does it determine the shape?
I believe in being honest with my time, I am also of the idea that I should use materials discovered during the moments of my lifetime. Commonly, these are called “synthesis substances,” and as I see it, they are much higher performers than materials of the past. In my creative processes, I like to give these materials 30-40% freedom because their richness very often surpasses that of my mental creative capacity.
What is your relationship between objects and the body – the physicality in your creations?
I believe that abstract expression has long ago surpassed reality. That’s why objects appear in my work, because they are recognizable by the viewer so they help communicate and reveal the content of my work. For the last 50 years, Figuration has been an important element in my creations. The representative component is one that speaks beyond the many languages and cultures of the world. More recently, the computer communicates in the same way for users from different countries around the world.
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