Entries in World of Interiors (3)

Monday
Aug132012

Garouste & Bonetti, The World of Interiors, November 1996

[ED: Going through a semiannual neobaroque thing. Or neoprimitive. Whatever. Drape me in branches and horn and velvet. Additional post on Garouste & Bonetti for Christian Lacroix at SHOWstudio. Enjoy.]

 

▶ ARTHUR RUSSELL: THAT'S US/WILD COMBINATION

▶ CLAMS CASINO: NATURAL

"When the Garouste and Bonetti enterprise was started in 1980, it was the dawn of a flourishing era in the world of decoration. Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti came from different countries with different horizons. In Paris, Elizabeth had been to the ultra-liberal Ecole Alsacienne, where she was taught to 'express herself'. Elizabeth 'played at Picasso, or at prehistoric man' but, to her amazement, her unbridled imagination won her no more than four out of 20 in the baccalaureate drawing test.

She was still a very young woman when she married the painter Gerard Garouste, then just starting out. In the evenings, the Garoustes often went to Le Palace, the famous nightclub, and its restaurant, Le Privilege. Both were run by Fabrice Aemer, who clustered around him everyone who was creative or fun in 1970s Paris. It was here that the Garoustes met Mattia Bonetti. Bonetti, a Swiss, had attended the Ecole des Arts Appliqués a l'Industrie in Lugano and had worked on the fashion side of the textile business in Italy. Mattia was interested in cinema, photography and theater and he undertook several ventures with David Rochline, Elizabeth Garouste's brother."

"When, in 1979, Fabrice Aemer asked the Garoustes to redecorate both Le Palace and Le Privilege with Mattia Bonetti, the world of Paris nightlife was enchanted. It was the beginning of a highly successful partnership. 'We were fascinated by everything to do with ornamentation, illusion, baroque. We liked fake stones, prehistoric references, wrought iron and raffia – none of which were taken seriously at the time – and we decided, the three of us, to create a collection of 12 elements: chairs, screens, mirror lamps, tables. We each put 11,000FF into the venture.' When Gerard Garouste's paintings began to sell very well, he parted professional company with Elizabeth and Mattia, leaving them to their work as designers and decorators."

"At first the distribution of their objects proved difficult as Garouste and Bonetti defied categorization: they were neither craftsmen nor artists, neither fish nor fowl. Five or six years were to elapse before the opening of galleries such as Neotu or the lighting shop En Attendant les Barbares, both of which would be receptive to their work. In the meantime, Elizabeth, who looks like Snow White, and Mattia, a blond Prince Charming, were lucky enough to meet Jeanne Lambert de Loche, who was working at Jansen, the decoration mecca on the rue Royale. She offered them her shop window to display their collection, a minor event which generated major interest from the media. The company of Garouste and Bonetti was born.

Further recognition followed in 1986 when Christian Lacroix commissioned them to decorate his couture house and boutiques. In 1987 Bernard Picasso hired the team to design the furniture, objects and carpets for his house, and then there was a commission from Nina Ricci to design a new cosmetics line. David Gill introduced Garouste and Bonetti to the British public in 1988."

"'Our style hasn’t' changed much since the beginning, apart from the fact that the things we do are more sharply defined. We still like contrasting luxury materials such as gilded or silvered bronzer and wood, and we still prefer the natural look, which we call "organic style" because of its soft, asymmetrical outlines. What interests us is the outer frontier of good taste, the zone where kitsch and chic collide. Ours is an ambiguous blend, somewhere between Marie-Antoinette and Africa.'"

SKETCHES BY MATTIA BONETTI, PHOTOGRAPHY BY VINCENT KNAPP, TEXT BY MARIE-FRANCE BOYER, TAKEN FROM "PARIS MATCHLESS," WORLD OF INTERIORS, NOVEMBER 1996

Monday
Jan242011

Marc Bankowsky

Plaster mirror frame [L], and model for bronze coat rack [R]

[4]

Above: various wall lights

Fiberglass screen

Models for a bronze console [L] and bronze bed [R]

Painted wood screen

Pair of bronze andiorns [L], and plaster ceiling fixture with plaster canopy [R]

[1]

Model for bronze chair

[2,3]

[5]

Bronze table for Christian Dior haute coture, Paris, from an idea by Peter Marino [L], and bronze coffee table [R]

Fiberglass screen

Painted wood screen [L], and bronze stool [R]

 

ALL IMAGES OF WORK BY MARC BANKOWSKY VIA MARC BANKOWSKY'S WEBSITE AND MAISON GERARD; IMAGES 1-5 ARE TAKEN FROM THE WORLD OF INTERIORS, MARCH 1996, PHOTOS BY RENÉ STOELTIE; WORK BY MARC BANKOWSKY IS AVAILABLE THROUGH MAISON GERARD, NEW YORK

Monday
Dec202010

Leonora Carrington / Arthur Magazine / WoI / Neutral Milk Hotel 

NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL: MY DREAM GIRL DON'T EXIST

When I was a debutante I often used to go to the Zoological Gardens. I'd go there so often I knew the animals better than the young ladies of my own age. It was in fact to get away from people that I found myself every day at the Zoo. The animal I knew the best was a young hyena. She knew me, too; she was very intelligent; I taught her French and in return she taught me her language. We spent many a pleasant hour this way.

