1. Where were you born and where are you from ?
I was born in Cacak, Serbia. When I was twenty, I moved to Italy.
2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?
I was seventeen; on the summer interrail trip, I visited the Uffizi in Italy, the Prado in Madrid, the Louvre in Paris, the National Gallery in London, etc…and I decided to become an artist.
3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?
My parents couldn’t efford to pay my study in Italy so I have been working since I was twenty. I was waitress, baby sitter, Santa Claus and fashion model.
At 26 I began my career in the fashion industry, first working in London and Milan as a textile designer. I had attended the Florence Academy of Fine Arts and then, I eventually settling in Como. Here I founded the first atelier with Aurel where we reinvented bespoke vintage design pieces.
4. What led you to the design creation ?
It was all about it.
5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?
We like to be inspired by anything, from art to music, architecture to photography, literature to cinema, fashion to travel. During the process, it is important for us to discover “what lies behind,” the philosophy, the concept, to create pieces that are not just to use but can also influence and change culture and habits. Design is also a vehicle to make people think, and it has the power to create changes.
6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?
After a couple of energetic coffees, I usually go to our studio in the center of Como where I work with my design, communication and sales team. I spend most of my time here but for the making-of phase I often go to our workshop as well. There we create the pieces of our collections. Both spaces are very close to my home so I’m lucky to enjoy my lunch break at home, in relax, with Aurel as my chef 🙂
7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?
I always loved to experiment and explore the use of different materials in product design.
Resin has naturally become the distinctive signature of our brand. Resin is fluid in nature, which enables a fascinating variety of nuances and shades; it also allows us to play with transparency, refraction, and interaction with light. Resin is a material that produces unpredictable results. That’s why we feel it is particularly akin to us: we adore surprises and imperfections in our work as mistakes expand creativity”.
Concrete is definitely one of the preferred materials in our collections and collaborations because it is in total contraposition to the transparency and shininess of resin, and yet, at the same time, its workmanship and potential are so similar. This material is also dear to me because of my Serbian origin: it takes me back to the Brutalist period that introduced its aesthetics.
8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?
We process different materials: we cast resin in our studio, we experiment with concrete, we print our unique patterns with the silkscreen.
9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?
Embrace free and unconditioned design! Think ‘outside the box’.
10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?
Rock design 😊 It probably doesn’t exist but I’d like to create it to include a scratchy sort of design – like a Sex Pistols song. Because throughout our creations we want to set a mood, to convey a feeling. We want an object makes you feel something and acknowledge its presence.
11. What designers have influenced you ?
I am in love Space Age design , Paco Rabanne , Pierre Cardine, , Andre Courreges, Verner Panton, etc…There is a wide range of events and people which have inspired us: Dada movement, abstract American expressionism, cinema, design from the thirties to the sixties, Mark Rothko for his colours, Alighiero Boetti for his playing with coincidences, rock from ’70s for the mix of music and contents, Oscar Wilde for his irony.
12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?
Forma fantasma, so forward and conceptual, and Vincenzo De Cotis.
13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?
Surely, one of the Aurel’s idols is the American artist Richard Serra, one of the titans of modern art, and Vivienne Westwood is my queen. She was revolutionary and it still is with her activism in designing a sustainable future.
We are also inspired by Donald Judd, Joseph, Joseph Kosuth and Enzo Mari.
14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?
15. Is there anything you would like to add ?
Art in real is better !
Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
(The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Those moments when I feel in tune with everything around me, when I feel whole and allow myself to be it.
2. What is your greatest fear?
That the lockdown could last forever.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The guilt feeling. It is enough to point the finger and I start feeling guilty immediately.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Arrogance and avarice.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Patty Smith. She is a great artist and a loving human being.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
The Turkish coffee grounds reading. Love to let my intuition flow with figure depicted on coffee grounds.
7. What is your current state of mind?
This year I had Saturn against. Huge obstacles but I am proud of how I managed to overcome.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
9. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Generosity , authenticity, and sensuality.
10. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Grace and intelligence.
11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
C*zzo : Greek word that means wonder and fantasy 😉
12. Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to read the people minds and to have the gift of ubiquity.
I would like to have a lunch with my mother in Serbia and, in the meantime, to drink a coffee with my daughter in Turin.
13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Being able to eat anything I love without putting on weight😉
14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Working and living together with Aurel now almost 30 years!!
15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I would love to try the feeling of being an Angel.
16. Where would you most like to live?
I’ve been in lot of places. I am happy where I am.
17. What is your most treasured possession?
My ring with a pearl (present from Aurel)
18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
To look passively at our planet suffering due to our inattention.
19. What is your favorite occupation?
20. What is your most marked characteristic?
Let me inspire.
21. What do you most value in your friends?
They instil love in me but also brutal honesty and trust.
22. Who are your favorite writers?
Philip Roth , Natalia Ginzburg, Jonathan Franzen.
23. Who is your hero of fiction?
Lisbeth Salander and the Stieg Larson Millennium trilogy.
24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
25. Who are your heroes in real life?
Anonymous people who risk their lives to save others. Like nurses, in this period of time.
26. What are your favorite names?
Gemma , Giorgia, Suna.
27. What is it that you most dislike?
Jessica and Brandon.
28. What is your greatest regret?
Having only one child.
29. How would you like to die?
When I feel ready…possibly quickly and painlessly.
30. What is your motto?
What is essential is invisible to the eye (by the Little Prince)