A view into our world at Suzanne Lovell, Inc. and the ideas that inspire us daily.
We're big fans of Paolo Ventura, the Brooklyn-based, Italian born artist who creates hand-painted photographs using objects found in flea markets and on eBay, among others, to create dreamlike pieces. Sometimes in the form of dioramas, the smallest details play off each other and appear life-sized.
Not surprisingly, Ventura has been inspired his entire lifetime; Born to a famous Italian children's book illustrator and author from the 1960's and 1970's who created worlds of creativity and imagination for his sons..."invented worlds" became a part of the everyday. Adding to the fun childhood, Ventura's free-spirited grandmother resided with the family and often took the children on field trips to the circus.
Usually cloudy and surreal, the works are set in indescribable places but usually take place around the time of World War II. This master of reinvention is one we give a big "two thumbs up to"!
We found a special place in Prague that's probably new to most... a giant, wooden zeppelin that was built to be used as a reading room. This wooden airship actually "floats" between two buildings at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art; it's a permanent installation that will be home to museum-organized talks and will host writing workshops to compliment current exhibitions.
Named "Gulliver", as homage to Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", this is sure to quickly become a destination for Prague locals and visitors alike. A more amazing place to crack open a book is hard to find... hopefully, it'll beckon youngsters to put aside their electronics for a while.
120 people can fit inside this wood and steel zeppelin structure designed by Czech architect, Martin Rajnis. It took Rajnis 2 years to actually see the finished "airship" come to fruition and it's a nice contrast to the Centre's modern warehouse design. We think this newly opened installation will quickly become a Prague "Top Ten" destination!
Recently opened, the new Shanghai Natural History Museum is an architectural feat. Perkins + Will spent 9 years on perfecting the design, development and construction after winning an international design competition. Drawing upon traditional Chinese cultural references was important; thus, the building beautifully represents the harmony between humans and nature. Taking inspiration from the ancient Chinese tradition of mountain water gardens, China's natural landscape was stunningly "minimized".
The circular design allows for easy movement within, and the interior organization is made easier by the nautilus shell design which, in nature, is one of the truest geometric forms... perfect for a natural history museum.
More than 10,000 artifacts (representing all seven continents) are displayed in the bright, light-filled building. The 30-meter atrium is welcoming and the adjacent glass wall mimics the cell-structure of both plants and animals.
And finally, the design is environmentally friendly... the building is bioclimatic by maximizing the sun's output for solar power; nearby, the courtyard pond provides evaporative cooling. The interior temperature is regulated via geothermal and rain water is collected from the vegetated roof, stored in the oval pond and recycled.
Perhaps most importantly, with an additional 20 exhibition spaces, this space won't soon get outgrown!
Pierre Frey was founded in 1935 by it's namesake. The company has designed beautifully luxurious textiles for over 80 years. With 7,000 items under its large umbrella, the company has an amazing collection of fabric, wallpaper, furniture and decorative objects. With three other prominent brands under Pierre Frey: Braquenié, Fadini Borghi and Boussac, it's no surprise that the scope is so wide-reaching.
Now run by Frey's son, Patrick, and grandsons, Vincent, Pierre and Matthieu, this design company has stayed close to its roots by continuing to make the majority of their products in a Northern France factory... thus ensuring the high standards they demand... remain.
We love the innovative vintage designs that have been renewed for the 21st century. We love the colors and prints that were recently featured. And, we love the authenticity and loyalty to French design that Pierre Frey maintains!