Art be­co­mes de­si­gn

Top Yacht Design - - Contents - By Giu­lia­na Frat­nik Pho­to by Gio­van­ni Mal­ga­ri­ni

chil­le Sal­va­gni is es­sen­tial­ly an ar­ti­st on loan to the de­si­gn world. In fact, it on­ly ta­kes a few mi­nu­tes of con­ver­sa­tion wi­th him to rea­li­se why his in­te­riors are so enor­mou­sly suc­ces­sful in the ya­cht de­si­gn world and beyond. The Ro­man ar­chi­tect is a great lo­ver of beau­ty in all its forms, is pas­sio­na­te about hi­sto­ry and is a con­nois­seur of de­si­gn, the peo­ple that ha­ve ma­de it great and its evo­lu­tion.

Sur­pri­sin­gly, he keeps a low pro­fi­le, al­beit mo­re by cha­rac­ter than cal­cu­la­tion. De­spi­te that, ho­we­ver, he has, in the spa­ce of ju­st a few short years be­co­me one of the go-to na­mes on the world ya­ch­ting sce­ne. This is due in great part to his na­tu­ral ar­ti­stic ta­len­ts and his hi­ghly in­di­vi­dual ta­ke on de­si­gn. To Sal­va­gni, de­si­gn is so­me­thing that lea­ves an in­de­li­ble mark or mes­sa­ge on the ob­ject and in­fluen­ces peo­ple’s li­ves. “Ar­ti­stic ex­pres­sion can’t wor­ry about the reac­tion it will eli­cit from the viewer. But tech­ni­cal ex­pres­sion is en­ti­re­ly about func­tion. De­si­gn, on the other hand, has to ta­ke bo­th in­to ac­count and in­fluen­ces bo­th use and sen­sual pleasure as well as im­pac­ting per­cep­ti­ve­ly on our soul and the qua­li­ty of our li­ves. So it’s a big re­spon­si­bi­li­ty!” he ex­plains.

The se­cret of Achil­le Sal­va­gni’s suc­cess lies bo­th in this sen­se of re­spon­si­bi­li­ty to­wards the peo­ple who will be ex­pe­rien­cing his crea­tions and al­so his ap­proa­ch to hi­sto­ry. To him in­te­riors are por­trai­ts of the peo­ple that li­ve in them


fil­te­red th­rou­gh his vision of art and de­si­gn and ba­sed on a prin­ci­ple of iden­ti­ty mo­re than style.

His vi­sions of art and de­si­gn wouldn’t exac­tly be bang on trend wi­th the mas­ses right now and de­fi­ni­te­ly do not in­vol­ve the on­ly oc­ca­sio­nal­ly-suc­ces­sful clum­ping to­ge­ther of de­si­gner pro­duc­ts. Sal­va­gni does not choo­se fur­ni­tu­re and ac­ces­so­ries, he crea­tes them. «When I be­gan get­ting clien­ts that we­re asking for au­tho­ri­ta­ti­ve de­si­gns I tried to work out how the big Ame­ri­can de­si­gners ope­ra­ted and I rea­li­sed that their se­cret was that they sur­roun­ded them­sel­ves wi­th uni­que ob­jec­ts. They didn’t de­pend on the in­du­strial de­si­gn mar­ket for their pro­jec­ts, but went to artists to crea­te uni­que ex­pe­rien­ces,” he con­ti­nues. “And that was how I di­sco­ve­red how much fun I had crea­ting on­ce-off ele­men­ts and how gra­ti­fy­ing it was. Plus clien­ts li­ked them mo­re than any­thing on of­fer from the in­du­strial de­si­gn world.”

