Anna Dello Russo: When Fashion Meets Art
For the second edition of Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated in Milan, an online auction of curated artwork, the multinational corporation recently collaborated with Anna Dello Russo, fashion icon and editor-at-large for Vogue Nippon.
For this edition, Russo handpicked some of her favourite artworks by both established and emerging artists. The bidding ends on July 13 and will showcase Russo’s incredible eye for fashion, which naturally translates into the world of art.
Growing up in Italy, Russo admits that she was spoiled due to the art that she was surrounded by and discovered early on the wonders of 16th-century Italian art, when the disciplines of sculpture, painting and architecture came together to produce an all-encompassing “movement of beauty”.
Russo’s curated selection of artworks includes works by KAWS, Damien Hirst, Invader, Matt Mullican, Mario Schifano, Massimo Campigli and Arman. “For me, the arts have always been intertwined, and they have all had an influence. A constant search for beauty in all its forms has permeated all aspects of my life, and it is this precise sense of aesthetic that informs every choice I make — from the clothes I wear to the cutlery I use. The artists who resonate are the ones who speak to me on a visionary level, who lead my imagination to a different world. That might be Michelangelo in the 16th century or KAWS in the 21st century. Art can provide an escape from reality, and I hope that these pieces will open the door to all,” says Russo.
The collection of artwork also pays tribute to Russo’s fashion background and the intersection between fashion and art by highlighting a uniquely created blanket from Colville’s “Calling all Knitters!” project, which will be sold to benefit CADMI — a refuge for vulnerable women and victims of domestic violence in Milan. When the first lockdown took place, Colville called out to knitters around the world to use the lockdown to make personal contributions to five blankets, three of which will be offered in this sale.
Sotheby’s sat down to interview Russo to talk about its recent collaboration with the Italian fashion journalist.
How do you live with art?
ADR: I’m spoiled, I live in Italy. I had the opportunity to visit all these incredible art cities, like Florence, Rome, Milan. That makes your experience even deeper and deeper, and you have the possibility to build your vision.
How does art inspire you creatively?
ADR: Art inspires me every day. When I used to be in university, and I passed by all this Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Raphael, it’s like a garden. When you put a flower inside it, it becomes an explosion of roses because you never know what you get, when experience becomes your garden.
What are your favourite works from Sotheby’s contemporary curated sale?
ADR: My favourite works are Campigli, KAWS, Schifano. One really interesting to me is the African artist Aboudia, which is an expression of the contemporary moment. For my generation, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, they are iconic points of reference in art.
What do you love about collaborations between fashion and art?
ADR: For example, Colville, they made a patchwork of this fabric. Different artists, different collaborations for charity. What I love is the collaboration between art and fashion. I love when an artist becomes a designer; they have a different perspective. Teamwork is very important now and not “ego work”.
Who would you invite to an imaginary artist dinner party?
ADR: I would like to invite, not just artists, but I would like to invite this new way of being an artist. Like, you are a designer, you are a visionary, you are collaboration, fashion people. You are normal people. I mean, an artist today is being part of the community, being part of the whole.
If you could have any artwork in the world, what would it be?
ADR: I would like to now experiment with Digital Art, because, for me, this is very interesting, because if you put Digital Art in your house, what does it look like? Like a projection? Like a hologram? I mean, that’s maybe very interesting, because it’s another evolution.