We met with Sergio Colantuoni – creator of the theme for Pitti Uomo 92: Boom, Pitti Blooms – to find out more about the origins of the idea.
Flowers? Why? Put like that it seems banal, but we are not just talking about flowers, but an explosion of them. What was it that lit the spark?
The flower is a symbol of life, of love and of beauty. They are always a joy to me, in all their forms; when they herald the arrival of spring, grace a home, bloom in a garden. The ones I am proposing for Pitti are completely revolutionary. They are a first, they feed off the imagination and are inspirational and ironic. Beauty and creativity will liberate us. This is the new motto, the new sentiment that must guide us. Without creative inspiration we cannot create collections, displays and ‘joie de vivre’. Even if now is not, in economic terms, one of the best, it shouldn’t stop us believing in intuition. Palazzo Fortuny in Venice has dedicated a whole exhibition to the topic. It should not be missed.
What references did you draw on?
Flowers are a source of life and have inspired many artists. Without them, human train of thought would draw to a halt. I’ve seen graphic paintings by Roy Lichtenstein and the large floral sculptures by Yayoi Kusama, and more. The flower is a theme which many have grappled with. I know that the flowers at Pitti go beyond the ideas of botanic, green, and natural, to unleash the unusual.
Anyone, when they think about flowers, tends to see them in a feminine context. Are we making a mistake?
I have never seen any reason to differentiate between male and female, between rich and poor or between Chinese and African. We live with a new sense of inclusion. We all have a soul and a life to live. That is what interests me. We are all people worthy of respect and comprehension; especially in the depths of our being. The flowers I have created have no gender, rather a surprising strength that derives from their colour, size and abstraction. The ramage motif, created from the drawing of flowers by the young illustrator from Genoa Alessandro Ripane, is enlarged, losing affectedness and strengthening the colours and flowers.
For curiosity’s sake: what is your favourite flower?
Every season has its flower. This too is part of their beauty. You can only enjoy the explosion of a peony, calla lily or marigold for a short time… and so, I have also answered your question!