Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda lives and works in Venice, Italy. An artist, designer and entrepreneur who works with glass – and much more – Marcantonio runs a glassware company, LagunaB which was started by his mother Marie Brandolini, in 1994. He also founded AUTONOMA, an educational factory in Murano, created in collaboration with Seattle’s Pilchuck School of Glass which brings together the skills of the island and the creativity and innovation of outsiders.
What influences your work as designer?
What surrounds me. The elements that I see in front of me. I tend not to design anything, I create my work instinctively. If I come across components that inspire me, I will think about how to put them together. There are no clear feelings, nor thoughts behind my pieces. As Laguna B’s creative director though, it’s very different; I have to take into considerations the context, the market and the business, and how my work will benefit not only me, but also my team, through my creativity – and how it will create a positive impact.
Do you consider yourself a collector?
Yes – of experiences only though at the moment! Jokes apart, when you grow and live in a city like Venice, the curated context of your reality makes it very easy for your memory to store and somehow collect stunning snapshots ,taken through your eyes. So I guess, yes.
Who are your favourite artists?
My favourite artist is Anselm Kiefer. His work is very powerful and doesn’t need any reading to feel the impact on your mind and soul.
If you could collaborate with any artist – living or dead – who would you choose and why?
I wouldn’t necessarily want to collaborate with the artists that inspire me, as much as I would instead want to work for them, and learn from them, as an assistant perhaps. I sometimes find peace in having tasks and being told by someone you look up to, what to do!
What’s next for Laguna B? Can you tell us about any exciting projects that you are working on?
We are about to open our own production atelier. It will consist in high energy efficient furnace that will allow us to produce one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the origin of the Goto. We also continue working in Autonoma Next, a third-year programme that we launched last year, which brings together high school students of different backgrounds and nationalities to nurture their talent and create long lasting relationships within the global community of young glass enthusiasts. All the community projects we are involved with, as a brand and as team, are a core element of who we are as a company.
Which are your favourite pieces in the sale?
There are many pieces that I wouldn’t mind taking home with me, to be honest!
From the Contemporary selection, my favorite piece is the Brushstrokes print by Roy Lichtenstein from 1967. I love the way the piece fits into this important period in art history, dialoguing in a tongue-in-cheek way with the Abstract Expressionists in the 1960s.
There is also a little Bembe feminine figure, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which caught my eye! Carved from a single piece of wood, with tiny porcelain inset eyes, this piece makes me reflect about the impact and importance of craftmanship throughout the different cultures and periods in art history. Its exceptional smooth patina also attests to years of handling, which is a reminder of the way these figures were used within the Bembe culture.
I am thrilled to be curating this cross-category approach to art collecting, which I find much more interesting that regular single category auctions. From sculptures to paintings, from 19th Century to Contemporary Art, the mix is a reflection of the era we live today, where we come from, and definitely where we are going, both as art artists and collectors.