Tradition, pop culture artfully combine in new glass collection

By LISA KLEIN

Artemest, a leading online marketplace for handmade Italian-made luxury goods, recently decided to play matchmaker, partnering up street artist Bradley Theodore with top Murano glassmakers for a bespoke collection of pop art pieces.  

The resulting glass items are being showcased in a special exhibit, BLOW: Bradley Theodore meets Murano, during Milan Design Week 2022.

“In a time when everything boasts the signet of design – from a toothbrush to a work of art – Artemest cast American artist Bradley Theodore in the hands of Murano artisans as author and provocateur,” said Ippolita Rostagno, cofounder and creative director of Artemest, in a release.

“The result is a curated collection which witnesses the idea that ‘clash’ and ‘culture’ are no longer at odds,” she said.

Ocean by Bradley Theodore and Fratelli Tosi; Cammarus by Bradley Theodore and Vetralia. Images courtesy of Artemest

Mr. Theodore, raised in Turks and Caicos and now splitting time between Miami Beach and New York, worked with nine Murano glassmakers – Covi e Puccioni, Fornace Mian, Fratelli Tosi, Luci Italia, Multiforme, Ongaro & Fuga, Specchi Veneziani, Venice Factory and Vetralia – on the collection.

Murano glassmaking is a centuries-old medium practiced on the isle of Murano in Venice, known for its craftsmanship, bright colors and the soda and lime added to the standard silica used in glass.

Mr. Theodore, on the other hand, is known for his giant urban murals and skull motifs.

The one-of-a-kind pieces that rose from the unusual combination mix motifs from Mr. Theodore’s tropical island childhood with Venetian symbols into lobster mirrors, pineapple chandeliers and, of course, plenty of skulls in the form of mirrors and sconces.

Cosmic Flaming Frida by Bradley Theodore and Multiforme; Do You Like Pineapple Juice? by Bradley Theodore and Luci Italia. Images courtesy of Artemest

Mr. Theodore’s visits to the different Venetian makers were documented and cut into a short film on the creative process that is being screened at the exhibit space.

The entire BLOW collection is available for purchase from Artemest.

“It was a great experience to go behind the scenes with the glass makers and draw inspiration from the history of Venice,” Mr. Theodore said in a release.

“The essence of art lies in freedom of expression and creative exchange, and I am honored to have worked with the best in their field to create something new and exciting,” he said.

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