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Giancarlo Venturini

 

“His is a life dedicated to a style that achieved an international Oscar, the Neiman Marcus Award, and a permanent place amongst the great artists.

Giancarlo Venturini was born and raised in the Tuscan countryside: spending his school days in the Walled City of Lucca. His summers were spent at the family Villa in Castelveccchio, an 8th Century Hill Town. Castelvecchio remains much like it was hundreds of years ago, and is a major influence in the work of Giancarlo.

Giancarlo has had several very successful careers, all utilizing his natural creative talents expressed in different outlets. He was born with taste “conegusto”. Everything he does is done with artistic style.

In the early 1950’s Giancarlo immigrated to America, thus beginning a lifelong love affair with the United States. In 1955 he opened an Italian imports retail store in Chicago, featuring Italian made clothing and accessories. Giancarlo quickly learned that the unusual high-style knitwear was becoming a well-received fashion statement. He utilized his artistic talents by designing his own collection. Additionally, Giancarlo created his personal semi-annual collections for many prestigious stores in California.

Concurrently, Giancarlo began creating appealing window displays of his collections for Silvestri Art Manufacturing Company in Chicago. This business was an ideal outlet for his stylistic interior designs. However, his growing knitwear design business soon started requiring much more of his attention.

In 1960 Giancarlo decided to devote his full-time energies to the knitwear business. He relocated back to the Lucca area in Tuscany, and for the next twenty five years he personally designed and manufactured several collections a year. His knitwear collections were featured at exclusive stores such as Neiman-Marcus, I. Magnin and Bloomingdale’s, as well as other specialty stores throughout the United States and Japan.

A highlight of these years was the honor of receiving the Neiman Marcus Oscar awarded to Giancarlo Venturini in 1967. Stanley Marcus bestowed this award annually to the top five individual designers in the fashion industry. Giancarlo received the award as a result of his artful contributions and innovative vertical design technology in the field of knitwear. He also differentiated his collections with beautiful hand embroidery. Giancarlo was honored for these contributions along with such luminaries as Ferragamo and Valentino. Twice during these years, Giancarlo’s knitwear was featured on the annual Neiman-Marcus Christmas card.

Giancarlo “retired” from the fashion industry in 1984, and began devoting the following years to the purchasing and restoration of farmhouses and Villas in the Tuscan countryside.

Giancarlo went back to a first love – interior decoration and design. He spent hundreds of hours designing and building furniture and fixtures for the various properties, while always keeping in the Tuscan style. He carefully retained as much of the originality as possible. During these years he developed a greater appreciation for the underlying beauty of the wood and materials discarded from these projects.

Giancarlo travels annually to many cities in the United States. In 1963, while he was strolling through the various shops and galleries in Las Vegas, a dramatic window display caught his attention. This unique display provided the inspiration for his next path in life – an artist. The display featured a large backdrop with rows of silk rose petals in graduated shades of color. This textural collage started Giancarlo’s creative mind flowing.

Upon returning to Tuscany; Giancarlo started experimenting with various natural materials, creating his own style of collage art. The all-important finishing touch was the custom Italian Chestnut Wood frames that he created for each piece. The wood he was drawn to use was that which had been discarded during the reconstruction of centuries old farmhouses and Villas in the Tuscany region. , Somehow; it seemed appropriate that he go back to Castelvecchio, his childhood summer home that held so many memories. His home has provided many inspirations throughout his life. Upon returning to Castelvecchio he purchased a 12th Century home and restored it close to its original charm.

Giancarlo has a great appreciation for the craftsman (artigianato) of yesteryear and remembers them working with instruments/tools that had been passed down from generation to generation. These memories provided inspiration for yet another Giancarlo Venturini style of art.

Giancarlo enjoys exploring the countryside markets and it seemed natural he would combine this with his great appreciation for the craftsman and their tools. These two loves inspired an art form - Objects of Art (objecti de arte). He finds tools from past centuries that have been discarded by this modern age. He feels very strongly that these instruments created beautiful items and should be memorialized to the craftsmen of the years long past. Many of the instruments carry the names of the men who had previously owned them, thus reflecting their value of the time.

These items are restored, mounted and lovingly encased in a custom wood frame. Unwanted items suddenly become works of art. Examples include tools for shoemakers, keys, door hinges and disassembled spinning wheels.

Around the turn of the century Giancarlo transitioned from primarily the mosaic style of artistic expression to the artful craftsmanship you see in his works today. Of course the finishing touch continues to be the richly unique Italian Chestnut Wood frame.

The results are an entirely unique style of art, not done or available anywhere. Each piece is intended to be a conversation piece. Truly an Italian Art Original


“True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.” 
Albert Einstein  (1879-1955), German mathematician and physicist.

 

 

     
 

 

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