You have to be on another creative plane to manifest fantastical designs that cleverly toe the line between functional object and creature. It’s disparate ideas like those that require a certain amount of genius spirit coupled with a big dose of audacity to envision them to life. This is the kind of momentum we’re seeing emanate from Italian designer Matteo Cibic and his design team.
Found in Cibic’s experimental wonderland are works like his Domsai Terrarium duo Hardy and Laurel and their leggy sock-adorning friends. These anthropomorphic pals can have long tentacles, multiple bulbous heads or even juicy tongue-like limbs, depending on what succulent specimen is planted to complete their alien-like form.
Among Cibic’s menagerie of metamorphic ceramic designs are his magnificently lustrous and fancily dressed bird, mouse and giraffe. The previously unseen pieces were part of a Bosa’s group exhibition ANIMAlità at the Triennale Design Museum (Milan, Italy, January 13 – February 22, 2015). Inexhibit writes an international group of artists including Sam Baron, Ionna Vautrin and others were invited to create work for the exhibition.
[They] were asked to create for the occasion a collection of apotropaic, playful and animist pieces of pottery playing with the subject of animal nature, as much literally as metaphorically and creatively…Such items are like affective prostheses: they exude nature in a place that is quintessentially cultural (architecture and living) and welcome the animal nature back as an item.
Cibic’s work is somewhat reminiscent of the mythological beasts found in the Haas Brothers’ work.
Inspired by Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, who spent most of his life painting still life of bottles and potteries, Cibic undertook a daily handmade ceramic vase forming practice for a full year in his series VasoNaso – each vase formed with a distinct nose. Leonard Koren wrote about Cibic’s undertaking:
Each object will have its own soul, its own personality. There will be good objects and bad objects. There will be extroverts and introverts. Lovers and loners .
Cibic’s daily practice culminated in December 2016.
Seeing the imaginative breadth of Cibic’s work, it’s no surprise why big Italian telecommunications corporation TIM asked him and his team to design an enormous, several stories tall iridescent art installation for the company’s new headquarters in Rome. Cibic states his textile installation aims to reflect the ideas, thoughts and emotions around the world.
It is like a huge intangible interconnected mirror. A custom iridescent textile has been designed and produced to dematerialize the towers from the skyline.
TIM writes the high-tech surface, divided up into macro pixels in different shades of silver and light blue, is enriched by a graphic motif developed in the colors of the TIM brand palette, which represents the network of infinite connections between human beings, made possible by telecommunications.
The project is part of a restoration effort of the Ligini Towers in the EUR residential and business district in Rome.
Matteo Cibic is a creative company based in Milan and Vicenza in Italy. For the past decade Cibic and his team have developed products and creative ideas for international companies, private collectors and cultural institutions.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.