alain elkann interviews

ART AND DESIGN

Massimiliano Fuksas

"Architecture is becoming a popular art form." It's April 2012 when I ask the architect Massimiliano Fuksas: Have you just won a competition to renovate a luxury shopping centre in Beverly Hills? Yes. Right now it’s a bit shabby, not on the same level as the products...

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Dante Ferretti

“Fellini taught me how to dream.” Dante Ferretti is a three-time Oscar winning Italian art director and production designer. His work with directors from Fellini and Pasolini to Gilliam and Scorsese has earned him an array of industry awards and nominations. Ferretti...

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Luigi Ontani

I speak to the artist Luigi Ontani while dining on taglioni pasta and truffles in a restaurant and inn run by a man named Benito, a few kilometres from the town of Grizzana Morandi. Why are you doing an exhibition this summer in Grizzana Morandi, a small town in the...

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Amanda Harlech

Amanda, Lady Harlech is one of the fashion industry's leading authorities on style, enjoying a successful career as a consultant and muse to Karl Lagerfeld. For years you’ve worked closely with Karl Lagerfeld, the famous designer behind the Chanel and Fendi...

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Gavin Brown

An incomparable adventure. I meet the gallerist Gavin Brown in a little road in Trastevere in Rome. I ask him: What brings you here? About 13 years ago I found myself visiting friends at the American Academy here in Rome. We walked into Trastevere and it was my first...

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Julian Schnabel

Painter and director Julian Schnabel, wearing a white robe and velvet slippers fit for a Venetian gondolier, opens the door of his extravagant New York home in downtown Manhattan during October 2000. This is where the most important scenes from his first film...

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Charles March

Reviving Goodwood. Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, is the master of Goodwood, a traditional English agricultural and sporting estate of some 12,000 acres that stretches from the top of the Sussex Downs to the outskirts of Chichester. At 3,400 acres...

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Vittorio Gregotti

Whiskey, women, and Le Corbusier. “In the summer of 1952, I was about to graduate with a degree in architecture in Milan. I was already working for Ernesto Rogers’ studio. He had asked me to help organise the Italian attendees to a C.I.A.M [Congrès International de...

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Cicciolina

Jeff Koons harshly treated by his then wife Ilona Staller (Cicciolina) - June 1994. Ilona: “I am in Trieste, but I don’t feel safe. Minister Biondi needs to help me. My husband is going to kill me. He keeps threatening me.” Staller is on the run with her child....

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Luciano Benetton

I lost my father when I was ten, and I was the oldest of four siblings. I had to quit school and start working at age fourteen. On 13 May you turn eighty, so it’s been sixty-six years since then. How do you feel about living such a long life and about this birthday?...

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Philippe de Montebello

"After 31 years as Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York I decided it was time to teach my long experience and the life of the work of art." Philippe de Montebello is in great shape, sitting comfortably in one of the salons of the New York University...

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Peter McGough

Peter, you met David McDermott in New York in 1980. He went to Syracuse University like you, six years ahead, and this encounter changed both your lives. How did it happen? He went after me. He courted me. It was like the fairy tale "Puss in Boots". He asked me what I...

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Inès de La Fressange

Inès, the Marquise of the Boutique. I go to see Inès de La Fressange in 1991, in the new flat that she and her husband Luigi d’Urso (who tragically died of a heart attack in 2006) have bought and renovated on the top floor of a very Parisian building. Madame Verdurin,...

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Jeffrey Deitch

Jeffrey Deitch, you are a curator, an art critic, an art dealer, and you have been the Director of MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) and done many other things. How would you describe yourself? I am one of the very few people who have played every single...

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Zac Posen

Zachary E. “Zac” Posen is walking around his new atelier in the Upper East Side of New York, next block to the St. Regis Hotel or the newly opened, very chic, Polo Bar (where, by the way, he will have dinner later with some business friends and his boyfriend,...

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Maurizio Cattelan

You are one of the most famous Italian artists alive today. Why do you choose not to have a studio in one place? Art doesn't come as much from inspiration as it does from the obsessions and fears that we all face every day. I have never been able to escape from the...