On the first day of May, my mother was arranging a ball in my honor; for nights on end I suffered; I've always hated balls, especially those given in my honor.

On the morning of the First of May 1934, very early, I paid the hyena a visit. "It's a dammed nuisance," I told her, "I have to go to my ball this evening."

"You're lucky," she said, "I'd be glad to go. I don't know how to dance, but I know how to make conversation, anyway."

"There'll be lots of things to eat," I said. "I've seen trucks full of food coming up to the house."

"And you complain," replied the hyena, in disgust. "I eat once a day, and you should see the shit they give me!"

I had a daring idea, I almost laughed: Why don't you go in my place?"

"We don't look enough alike, otherwise I'd go all right," said the hyena, a bit sad.

"Listen" said I, "under the evening lights it isn't too easy to see; if you're dressed up a bit, among the crowd they won't notice. Then again, we're about the same height. You are my only friend, I beg of you." She thought things over, I knew she wanted to accept.

"Consider it done," she said suddenly.

It was very early in the day, there were not many keepers about. Quickly I opened the cage and in a few moments we were in the street. I took a taxi, and at home everyone was in bed. In my room I took out the dress I was to wear that evening. It was a little long and the hyena had trouble walking on the high heels of my shoes. I found some gloves to disguise her hands, too hairy to resemble mine. When the sun reached my room she walked several times up and down, more or less upright. We were so busy that my mother, who was coming say good morning to me, almost opened the door before the hyena had hidden under my bed. "There's a nasty smell in your room," said my mother, opening a window. "Before tonight you'll take a bath scented with my new salts."—"All right," I said. She didn't stay long. I think the smell was too strong for her.

"Don't be late for breakfast," said my mother, leaving my room.

The biggest problem was finding a disguise for her face. Hours and hours we tried; she turned down all my suggestions. At last she said: "I think I know a solution. Do you have a maid?"

"Yes," I said, perplexed.

"Well, there you are. you'll ring for the maid and when she comes we'll pounce on her and we'll tear her face off. I'll wear her face this evening in place of my own."

"That's not sensible," I said. "She'll probably be dead when she has no face left; someone will surely find the body and we'll go to prison."

"I'm hungry enough to eat her," replied the hyena.

"And what about the bones?"

"Them, too," she said. "Well, do you agree?"

"Only if you promise to kill her before tearing her face off; it'll hurt too much, otherwise."

"Right, it's all the same to me."

I was ringing for Mary the maid, somewhat nervous. I wouldn't have done so if I didn't hate balls so. When Mary came in I turned to the wall so as not to see. I admit it was over quick. A short cry and that was the end. While the hyena was eating, I looked out of the window. A few minutes later she said: "I can't eat any more; both of the feet are still left, but if you have a bag I'll eat them later in the day."

"You'll find in the closet a bag embroidered with the fleur de lys. Empty out the handkerchiefs in there and take that one." She was doing as I had told her. Then she said: "Turn around now and look how beautiful I am!"

In front of the mirror the hyena was admiring herself in Mary's face. She had eaten very carefully all around the face so that just what she needed was left. "Yes indeed , you've made a good job of it," I said. Toward evening, when the hyena was all dressed, she announced: "I feel in fine form. I've the impression I'll be a big success tonight."

"When we had heard the music downstairs for some time, I said to her: "Go on, now, and remember not to stand next to my mother: She'd know it wasn't me, for sure. Apart from her, I know nobody. Good luck." I kissed her as she left but she did have a strong smell. Night had come. Tired out by the emotions of the day, I took a book and, near the open window, I gave myself over to rest. I remember I was reading Gulliver's travels by Jonathan Swift. It was perhaps an hour after that the first sign of something untoward came. A bat entered the window, uttering little cries. I'm terribly afraid of bats. I hid behind a chair, my teeth chattering. I was hardly on my knees when the sound of beating wings was drowned out by a loud noise at my door. My mother came in, pale with fury. "We had just sat down to eat," she said, "when that thing in your place gets up and cries, 'I smell a  bit strong, eh? Well I don't eat cake.' Then she tore off her face and ate it. With one big bound she disappeared through the window."

IMAGES OF LEONORA CARRINGTON'S MEXICO CITY HOME BY ADRIANA ZEHBRAUSKAS, TAKEN FROM WORLD OF INTERIORS, JUNE 2010; OTHER IMAGES TAKEN FROM ARTHUR MAGAZINE; PAINTINGS [AND THEN WE SAW THE DAUGHTER OF THE MINOTAUR, 1953; AB EO QUOD, 1956] BY LEONORA CARRINGTON; TEXT: "THE DEBUTANTE" BY LEONORA CARRINGTON, TAKEN FROM THE CUSTOM HOUSE OF DESIRE: A HALF CENTURY OF SURREALIST STORIES TRANSLATED BY J.H. MATTHEWS, 1975