You are children, you are about to take a huge cone of candyfloss at the stall in the square, but as you pull on your mother’s coat your attention falls on the friendly clown who a few metres away is making animals and objects out of inflatable balloons, the narrow and long kind. From this memory, more or less common to many (with all the different nuances of the case), artists such as Jeff Koons with his ‘Balloons’ and also the South KoreanSeungjinYang, who has turned those balloons into furniture objects, seem to have taken off.
Seungjin Yang makes his works from real balloons blown and assembled together as that street artist would do. To reinforce the structure and make it solid, he then covers it with several thin layers of coloured resin, in a process that can take more than a week for a single piece. The collection includes chairs with armrests, round and square stools, as well as an armchair for two, all available on the designer’s official website. All the pieces are characterised by a varied colour scheme, from the most elegant in black to the most colourful in blue and electric pink. “Blowing Series” was born out of an interest in the unexpected shapes of balloons, which take shape randomly, depending on how people blow. Looking for a new set of chairs for your living room? You have found it.
Nike is a brand with a long history of collaborations. But who is the designer behind their latest partnership? We’re talking about Feng Chen Wang, one of the most exciting emerging Chinese designers in the industry. Let’s learn more about the Nike x Feng Chen Wang collection, aimed at breaking the rules of sportswear by reimagining the brand’s iconic classics.
This collaboration looks to the future of sportswear as we know it, keeping the athletes of the future in mind. All of this is infused with a dose of experimentation and know-how in the use of innovative methods that appeal to everyone, regardless of gender or age. In short, it’s the perfect recipe for a partnership destined to make waves among sportswear innovators.
The star of this collection is undoubtedly the Transform Jacket, a piece that fully embodies the Chinese designer’s motto. Feng Chen Wang believes that owning less means owning more and versatility becomes crucial for a garment like the Transform Jacket, which can be worn on many different occasions.
Sustainability and environmental considerations are two fundamental aspects for Wang, who also includes engineered knits, crop tops, sports bras, and specially designed socks for a versatile look. This collection combines innovation and the designer’spersonal touch without leaving traditional sportswear behind.
The collection is set to launch on September 28th, available on fengchenwang.com, the SNKRS app, and selected Nike stores.
Art hides everywhere, often in unimaginable places, such as train stations and underground spaces. Just as frequently, it’s right in front of our eyes every day, and we don’t even notice it. We’re talking about public works of art, hidden – but not so much – among the streets and buildings of Italian cities that go unnoticed. We have selected five for you to discover. Let’s find out what they are.
#1 Adolfo Wildt’s Ear
In Milan, near the famous Villa Necchi-Campiglio, specifically at the number 10 of Via Serbelloni, there is a sculpture by Adolfo Wildt, created in 1927. It is an ear, placed in a niche of the building, known by the Milanese as “La Cà de l’Oreggia.” Actually, it’s not just a sculptural work but a real intercom. In the past, you could communicate with the concierge by speaking into the ear. Because of this unique detail, it is often referred to as “Italy’s first intercom.” Today, those who visit this “hidden sculpture” whisper a wish into the ear, hoping it will come true.
#2 The building with the piercing
In Turin, there is a building with a piercing. We’re talking about the artwork “Baci Urbani” by Corrado Levi, positioned on the corner of a building overlooking Piazzetta Corpus Domini. More precisely, it’s on the corner of the fourth floor of the building located at civic number 19. The artwork was created by artist Levi in collaboration with the group of artists and architects known as Cliostraat, who aim to work on urban spaces. The decision to adorn an eighteenth-century building with a piercing, a symbol of modernity and rebellion, reflects the artists’ desire to connect tradition with a space, both in concrete and abstract terms. If you look closely, you can see that “blood” flows from the two “holes,” with one side being red and the other blue, symbolizing the blood of the proletariat and that of the nobility.
#3 Clet Abraham’s road signs
Road signs are the means through which the city communicates with its citizens, regulating its flow and movements. Building on this insight, the French street artistClet Abraham decides to artistically intervene on them, using them as genuine supports for his works. Among other cities, he also does this in beautiful Florence. The artist works extensively, focusing on the historic center. If you pay attention, you can find many of them, with some interventions located in Piazza della Signoria, Piazza Duomo, and even at the Belvedere of Piazzale Michelangelo.
#4 The Banksy‘s Madonna with the Gun
Among the five, this is perhaps the most famous, but despite being in one of the most central points of Naples, it can easily go unnoticed. We’re talking about the first intervention in Italy by the world’s most famous street artist, Banksy. It’s the artwork often referred to as “The Madonna with the Gun,” which is now protected by a display case. It is located in Piazza Gerolomini, just steps away from Via Duomo. It could be mistaken for a religious symbol, of which Naples is filled, but it is, in fact, a statement by the Bristol artist. The Madonna’s halo is replaced by a revolver, symbolizing – in a provocative manner – the increasingly close connection between the sacred and the profane.
