Editor’s Letter – Dionysus
L: lina hoss, cape chanel, Photography Nikolay Biryukov; nastya sten, dress chanel, Photography Kahn & Selsenick; harleth kuusik, jacket louis vuitton, Photography Ralph Mecke
Text Carlo Mazzoni
In December, three months after it opened, 250.000 tickets had already been sold for the Caravaggio exhibition at Palazzo Reale in Milan. It was impossible to book a visit as it was all sold out until 28 January, the closing date. Your only chance of getting in was to join the queue.
Out of Merisi’s shadows comes the gleaming light of Sølve Sundsbø, out of an abyss of dark rocks rises the Childlike Empress’ Ivory Tower in The Neverending Story – we called upon Lina Hoss to play this particular part. This spring’s fashion consists of the dazzle and sparkle that shine out from chiaroscuro, from the gloom of a winter that is over. During 2018, Fendi will be funding the project that envisages the digital cataloguing of all Caravaggio’s works, working with the Galleria Borghese, together with a programme of exhibitions in museums around the world over the next two years.
Caravaggio, divine and demonic. Supreme grace in his art and a life in revolt, against decorum and against the law. He painted sanctity and embraced sensuality – his work is disturbing because nobody else was as clever at producing a synthesis of the two. His painting entitled Bacchus, depicting the Greek god Dionysus says it all, an invitation to react against the Trump era: a vague moment for American culture and civilization, at the mercy of sexy trash that even appears in Love magazine, when it would be much better hidden in its original alcove, at home next to the Kardashian sisters.
Sex was a sincere affair, according to Caravaggio. Free, perverse and promiscuous—or even Catholic, prolific and symbolic—and always powerful. In Italy as in Europe, we are seeing a drop in the use of condoms among youngsters and heterosexuals, convinced that nobody dies of AIDS anymore. Dionysus is the divinity of orgasmic, orgiastic ecstasy: make love with whoever you want, try everything there is to try, the earlier you do it, the better. Condoms must be used: they are the primary form of respect towards yourselves, towards those you like—and towards a woman.
Dionysus wears Armadillo shoes by Alexander McQueen. Italy was left speechless by twenty-year-old Damiano, the frontman for Maneskin, who shook a whole country—women, grandmothers, men, the uncertain—including Alba Parietti. Damiano’s made-up eyes, chiseled cheekbones, and sensual skin will be up there on the stage in McQueen’s shoes.
Believing in beauty means believing in sweat: on skin, from effort, at work. Sincerity is what shifts the balance. «Somewhere up there is a star with your name on it. I might not be able to help you find it, but I’ve got pretty strong shoulders and you can stand on my shoulders while you’re looking for that star» this is Dionysus talking to Caravaggio – just like the giant Gil Reyes did to give Andre Agassi new strength.
From The Fashionable Lampoon Issue 12 – Dionysus