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Flavio Lucchini biography

Flavio Lucchini was born in Curtatone (Mantua) in 1928. He attended the Faculty of Architecture in Venice, the Milan Polytechnic and later the Brera Arts Academy. From 1960 he works as graphic designer, distinguishing himself with his avant-garde work. Called by the Corriere della Sera he designs “Amica” magazine in 1962. In 1965, on behalf of Condè Nast, he launches Vogue Italia and creates all the new magazines of the group (L’Uomo Vogue, Casa Vogue, Vogue Bambini, Lei-Glamour ecc) until 1979. In 1967, together with Giancarlo Iliprandi, Horst Blachian, Pino Tovaglia and Till Neuburg, he founded the Art Directors Club of Milan. He returned in 1979 to Corriere della Sera and created Edimoda, the first Italian publishing group specialized in high-target fashion publications. He created Donna, Mondo Uomo, Moda and other magazines that have influenced the content and the aesthetics of women’s magazines of the past decade. He is the most influential character in fashion editing, a talent scout that discovers and supports many young artists that will become stylists, photographers and successful journalists. In 1993 he is called back to be the head of Condè Nast Italy, role that he accepts but just as temporary consultant in order to dedicate himself entirely to his life long passion. Leaving all his important commissions he deepens his research and explores the relationships between art and fashion. For years he works totally reserved, experimenting with technique and materials, accumulating works especially sculptures and bass-relief, of great pathos and with an ever-present sense of irony. “I move from classicism and new pop, in a sort of direct line between Canova and Jeff Koons. I’m interested in mystery, the magic of fashion, to glorify it and at the same time to desecrate it”. After a long career as art director under the spotlights, an artist that backs away from any public appearance and isolates himself in his atelier. Only after fifteen years of artistic career does he accept to participate in an exhibition. In 2004 he publishes the book “Dress-Art”, a life in fashion. In 2010 “From Fashion to Art: the Vogue Lesson” curated by Luca Beatrice, Edizioni Skira. In 2011 he is ivited to The Biennale di Venezia, Italian Pavillon, Regione Lombardia, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi. In 2012 he exhibits more than one hundred works in the anthological and institutional exhibition “On the dream of the body ‘living’” at the Palazzo Ducale, Sabbioneta (Mantua). He lives between Milan, where he has his atelier and imposing archive-gallery since 1990, Paris in his home-gallery in Saint Germain and Dubai. In 2018 he published "Cahier", an artist's booklet signed and numbered in a limited edition of 100 copies, with original drawings inspired by the collections of Armani, Gigli, Versace of the early 90's and "Il Destino - I had to be a farmer but I met fashion (and I'm not a fashion designer) ", an autobiographical book on the golden years of fashion and the experience of art in 90 memories.

Artistic career

His artistic career unwinds from the bass-relieves Fashion-Lunapark of the early Nineties, iconic and exaggerate, to the Dress–Toys (1993/95), small irregular cubes made of lacquered iron or Cor-ten steel, casually arranged as to represent figures and dresses as if they were constructed by children. Later they developed into urban Totem, iron, steel, cast-iron and silver, also designed for open spaces. With the Gold, sculptures in golden bronze and golden leaf, he creates small pagan idols, a homage to the dress-myth of our times. The long series of Dress-Memory, white lacquered resin, hypothesize indestructible traces of fashion and are a sort of archaeology of the dress which surfaces from matter as relics from a time that was. The Ghost series, big surreal sculptures, are ghosts of dresses without bodies. Then the register changes, Lucchini draws closer to pop aesthetic, to toys. He observes teen-agers still girls but already women, with their belly-buttons exposed to sight and with the codes of their tribes: here are the Dolls, playful sculptures, naïve and cheeky, ironic and coloured girls of our time; here are the Marshmallows, sugary works, dolls and puppets with infantile features. Faces, women’s faces in bass-relief, features that mutate with light and that are a reflection of the diverse identities and on cosmetic surgery that renders everybody the same. Beyond fashion: Lucchini conscious of social phenomena, he reads in his own way the dress that surfaces from the past, from afar and that is deeply insinuating itself in the present and the western world. The Burqa are digital works and sculptures that reflect the woman denied, the unsupressable desire to be oneself, also using a provocative language, the codes of fashion and advertising. Lucchini’s research today moves between the sacred and the profane through a digitalized revisitation of the most famous religious themed art-works of the past, contaminated by the icons and social behaviour of today.