#5 The Arnaldo Pomodoro Labyrinth
With the last artwork, we return to Milan and move away from the street. In fact, more precisely, we take you underground. We’re talking about one of the most sensational works by the sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, who in 1995 began creating a true sculptural labyrinth. It is located in Via Solari, 35 and is a hidden gem of Milan that not everyone is aware of, partly due to its unique entrance. To access the Labyrinth, one must enter the Fendi Showroom. Once you step inside, you’ll enter the magical and mystical world of Pomodoro, who spent nearly twenty years creating this massive installation.
At the Wunderkammern Gallery in Milan comes the exhibition Diaspasis by the street artist duo PichiAvo, opening on 20 September. The two Valencian artists are known for their style that fuses graffiti and classical art. Curated by Giuseppe Pizzuto, the exhibition represents the evolution of PichiAvo’s art, which, along with aesthetic exploration, now focuses on an investigation into the potential of materials while embracing the explosive use of colours. ‘Diaspasis‘, a Greek word meaning ‘separation’, describes the technique the duo began exploring two years ago. The PichiAvo paint their subjects with spray paint, acrylics and oil on plasterboard panels, which they then break into multiple fragments. The exhibition will feature more than thirty works, including sketches on paper and paintings on plasterboard, all with irregular edges meticulously crafted by the artists, almost like sculptures, often framing detailed subjects seen and photographed around the world. We met with them to find out more.
«Each work is designed to stand alone or, in some cases, be part of a diptych or triptych,» the two young artists explain. While they draw inspiration from archaeological artefacts, which are often fragmented and scattered in different museums despite belonging to the same nucleus, they also invite visitors to play a puzzle, reconstructing stories and connections between the subjects within the exhibition space. These subjects speak of the Mediterranean culture to which we belong and which myth helps to convey, all over the world, transcending linguistic and religious differences. Myth unites us as human beings. «Basically, with our work we invite people to connect with the world of graffiti and the world of classical culture, which is what we are. Always with our work we try to represent our essence. It’s been ten years since we discovered this way of expressing ourselves where we connect with our past and invite people to connect with the past, which lives with them every day.»
The corpus of works was also conceived by the artists to give visitors and collectors the illusion of admiring fragments of interventions that PichiAvo usually creates in urban spaces; the plasterboard reproduces the effects of the materials and colours with which the artists frequently clash in their outdoor production. Regarding the gallery exhibition, PichiAvo explained what it means to them: «For us as artists, working with a gallery in Milan is perfect because of our connection to the Greco-Roman style, it unites and feeds into our work. We are sure that having this connection with Italy can work very well. Working in a gallery, being used to working on the street and in a studio, makes it possible to reach an audience we could not otherwise reach and it is an opportunity to present our work in a different way.»
Who are PichiAvo? PichiAvo is a duo composed of Juan Antonio (Pichi, 1977) and Álvaro (Avo, 1985). The two street art artists met in 2007 on the graffiti scene in Valencia and have since abandoned their individual artistic research in favour of a unique production characterised by innovative approaches and the balanced fusion of classical and urban art. Recognised for their ability to combine painting and sculpture in urban contexts, PichiAvo also work in the studio, exploring a wide range of materials and painting techniques. Their art gives life to an urban mythology that unites people from different social backgrounds, all sharing a common classical cultural imagery and a deep human connection.
The mural created for the North West Walls Festival in Belgium in 2015 marked the beginning of their international career and today PichiAvo boast exhibitions in galleries and at the CCCC Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània in Valencia. They have also been involved in prestigious corporate projects, such as a collaboration with Bulgari in Rome in 2018, and in social projects that saw them create a monumental 26-metre-high sculpture for the Fallas festival in Valencia in 2019. PichiAvo’s murals can be found all over the world, in more than 20 countries.
Yulia Zinshtein‘s artistic imagination preserves a nostalgic vein perceptible from a first glance. Among scenes of past love, moments of waiting in front of a telephone, and moments of sisterhood, the Ukrainian-born artist and photographer – based in New York – explores themes such as the beauty of desire and human connections. Her language is simple and playful. The childlike trait emphasizes the ephemeral sphere that encapsulates life experiences. Her paintings are rich in vibrant colors and intricate details that draw viewers into a world of contemplation and introspection.
Yulia Zinshtein’s story inevitably influences her artistic exploration. She was born in 1990 in Philadelphia to Ukrainian parents, and at the age of just 10, her family left America to relocate to Moscow. This fundamental relocation marked the beginning of a complex journey of self-discovery and artistic expression. Growing up as “the Russian in Philadelphia” and “the American in Moscow” left an indelible mark on her identity. Instead of feeling like an outsider, Zinshtein embraced her unique position, using it as a source of inspiration for her art.
Zinshtein has found comfort and connection through her art. It has become a way for her to forge a sense of belonging in her ever-changing environments. Her creations are a testament to the human desire to establish roots and create something permanent in a world where everything seems ephemeral. Through her work, she weaves a narrative of desire, a universal emotion that resonates with people from all walks of life.