Recently released, 1968: ITALIAN RADICAL DESIGN is a highly crafted volume comprised of more than sixty photographs staged by Catelan and Ferrari, prefaced by Maria Cristina Didero adn accompanied by drawings by living legend Alessandro Mendini. The book offers a hallucinatory survey of the items that populated domestic interiors of the 1970's, projecting onto them the fantasies and perversions of their then users. (Michele D'Aurizio Art Flash
Named for the revolutionary spirit of 1968, the book celebrates these objects by placing them in surreal scenarios. "It's a book about lightness and freedom - our idea of '68 is about declining responsibility, about being independent of those who preceded us," says Cattelan, who retired from the art world in 2011 with a flashy retrospective at the Guggenheim. These days, he runs a biannual, photo-driven magazine with Ferrari, Toilet Paper, which shares a similar aesthetic and spirit with "1968."
Like the many oversize pieces in this furniture collection, the book itself - chunky, with images printed onto thick cardboard pages - has a self-announcing physicality to it. "This is not a book, it's an object," Cattelan says, suggesting that any book about design should aspire to be a piece of design itself. "You can actually kill a man with it!" (Emami Gazelle New York Time Sunday Style
The 120-page tome strikes the perfect tone for its subject, with each full-color spread popping in acid hues and featuring compositions full of cheeky humor, sex, and the occasional gross-out, with key pieces from Joannou's collection playing both starring and supporting roles. (Kevin Greenberg PIN-UP