Draga & Aurel x Galerie Philia illustrate Neo-nomadism for Lake Como Design Festival
Rive bench stand against Aurel K. Basedow’s free-flowing paintings at Lake Como Design Festival
Photo Credit: Riccardo Gasperoni
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Draga & Aurel x Galerie Philia illustrate Neo-nomadism for Lake Como Design Festival

Set within the walls of the historic Casa Bianca, the exhibit brought to life the festival’s theme of Neo-nomadism, blurring the line between physical and virtual existence. 

by Nitija Immanuel
Published on : Oct 03, 2022

A dialogue of sonorities and syncopations between art and design was concocted in a historic building by Draga & Aurel and Galerie Philia. The contemporary design and modern art gallery recently exhibited an intriguing display of their most recent art and design pieces in the historic Casa Bianca on the occasion of the fourth edition of the Lake Como Design Festival, Italy in late September of this year. Hosted across several venues in Como, the exhibitions, talks, and events, curated by Lorenzo Butti, the event’s creator and artistic director, were held in illustrious, obscure, and nearly forgotten locations.

Neo-nomadism, the leitmotif of the festival, incorporated both traditional and contemporary digital environments. The artists chosen by the esteemed Galerie Philia to exhibit with Draga & Aurel at Casa Bianca were the appropriate representation of the festival's theme for the year. "The ‘nomad’ is the person that migrates from one place to the other, a person that has no boundaries. We conceived our work exactly this way, migrating from art to design, no boundaries between them and no fixed definitions," shared the duo in an exclusive interview with STIR.

Draga & Aurel’s presentations at Galerie Philia for the Lake Como Design Festival
Draga & Aurel’s presentations at Galerie Philia for the Lake Como Design Festival Image: Riccardo Gasperoni

The historic residence, set against the idyllic backdrop of Lake Como, opened its doors to the public for the first time. “It is a true hidden gem, the beautiful and elegant architecture, the historically adorned chambers, the wide windows overlooking the lake, the airy spaces filled with natural light; we really loved exhibiting here and immediately felt connected with this place and inspired by it," expressed Draga Obradovic, co-founder of the multi-disciplinary design studio. Inside, the ‘canvas sculptures’, a projection of Aurel’s fluid pictorial compositions, are mirrored against resin and concrete coffee tables, chair designs, as well as colourful lamps. "Each object takes over the space, makes it its own, encompasses it and at the same time fills it with new forms, always different," she said.

The immersive installation, in which the spectator, along with the works, becomes the protagonist, blurred the distinction between fine art and sculptural design. It was only recently that the studio launched its latest Night Fever Collection at Milan Design Week 2022. The designers shared their thoughts and reflections on the role of creativity in this constantly perpetuating realism, "We like to think that nomadism here is expressed by the encounter of different worlds and creative minds," shared Obradovic.

Joy Lamps, Cala Coffee Table and Bench and AKB_22_47, 2022
Joy Lamps, Cala Coffee Table and Bench and AKB_22_47, 2022 Image: Riccardo Gasperoni

On display were creative furniture designs such as the Transparency Matters Collection and Heritage Collection, layered with the studio’s one half, Aurel K. Basedow’s paintings with their free and indefinable forms and mismatched flow.

AKB_19_150, 2019/2022; Mixed media on wood panel; Mediums: Maroccan carpet, oil pastels, varnish, resin; 100 x 100 cm
AKB_19_150, 2019/2022; Mixed media on wood panel; Mediums: Maroccan carpet, oil pastels, varnish, resin; 100 x 100 cm Image: Riccardo Gasperoni

Built on the substratum of rhythm, instinct, and rules, Aurel’s artworks “alternate between rigid technical methodical handling and the magic of chromatic layering.” Speaking about the inspiration of the creations and the virtuous transformation of materials, the artist and co-founder of Draga & Aurel, Aurel K. Basedow, shared, “The process of creation of each piece, being an artwork or a design piece, is separate and independent. A project such as this one in Como comes from the selection of those pieces of art and design that speak to each other, that together reinforce each other, and that succeed in creating an emotional experience within the exhibition space. Maybe, we can say that it is a mutual inspiration.”

Joy Circle Lamps and Agatha Coffee Table displayed at the presentation
Joy Circle Lamps and Agatha Coffee Table displayed at the presentation Image: Riccardo Gasperoni

Since its inception, designers have supported the design festival and recognised it as a fantastic opportunity to promote culture, art, and contemporary sculptural design on their home turf. “This year we wanted to do more, and to be present not only as exhibiting artists but also by actively involving Galerie Philia, a gallery with which we have been collaborating for a few years now,” shared the Como-based duo. Galerie Philia, an international gallery of contemporary design and modern art with branches in New York, Geneva, Singapore, and Mexico City, promotes selected works in a transcultural approach that becomes a network of harmoniously interconnected roots in an extensive heterogeneous collection that reveals the beauty of each unique creation.

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