Image: Nick Knight
August 20 2011
I am with Giuseppe working on my scents; we are in Salso Maggiore. Salso was the grand spa location where 1950s, 60s and 70s Hollywood came to take the waters – Sophia Loren, Sinatra, and most of the Italian aristocracy bathed here. It was a “secret Italy”. A kind of Mayfair in the 1980s, if you like; the taste is all there, but you need to know what to look for – how you would view a Jeff Koons work without context may be another analogy. Today it is a faded relic of a glamorous past, the forgotten town of the style elite; it never recovered or moved beyond the early 1980s. However, the water is still here and good water is the base of all fine scent.
Scent, as well as being a type of science (like all art), is an emotive process. I try and only rely on my senses for work. Touch, for example, is the quickest way to establish material and cloth quality (especially if you are going through a few thousand in one day at a show). For example, the very good Brunello Cucinelli makes the softest cashmere, but also in “the right way”, and when you feel the cashmere it is unmistakable. I like the ideology of Brunello, and I feel that football is close to his heart. I have some ideas for some new type of crossover knitwork-hybrid track suits for travel, with the feel of a suit but with the comfort of a sports knit.
My mind is still on football as I see a past player in Salso walk past. I can’t place him; it may be Milan’s Maldini. Earlier this week, I was sent some recent images of Pele by the newly born Green Soccer Journal, an independent magazine that writes on the subject in an intelligent way. I met them at the Arsenal v Barcelona Champions League match in London and ended up being interviewed by the artist Peter Saville for their second summer issue and then myself interviewing the majestic Patrick Vieira for the magazine.
The day finishes as ever with mail, and I am sent an inspiring image from the artist Matthew Brannon. It is the invitation for his New York show which I am making work for; the seductively cryptic title is Gentleman’s Relish.