MooPig's "One and an Eighth Chads" Art Moment
by Pat Darnell
Did you know Carlo Bugatti designed a 30 string harp guitar, hybrid?
Carlo Bugatti, birth year unknown, 1855, or 1856; his work shows him to be "a very intense individual, and it reveals his essential nature; self-assured, unconventional, and determined to put his aesthetic stamp on every detail of life. (Dorfman, John. April 2010. Art and Antiques HERE)"
Born and raised in Milan. Studied art and architecture at Brera Academy. Carlo was considered a poly-math, nicknamed Leornardo. Luigi, Carlo's father, was an architect and inventor, quixotic fellow, looking for the perpetual motion machine. Carlo who is responsible for the Bugatti Designer reputation, began designing in 1880.
He designed seating, statues, motifs, and his furnishings prophesied the coming Art Nouveau and Art Deco as early as 1888. His design approach was "totalizing, if not controlling: He would design every element, and in one case he created a room for a client in which the approved positions of the furniture were woven into the pattern of the rug...!"
That furnishing was displayed at an International Exposition of Modern and Decorative Arts in Turin of 1902. His designs had been also on display at the Italian Exhibition of Earl's Court in London of 1888. Carlo as we know, did not limit his "Renaissance ideals" to furniture design. He moved his whole family, to Paris in 1904. Carlo made his own special tools, and design-built musical instruments.
His furniture received complaints that it "is impractical and uncomfortable." Carlo Bugatti however enjoyed a strong customer base during his lifetime. And many of his one-of-a-kind originals were produced as "diffusion pieces" and manufactured in larger numbers under license.
Carlo, Rembrandt, Ettore Bugatti
"Carlo Bugatti's sons grew up in his workshop and studio learning to work with their hands and to pay loving attention to visual detail." Both sons, Rembrandt and Ettore, took up the art, science, and engineering their father had shown them. Ettore the older son, entered the same Academy, Brera, as his father's. The younger son Rembrandt was "socially awkward and quiet, but dazzling in his peacock-like mode of dressing." Ettore was confident and commanding resembling his father, Carlo.
Rembrandt Bugatti became a sculptor of combining "keen observation with deep empathy and often a touch of pathos. (Dorfman, John. April 2010)"
Rembrandt would catch his sculpture subjects, like big cats, in "fleeting poses -- panthers stalking; and, elephants on tiptoe, stretching their trunks; or, a stag scratching its neck with hind foot, poised defying gravity for a second." His motivation came entirely from within himself. He was not opposed to avant-garde that was fashion then, just indifferent because he was from the beginning a complete "master of form and rhythm."
"He's [Rembrandt] been under represented in the art world in may regards because he's hard to group togerther with other artists comfortably... " writes Bart Walter, a contemporary American artist, sculptor of animals bronzes... inspired by Rembrandt since 1980's. "His ability to capture gesture is downright eerie."
During World War Two "all the animals in the Paris Zoo had to be killed for lack of food." Rembrandt was devastated. Depression over took him in that era, affected by violence of the War, isolation from his family, worries of financial decline, Rembrandt's sensitive soul found it impossible to go on. He committed suicide on January 8, 1861 age 31.
Ettore Bugatti, felt he had to distinguish himself in a different field. He did so, but in the same awareness of "... a feel and mastery of form and rhythm ..." that his father and brother distinguished as the Bugatti work ethic. "His genius is intimately bound up with his family's collective genius."
Ettore designed his first automobile at age 19, in 1900. He believed "that each part of an automobile should not only be functional but beautiful, including the internal parts." By 1930, Bugatti's autos were "streamlined, tear-drop shaped" ... designs that are way ahead of their time.
" ... The threads that link the works of all the Bugattis are these: Mastery of three-dimensional space; meticulous attention to craftsmanship; love of curves and organic forms; and a steadfast adherence to individual vision, answerable only to aesthetic that comes from within. (Dorfman, John. April 2010)"[SOURCE Mullin Museum]