Between Alba and Barolo, a showcase of works by Gufram and Memphis: from the Bocca sofa to Sottsass furniture
“Signore, I would like to sell scarves. After all, really leave it to those who know more than you do. “
Advice from a “friend” supplier has remained a dead letter, a dead branch to be cut. And the “lady” on the other hand, continued to see “the other langa”, the creative, rude and wild, almost as if it were a corner of Soho or Tribeca, as in the days of the painter-pharmacist Pinot Gallizio, when in 56 he organized the “International Congress of Free Artists” in Alba. Today, at the entrance to Barolo, a cellar has appeared that appears to have come out of a “pop art” gallery: two huge wine boxes per. company headquarters and inside a spring of yellow and purple flowers blooming on the walls. With a sign that is a whole program: “L’Astemia Pentita”. Not just Dolcetto and Barolo. Among the trays of great wines, the “lady” who loves fashion but does not tie her neck with scarves is experimenting with an even more daring graft: to mix the landscape with radical design; first he bought the company Gufram, sofa Bocca, Cactus and Pratone, and today he also brings Memphis to La Morra, among the most creative legacies of Ettore Sottsass’s genius. Sandra Vezza, «lady of the Altra Langa», the nonconformist, industrialist in her business card but artist in her soul, took up paper and pencil to redesign pieces of territory like London or New York districts.
“They say I’m an anti-conformist and a rebel, I’m used to that, but I’m not anti-nothing and anti-nobody. Already as a youngster I liked to make my own things: I created and sewed clothes myself, I wanted to be a stylist. Not everyone liked it and my mother received an anonymous letter with insults about how I dressed ». In her house in Alba, a villa in modernist architecture, Sandra Vezza gathers everything: medical books, books about wine, Disney characters, the cows from the Cowparade “I reflect in the colored with the ladder on my back”, and of course many design works, those from Gufram, but also by competitors and great artists: Finishing by Maurizio Cattelan, lamps and sofas designed by the Jobs studio. “Alba is the most beautiful place in the world. But we langhetti have a mistake: After work we think about work. We communicate a little.” Sandra Vezza’s way of communicating is a pencil going against the flow. You talk about radical design, about Impossible Langhe, the book published by your foundation, as if it were in a metropolis a stone’s throw from the Guggenheim. “I could not live in a big city. For 4 months a year I live in Cissone, a mountain village ». Langhe’s new routes come right from there, from the Cuneo villages, such as Levice, 200 inhabitants, where Vezza was born and raised. “My parents imagined a future for me as a mother and wife and a little something else.”
When she becomes a wife and mother, all as expected, comes the unexpected, the drama: iHer husband, the businessman from Italgelatine, becomes seriously ill. And she, the creative, graduate teacher who dreamed of becoming a child stylist, has to become an industrialist. “Young and beautiful, therefore stupid: in six months she will fail.” It is the sum of welcome that accompanies her to her first company meetings. No one gives her a minimum of confidence. And in her heart she also gives them reason: “In my head I have design marks, paint palettes. But I can not give up, I promised my husband. “And he goes to work.” I did not understand anything, I became an expert in automation and budgets. “Over time, Italgelatine triples its turnover (more than 70 million) and employees, so much so, that today it is disputed by the large investment funds, “my son Charley will decide what to do”.
Still, the talk, sometimes rude sum, does not disappear, on the contrary, it is sharpened now that she is an established entrepreneur, but “Declared abstinence,” he throws himself into the sacred temple of wine. At the gate to Barolo, he creates a pop cellar (project by architect Gianni Arnaudo) who is immediately accused of “disfiguring the territory” by some historical producer. “I’m almost a retiree, but I grew up with wine. My grandfather produced Dolcetto, I respect the territory and try to improve it with my passions ». Ten years ago, he bought his “wish list”: Gufram, the design company he moved from Turin to La Morra. In recent weeks, the new bet with the Bocca sofa, which fits well with the Carlton splitting unit from Sottsass. And the next stop: a permanent exhibition of the most beautiful pieces of Gufram and Memphis between La Morra and Barolo. “It’s the most beautiful place in the world. Where else should I place the most beautiful design in the world? “
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April 25, 2022 (change April 28, 2022 | 17:28)
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