Text Giuseppe Fantasia
He takes scissors and brushes, he paints and cuts, he uses primary colours, he mixes them and creates new ones to realise works well-finished in every single detail where pieces in wood, iron, acrylic, marble, plaster or simple carvings on paper attract and fascinate those who look. His journeys are in the present with special attention to current events and to the universal concept of freedom analysed from different points of view. He is Pietro Russo, the Roman architect/artist, winner of the Cairo Award and the New York Prize, acclaimed by the world of art, design and fashion. Maria Grazia Chiuri, Valentino’s former creative director, chose him, three years ago, for the installation of Memorabilia, the fifty-year fashion show for the Roman Maison in piazza Mignanelli and since she moved to the helm of Dior, she also took him to Paris, making him create specially painted canvases and wooden animals stolen from the jungle for her enchanted garden at Les Invalides.
In these days, in Milan, on the occasion of the Design Week 2018 and the opening of the Gallotti & Radice single-brand showroom a few steps from Piazza Duomo, in the Durini District area, Russo has used his technique of cut-outs and joints to make Luce Solida, an artistic performance aimed to represent the materiality of light and to play in contrast with the shadows to reveal (or hide) the environment and its surroundings. Starting from an exhibition staging the latest company news and the distinctive pieces of the brand, he has managed to give life «to a new place, intimate and spiritual, interactive and changeable», as he defined it. From the Diedro sideboard – made of Taba Frisé white wood and Tanganika black wood – to the Maat table – with its particular aluminum structure – up to the Cookies coffee table in marble and the Selene vanity set, Russo’s furniture – inspired by the theatrical productions by the Swiss set designer Adolphe Appia – is able to create a new metaphysics, a dreamlike vision between lights and shadows in front of which the public – thanks to a special audio selection – will feel a sense of loss. As in his other works, freedom is the idea that unites all these projects, but the same is not a universal value, because – as he explained – «everyone can create its own model of freedom, a value that must be sought only inside us».