By Jayme db
italian architect, designer, and theorician andrea branzi is not interested in understanding the differences between design and art. instead he is interested in creating objects with narrative instilled both by him and in the stories associated with how his pieces are used by others. the ‘figures’ series on display at design gallery milano as part of milan design week 2011 ‘contaminate the unduly self-referential language of design and desecrate the untouchability of art’ by creating not only a series of small hand painted sculptural forms but also a series of wall hanging paintings with shelves built into them.
these forms, and their presentation, cross long established borders between art and design and the traditional conceptions that seem to arise when the two are crossed. the pieces, made from mixed media, oil paints, cast and enameled solid aluminum, interact with each other and the viewer by allowing for the pieces to be moved and changed while standing in their presence. dramatically improving the compositions by simply moving a few objects around on the same canvas, branzi has created a dynamic system that produces seemingly finished traditional art pieces with a shelf life at the whim of the viewer.