Painting what cannot be painted
Text Giacomo Andrea Minazzi
Leonardo has been trying to paint for his whole life what cannot be painted – air. He achieved his goal with the Monnalisa. Perhaps this is the reason why a very small painting is one of the greatest supporters of Made in Italy. This is one of the mainsprings of Bonotto, a textile factory based in Vicenza and foundation for contemporary art, where some three-hundred artists from the latest avant-garde of the Twentieth century have transited, to produce more than seventeen thousand masterpieces, still present in the factory, on display amidst the machineries. «People work surrounded by works. They are fellows’ weapons: art not only is an object; it coincides with life» Giovanni Bonotto tells.
Carlo Zanuso, founder and designer at Pomandère has decided to have some of the most special fabrics of his collection manufactured here. «We started from a work by Berndnaut Smilde, a dark room with a suspended cloud, dim, delicate and yet warm light. I aim at proposing timeless pieces of clothes, that can be worn again and again. A mix of shapes, a few frills, more masculine materials and lines, balanced with the femininity of long, pleated skirts, volumes. Air takes these shapes».
«Dante – tells Bonotto – in the Divine Comedy, on the third verse of the third canto of the third part, in the three-three-three key, writes ‘trying and retrying’. It is the same attitude of Italian craftsmanship, you try and retry with your hands, creating, not only with your brain».
Bonotto was established in 1912, Pomandère in 2008. Almost one hundred years of difference in their history yet connected by such a rare Italianity. It is love for the territory, the knowledge of resources and skills, the desire of telling something, of going beyond the box. To do it, one needs an idea, one needs to be convinced, to know what he wants and then, trying and retrying, painting what cannot be painted.