Achil­le Sal­va­gni’s works are so uni­que and di­ver­se that you real­ly could wri­te a book about them. But their beau­ty is so in­trin­sic that it will mo­ve even peo­ple wi­th no back­ground in ei­ther art or de­si­gn whi­ch is why they are so po­pu­lar wi­th a ve­ry broad ar­ray of clien­ts from big na­mes in the art and fi­nan­ce worlds to me­ga­ya­cht and production ya­cht ow­ners. Whi­ch is do­wn to the my­riad cul­tu­ral re­fe­ren­ces they com­mu­ni­ca­te in so­me ab­so­lu­te­ly in­de­fi­na­ble way. «That’s one of my fa­vou­ri­te ga­mes,” Sal­va­gni smi­les. “I lo­ve co­di­fy­ing a spa­ce on the ba­sis of what it is and whe­re it

is but al­so ad­ding in dif­fe­rent re­fe­ren­ces whi­ch, de­pen­ding on the oc­ca­sion, can ran­ge from Ita­lian de­si­gn of the 1940s and 50s to Scan­di, via co­lo­nial, Re­nais­san­ce and even Me­die­val.” He con­ti­nues: “It gi­ves me a way of crea­ting ex­tre­me­ly in­ti­ma­te spa­ces so full of flair and soft­ness that they feel li­ke they are the re­sult of the ow­ner’s ma­tu­ri­ty and per­so­nal hi­sto­ry.”

Equal­ly im­por­tant to Sal­va­gni’s work are the an­ti­qued pa­ti­nas and fi­ni­shes whi­ch not on­ly ma­ke ob­jec­ts in­tri­guing and fa­sci­na­ting but al­so uni­que. «I gra­dual­ly and qui­te by chan­ce met a se­ries of Ro­man craf­tspeo­ple that had spent ge­ne­ra­tions re­sto­ring the no­ble pa­laz­zos as well as main­tai­ning the Qui­ri­na­le and the Va­ti­can. That ma­de me think and I rea­li­sed they had so­me­thing that de­ser­ved re­di­sco­ve­ring. So I went to see what they could do and then I crea­ted ob­jec­ts around their skills,” the Ro­man ar­chi­tect ex­plains. “The pa­ti­nas on my bron­zes and woods, the shel­lac and gil­ding are exac­tly the sa­me as are used to re­sto­re a pie­ce of 18th cen­tu­ry fur­ni­tu­re. They are old skills that I re­di­sco­ve­red and put at the cen­tre of my art in a con­tem­po­ra­ry way.”

He does the sa­me for the li­mi­ted edi­tion pie­ces he sho­ws in his May­fair ate­lier and Mai­son Ge­rard in New York. His works now sell at the world’s lea­ding auc­tion hou­ses, rea­ching sky-hi­gh fi­gu­res. The Sal­va­gni na­me has re­cen­tly been lin­ked wi­th a slew of me­ga­ya­ch­ts but not ma­ny peo­ple will

be aware his ya­ch­ting ca­reer star­ted a long ti­me ago. He was ushe­red in the front door of the me­ga­ya­cht world in 2011 when he pen­ned the in­te­riors for the 70-me­tre Ros­si­na­vi Nump­tia whi­ch left her mark on mo­dern ya­ch­ting. He fol­lo­wed up that trium­ph wi­th in­te­riors for Au­ro­ra and En­dea­vour II, a 49 and a 50-me­tre, al­so for Ros­si­na­vi. He is cur­ren­tly craf­ting the in­te­riors of Azi­mut’s Gran­de se­ries and the yard has en­tru­sted him wi­th re­laun­ching not ju­st the ran­ge but the who­le con­cept of what a production boat is. La­stly Sal­va­gni did the in­te­riors for two Pe­ri­ni Na­vis whi­ch we­re ne­ver built. A great pi­ty as the sai­ling world needs his crea­ti­ve flair.

“Uni­que­ness alo­ne is not enou­gh – you need a sen­se of au­tho­ri­ty” «L’uni­ci­tà da so­la non ba­sta, ci vuo­le an­che au­to­re­vo­lez­za»

Left and bot­tom op­po­si­te pa­ge, the Cock­tail Hours and Pom­peii in­stal­la­tions at the May­fair Ate­lier. Op­po­si­te pa­ge, Achil­le Sal­va­gni and dra­wings for the Ear­ring ap­pli­que.A si­ni­stra e in bas­so nel­la pa­gi­na a fian­co, due in­stal­la­zio­ni nell’Ate­lier di May­fair: Cock­tail Hours e Pom­peii. Pa­gi­na a fian­co, Achil­le Sal­va­gni e i di­se­gni per l’ap­pli­que Ear­ring.

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