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Massimiliano Gioni

Massimiliano Gioni is Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions at the New Museum in New York; Artistic Director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan. The interview took place in the Italian restaurant Emporio, next to the Bowery in the Lower East Side of...

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Renzo Piano

The architect Renzo Piano meets me shortly before the ninth Biennale dell’Architettura opens in Venice on the theme of Metamorphosis in 2004. Renzo Piano, in 2000, you won the Leone d’Oro for career achievement. What does this show mean for you? I think it’s a good...

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Amos Oz

In his book "A Tale of Love and Darkness", which has been translated from the original Hebrew into many different languages, Israeli writer Amos Oz tells of his youth and his relationship with Jerusalem, where he was born. What has changed since the nineteen-forties...

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Lorcan O’Neill

Lorcan O'Neill arrives at my house wet and frozen by snow that just keeps on falling. The New York he has just landed in from Mexico looks like a fairy-tale landscape. There is an art fair going on, The Armory Show, where he has a stand, in the middle of which hangs a...

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Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders inaugurated a photo exhibition called “Images of Planet Earth” in the Scuderie del Quirinale (Quirinal Stables) in Rome, 2006. The great director is walking through the enormous spaces of the Quirinale, putting the final touches on the exhibition and...

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Zaha Hadid at the Royal Academy of Arts

The following interview with Zaha Hadid RA took place in the Royal Academicians’ Room in the Keeper’s House at the Royal Academy of Arts in London’s Mayfair. The invited audience have been generously welcomed by Charles Saumarez Smith, the Secretary and Chief...

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Frédéric Mitterrand

This interview with Frédéric Mitterrand was made in 2009, when for almost a year he had been the director of Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome. Your predecessors as Director of Villa Medici include the great painters Poussin, Ingres, Balthus, and many great...

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Dolce & Gabbana

To reach the Dolce & Gabbana headquarters, one goes down a ramp with little steps that are just barely there. The space - neither a garage nor a loft - is modern with large glass doors, walls painted white, and a few Baroque details here and there – an object or...

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Jay Levenson

Jay Levenson is Director of the International Program at MoMA. What is the mission of the International Program? The department was started in 1952 to circulate exhibitions from the Museum internationally. The idea was to share the collection and make American artists...

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Valentino Garavani

Very Valentino. In Piazza Mignanelli - a stone’s throw from the Spanish steps - one sees an old palazzo and a large staircase where models are being photographed. Valentino is very busy. It is June 2004 and there’s a buzz in the air. Valentino has given interviews to...

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Massimo Ferragamo

Massimo Ferragamo, how did you become the “American Ferragamo?” The best things in life happen by chance. Back when I was a humble student, I had a conversation with the chairman of Saks Fifth Avenue who was visiting Florence. He suggested I do the executive training...

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Urs Fischer

I have just finished a long interview with Urs Fischer in his huge studio in Brooklyn, not far from the bridge that I am now crossing. Today the sky is very blue, as it sometimes is in New York in winter. This amazing view of the city, its bridges and skyscrapers,...

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Mariano Rubinacci

Mariano Rubinacci’s large shop and tailor's workshop is headquartered in the heart of Naples in the sixteenth century Palazzo Cellamare. "My son Luca marks the third generation. My father started in 1930 almost by chance. He was from a good upper-class Neapolitan...

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Tracey Emin

The job of the artist is to actually make time stand still. Tracey Emin is in her London studio. She says: “I bought this building in 2010. I live two minutes from here in a really old house that was built in 1729. This once used to be an artists' area, now it is more...

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// FEATURED

ANITA PALLENBERG

Anita Pallenberg is an actress, model, and fashion designer. Born in Italy in 1944 she was the partner of the Rolling Stones’ guitarist Brian Jones and then the partner of Keith Richards. Anita, you have worked in the worlds of cinema, music and fashion. Would you define yourself as an eclectic person? I would say... READ MORE

// PUBLICATIONS

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