Salvatore Ferragamo has been known to explore the often-discussed relationship between fashion and art, and its latest collaboration with Davide Ronco represents this example of the correlation between fashion and art. Unveiling an exclusive selection of multimedia artworks created by five different talents, which includes Italian sculptor Davide Ronco, the partnership sees the artist create a narrative of different elements and objects to showcase true beauty in all its possible forms.
Below, we speak to Davide Ronco, who experiments with design and contemporary art, resulting in the dichotomy between the natural and the artificial.
Why did you decide to partner with a selection of artists to develop these projects?
I got invited by Shini Park to be part of this project and I have to say that this is the first time I am collaborating not only with a luxury brand but with a big and established brand in general. I usually don’t work on commission and mainly follow my own process and ideas and being asked to produce some new artwork for Ferragamo was quite a surprise and seemed a nice occasion to explore something new and different. That said, I feel very honoured by the fact that Ferragamo is interested in my work and that the team saw potential in collaboration. It has been quite challenging and interesting to approach a project differently than I normally do, especially with the small time frame. It definitely has been a nice experience collaborating with them and both the Ferragamo team and I are very happy with the outcome.
What are some of the elements you believe make it a part of the DNA of the brand?
The brand focuses on elegance and timeless details. I believe the Gancini Icon is one of them and a very prominent signet of the company, moreover, I think the brand plays a lot with colours and texture but keeping a clean and elegant style and those are the features I tried to implement in my work.
Can you tell us about the dialogue between man and nature in most of your work?
The fascination for the Ad Extremum, as the human presence’s narrowness, is at the core of my on-going research on the precarious existence of humankind: a study on transience, fragility, and decay. For more than a year now, I have been working with projects related to the opposition and discrepancies between Man and Nature experimenting with materials, techniques and their function. Through this research process, I have worked on two main installations creating the exhibitions STUDIO DEL FRAGILE (The study of fragility) and STUDIO DEL PRESENTE: ATTO PRIMO (The study of the present: act one).
The first seeks to highlight the certain coherence between humanity and nature, and the imprints that they cause each other. Disruption has happened. The cracks are there. What is next? How will mankind consciously adjust and eventually adapt to the disrupted existence of today? With the following research through STUDIO DEL PRESENTE I emphasize how in the present, we realize our existence is finite.
How did Salvatore Ferragamo artistically represent your creative freedom?
The starting point to create the artwork had to be, of course, related to symbols or products from the Salvatore Ferragamo brand. In my art practice, I rarely work within a creative frame created by others, so the Gancini Icon spoke to me in all its minimalism but recognizability. It gave me the freedom to play and explore my personal expression. I have worked with terrazzo before and with the theme for the campaign being PATCHWORK OF LOVE, I saw a clear connection.
How do you think the emotion of love ties in with fashion and art?
In my teenage years, I remember Valentine’s as THE day where I had to impress my partner and celebrate her and our love. I can see that my reflections have changed over the years. Thinking about Valentines now, I prefer to see it as an occasion to share the love you feel every day of the year. In my perception, the PATCHWORK OF LOVE theme resonates with the belief that our emotions can not and should not be enclosed in a specific way due to tradition.
The creative frame for my pieces consists of this belief, and the way I have chosen to mix materials and colours and not have full control of the outcome is very much a manifestation of my own experience of love. In the end, we don’t have full control over our emotions either, do we?
Your creations are very rich. Can you tell us the inspiration behind this?
The Copenhagen lockdown, with all the workshops in the city closed down, has been quite an obstacle in the process of creating the pieces and has in a way served as an even bigger frame for the project. The circumstances made me create simple artworks representing the Gancini Icon in contrast with a terrazzo background, mixing different types of stones, granite and bricks with pigments and cement. Moreover working with a fashion brand and especially in the frame of this Patchwork project, I had the freedom to explore more with the setup, colours and scenography.
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