Short essay on the extraordinary Azzedine Alaïa

 

Azzedine Alaïa had a particular path full of wonderful meetings and particular experiences that gave him an extraordinary sensibility to the world. His story is full of persons and details that influenced him a lot. From his maternal grand parents, and Madame Pineau in Tunis, to the Comtesse de Blégiers and Madame Simone Zehrfuss in Paris who introduced him to the best artists of those times. Azzedine Alaïa gets in touch with a flow of different characters that affect his life and work forever.

After a few years in Paris, he built an incredible social network in which personalities and artists of all kinds meet and interfere.

Azzedine Alaïa is a singular art and life lover.

 

He has a great culture of literature and History of Arts, which he doesn’t like bringing to light with a respectable unpretentiousness. He owns amazing collections of books, haute couture garments and art pieces.

From the year 1987, he decides to go against the dictates of the regular fashion calendar. Anyway, his work is not about a collection or a season, neither about create a story, because according to him “everything is in the materials”. Azzedine Alaïa loves breaking the established codes, taking inspirations from every little thing that surrounds him or catches his attention and reflection.

His work is at the same time modern and timeless, personal and neutral, as if each garment he creates was a masterpiece.

 

He plays with time in a very original way, inventing new configurations. It’s about a long-term history on both intercultural and multidisciplinary sides.

Art, Creative director, fashion

Azzedine Alaïa is a “passeur”, according to the definition that gives Jerzy Kosinsky; somebody who creates bridges, who understands and explains how crossbreeding happen and identify its mechanism. Alaïa goes through every cultures, periods and genres, for him borders don’t exist and everything is about crossing and mixing.

He drew the most entire and complete vision, the most complex and global definition of the contemporary culture.

 

Bill Viola, Electronic Renaissance

 

Palazzo Strozzi foundations organizes in collaborations with Bill Viola Studio an electronic Renaissance in Florence.

The exhibition takes place from 10th of March until 23th of July 2017, and it’s been curated by Arturo Galansino and Kira Perov, who’s been his wife since 1979.

What a perfect location as Florence to organize a retrospective of Bill Viola; His Art was born here. Bill Viola is passionate about Renaissance and all the themes that come around it. The Vitruvian man is at the centre of his work and what he truly focuses on is all about humanity at its essence. Bill Viola represents primitive and archaic ideas through renewed motives and extremely modern ways. He is the founding father of this Art and proposed revolutionary ways to work and express himself at the time he begun is the 70’s.

He shows men and women transfigured by the forces of nature, as fire and water.

 

florence

He is actually fascinated by water and sees it as an element of purification.

He loves Mannerist painters as he sees them as the greatest colourist, which inspires him a lot.

The exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi wisely showcases the Greeting (1995), work of Bill Viola, next to the Visitazione (1528) of Pontormo, this allows a more complete understanding of the work as well as a great pleasure to be able to admire those two master pieces looking at each others. It’s very interesting to know that Bill Viola has never seen the painting of Pontarno in reality when he created the Greeting, but he will see it only 18 years after. In this precise work, he uses slow motion as a central tool so as to showcase our internal timing, deconstructing our deepest internal dynamics.

Bill Viola wants to show things in front of which we just have to surrender. Indeed, for him the limited character of our lives is precisely what gives sense to it:

Immortality and eternity are two sides of a same coin.

What interests this peculiar artist is to slow down the frenetic rhythm we impose to ourselves so as to refocus on humanity, all this through very modern means that he adapts and revisits constantly. We get confused and merged with all those characters he shows us and his work becomes a real introspection among the unlimited possibilities of our inner selves.