The Art of Piero Fornasetti

Right in the heart of the Czech capital lies the Prague contemporary art gallery Praguekabinet that sells not only art, but a unique blend between classic art and modern design. One of the names most prominent amongst its choice of art is Piero Fornasetti. The intriguing artist from Milan lent a unique touch to his work, blending high-value art, industrial design techniques with his one-of-a-kind style.

Praguekabinet’s owner Gabriela Pecic first learned about his brand of art while visiting the Milan week of design. “My friends and I were invited to Piero Fornasetti’s house in Milan”, says Pecic, “I was immediately captivated by the rich variety of motives Fornasettis used to choose.” Fornasetti may be one of the few artists that managed to blend such a wide technical diversity into a harmonic coexistence with so much creativity and humor. Pecic knew that she had a winner on her hands when she saw that there is a brand selling new editions of Fornasetti’s work and made it her mission to carry this unique art out of Milan and into the world.

Piero Fornasetti as a person was as interesting as is his art. He had extensive experience as a sculptor, illustrator, painter, interior decorator and even as engraver. Fornasetti seldom found inspiration in the real world, but in the already processed realm of photography and other forms of existing art. He lived his art; it always was a strong influence in his life and demanded a huge part of his time. He started painting at the age of ten and always proclaimed himself a natural-born painter. He banned his dreams and visions on canvas and often completely submerged himself into the realm of his imagination rather than adhere to rules and regulations. The Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan banned him for it, but also made him one of the most important and multifarious artists of the 20th century.

The Art of Piero Fornasetti

Fornasetti’s signature motive is the face of a woman, the Italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri to be precise. It can be found on every aspect of his art – in his paintings, on furniture, plates and even on the walls. Sometimes in her full glory, sometimes only as a fragment, Cavalieri obviously captured the mind of the Milan-based artist and left a clear footprint on his mind that compelled him to incorporate her likeness over and over again. It is unknown whether it was Cavalieri’s extraordinary beauty, her exceptional voice that landed her the lead in prestigious operas like Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Carmen or her heartbreaking history (she had a very hard life growing up in an orphanage) that made Piero Fornasetti connect to her in such an intense way. He created more than 500 pieces of art showing the singer. He himself had a perfectly simple answer to his obsession: he did not know what it was that fascinated him.

For over forty years, Fornasetti shared a vision with another great artist of his time: the architect Gio Ponti who is praised as one of the most creative men in his field. Lucano and Fornasetti joined forces to create the world-renowned “house of fantasy”, a building bursting with surreal art and works created by Fornasetti. This project was the foundation for the so called “Gallery dei Bibliophily”. It was meant as a meeting and sharing place for young artists, where they could enjoy and discuss their art.

Piero Fornasetti passed away in October 1988. He leaves behind over 11,000 works of art making him one of the most productive creative mind of the century. His unique style still influences artists all around the world and his work is cherished by many art lovers and collectors. A wide selection of his original works are on display at the the Triennale Design museum located in Milan. His work is still captivating very popular Piero Fornasetti, artist extraordinaire said himself: “It is said that my pieces are created using secret methods… I laugh up my sleeve… my only real secret is the rigor with which I work.”

Barnaba Fornasetti, the great artist’s son and the keeper of many of his father’s treasures, continues to reproduce and collate information and stories about Piero Fornasetti’s work. Many books and art prints are now available thanks to his work.

Also, there is a the Italian brand with the famous name Fornasetti, which carries his legacy into many homes, offering new editions of his unique creations and prints. Many items of this prestigious art and design brand inspired by the Milanese artist can now be purchased all over the world – including Gabriela Pecic’s gallery Praguekabinet.

The Art of Piero Fornasetti

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