Interpretations of marble: between mimicry and art deco

Marble: a timeless material, used in the most memorable architectures of history, a source of artistic inspiration and a material with countless applications.

Policroma’s marbles, mimicry and extinction

The concept of mimicry is one of the keys to understand and interpret the Policroma collection: the marbles have been selected from some Italian quarries "on the verge of extinction"; rare stones that return to being a living presence, following a concept of safeguarding the original resources.

"As for the marbles, I chose all Italian marbles in verge of extinction, rare marbles such as Rosa Valtoce, the marble used in Milan Cathedral, or the Verde Alpi that we often find in the Milanese hallways and in other historical Italian buildings. "
 — Cristina Celestino

The choice of varieties is a fundamental feature of the project: the Verde Alpi, dear to Gio Ponti and frequent in the Milanese entrances, has a compact design. Breccia Capraia, still available in a few places in Tuscany, has a white base and few veins. Cipollino Ondulato is a special variety characterized by spiral marks, while Rosa Valtoce - with which the Milan Cathedral was built - is an iconic striped stone.

Among the elements that shape the Policroma collection, we recognize the purest matrix of Cristina Celestino's design, which has always been inspired by an imprint of artisan origin. The collection is completed by combining the marble with four marmorino plasters, typically used by Carlo Scarpa.

The marbles of Chimera, irony with a touch of art deco
The marbles of Chimera, irony with a touch of art deco

Elena Salmistraro signs a project aimed at experimenting new material and synaesthetic interpretations: as in the figure of the chimera, a composite and legendary animal from Greek mythology, the collection hybridizes different forms and visual themes, that create a new balance. One of Chimera's expressions is inspired by marble, the collection is completed with leather and fabric effects.

The marbles of Chimera, irony with a touch of art deco The marbles of Chimera, irony with a touch of art deco

"Antiminimalist and hyperfigurative, playful, ironic and imaginative, often close to the sphere of anthropology and magic, over the years Elena Salmistraro has built her own fantastic universe populated by ceramic bestiaries, jungles on canvas and polyphemic trumeau, always taking inspiration from nature and always trying to make the ordinary extraordinary. "
—  Silvana Annicchiarico, "Tactile Surfaces" 

One of the four families that make up the collection deals with marble in a completely new and ironic way. The creative design contrasts and mixes a graphic sign inspired by the clown mask with the limpid shiny surfaces of marble, recalling in its layout the liveliness and richness of the art deco stroke.

The graphic that recalls marble takes the name of “Empatia”, which in its two versions and through highly abstract graphic-visual solutions, is original and completely unique. It can attract attention and solicit a decisive emotional response: it is in the skillful and unexpected solution of the design of these large ceramic slabs that Elena Salmistraro's creative flair is best expressed.


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