Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back to Last Time

Seldom are we consciously aware during the moments we will invariably reflect on weeks, months, perhaps years later and recall as The Last Time. The last time we hugged our grandfather goodbye. The last time our family ate a meal together. Last twilight walk. Last kiss. Last shared laugh. In the moment of occurrence, the possibility of ending scarcely crosses the mind, and the casualness with which we treat the interaction persists. Haunts. I'm captivated by Ingrid Bergman's simple request, "Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time."

Like Dali's The Persistence of Memory, Ilsa Lund brings a surrealist profundity to the black and white Casablanca screen; her love transcends reality as she courageously (or foolishly) attempts to capture and freeze a moment. Play it again, Sam (unbelievable scene) and whether it's Sam singing it, or Ol' Blue Eyes' take (knock your socks off great), it's still the same old story. A fight for love and glory, a case of do or die, the world will always welcome lovers. As time goes by. . .

When I left my old home, I had the rare opportunity to know it would be the last time, and a desire for a new beginning precluded any inclination to pile possessions. So I took very little. Four pictures frames, a silver chest, and my Fornasetti plates.

As they were then. . .

In the perfect house that was absolutely imperfect:

As they are now, with one additional purchase:

In a conversation with the legendary Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver Piero Fornasetti's son, legend in his own right Philippe Starck muses, "The roots of Fornasetti's work are more surrealist than ironic. Piero Fornasetti was an iconoclast, he created images by breaking up other ones. It's very important for a society, for a civilization, to have iconoclasts. If you don't break up images, nothing happens. A Fornasetti object has the power to change the vibrations in a place, not because it's a handsome decorative object - it's nothing to do with that. You can be in a very handsome room, very well-decorated, with a really beautiful design, for all that it is still a room grounded in real life. But put a Fornasetti in it and it takes on a very different dimension, the dimension of a dream. . . ."

I've always prescribed to the surrealist school - to be complex, obscure, irrational and fantastic all at once, to revel in releasing the unbridled imagination of the subconscious - Breton's Manifesto (the link is to the full text - it's gorgeous, but lengthy) is rivaled in my mind only by Rand's Atlas Shrugged. They're so utterly different, but that's kinda cool. Juxtapositions in life rock.

The Fornasetti website is a wonderland, and I love Fornasetti for saying, "I translate my dreams into reality, whatever I do. . . so I dressed with remaining certamics, furniture and objects; so I placed a message in each, a small story, at times ironic and obviously wordless, but audible to those who believe in poetry." He did. And I do. Always have.

The genius iconoclast (expelled from Brera Art Academy Howard Roark style) left a legacy of over 11,000 items:

And almost five hundred variations of operatic soprano Lina Cavlieri's face - a woman he never knew. "What inspired me to create more than five hundred variations on the face of a woman? I don't know. . . I began to make them and I never stopped."

She captured his imagination. Sometimes the lack of an answer is the best one there is.

To love Fornasetti is to love to play - no rules allowed. The wallpaper is available at Cole & Son.

Or splurge on vases and place them everywhere - go mad.

Your imagination is the limit - bringing Fornasetti into your home is as much about his precision and attention to detail as it is your interpretation of his work and how it fits into your home.

"It is said that my pieces are created using secret methods. I laugh up my sleeve. My only real secret is the rigor with which I work." - P.F.

Back to A, Lina's face whispers a different poem than it did in my old life. In my zany lemon living room, she is black and white gravitas, reminding me to live each moment as if it's the last time. Sometimes, it is. 


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