di Secondome

From illustration to design, as in an ancient fairytale about the origin of the mankind, its sense and its fate.

There are primates, primitive creatures which remind the man of his animal nature. There is Countess Florinda, the totem of a woman who doesn’t want to grow old and indulges in aesthetic surgery to the point where her appearance is completely exhausted in a grotesque yet – in her own way – poetic image. There are the colored lamps, homage to Giorgio Morandi and there is Polifemo, with the eye of the giant that opens becoming the shutters of a credenza, inspired to the part and yet entirely reinterpreted in a contemporary key, almost turning into a treasure chest full of secrets and memories.

Elena Salmistraro’s creations look like objects from a fairytale, works where playfulness, irony and research take the shapes and colors of peculiar furniture and decor items. All these collections , in the six years since her debut – during 2012 Milan Fuorisalone – made the 35 years old Milanese designer a case both in Italy and abroad.

An exhibition in Milan, in Cc-Tapis showroom, curated by Valentina Guidi Ottobri and in collaboration with Seletti, Bosa, Stone Italia, Lithea, SecondoMe, DeCastelli, London Art and Camp Design Gallery – all brands Elena Salmistraro works actively with – is the chance (up to October 26th) to explore this poetic and the way it translates into objects that look from a timeless past and represent an unicum into the Italian creativity panorama.

The first peculiar thing that sets Salmistraro as a singularity in the Italian design scene is that everything starts with an illustration and slowly turns into matter that, through patterns, zoomorph creatures and geometries, conquers the eyes with an incredible richness in colors and expressivity, leading the gaze on precious finishings and details.

The earliest of Elena’s experiments, paper-machè lamps and the Deux Ames sofa, implied the course her work was going to take. Even more telling, the trasition to the use of Jacroki, a natural fiber, than to ceramic and step by step to a moltitude of materials, in a continuous research and game, fueled by the awareness that “objects were becoming my favourite subjects”, as she once said.

From the early self-productions – that brought her to the Fuorisalone, six years ago – to today, there is the whole vertigo of a creative whose items are touring around the world thanks to the exhibition “The new Italian design” curated by Silvana Annichiarico and Andrea Branzi.

The exhibition develops on two rooms and it’s a full immersion into products of every kind, from vases to rugs, that long to become icons. And sometimes they already are.

credit: Photo by Juliano Araujo