Design and antonio bonfiglio

Design? What is design - it's a far reaching memory...

As a child I watched fascinated as my father painted. It is from him that I inherited this passion. Officially, my father was a building construction manager because his mother, my grandmother, discouraged his artistic leanings. However, he actually never did give up his painting and sculpting. So much so that every free moment of our family life was right for picking up pencil and pencil to draw a piece of furniture or a trinket/bauble/jewel/an ornament for my mother or for our country home.

From him I learned what design is all about and the philosophy behind this type of artistic expression: design expresses form and form is the basis of everything including life itself. Without form there is no life, without life there is no expression, without expression there is no design and without design man cannot express beauty and ceases to exist.

Since it is difficult to imagine that art guarantees sustenance, I too, at an early stage was directed towards the most diverse objectives - attending first the Scientific Lyceum (Science & Maths studies) and then Medicine at Pavia University. My academic studies although progressing satisfactorily came to a halt after a couple of years caused by a crisis brought on by the necessity to shake off the limits imposed by books and to give free rein to creativity and my ideas. It was then that I decided to close with formal education. I carried out the 12 month obligatory National Service in the Alpine Artillery in Vitipeno - a tough year but rewarding too for human experiences. It was here that I met by future business partner, a goldsmith with whom, on my return, we founded my present jewellery business.

So I began to apply my father's teachings to jewellery creation. Some time later I met Margherita the lady who married me/I married and who has always encouraged me in my business with her great conviction.
I also started to paint intending sooner or later to organise an exhibition and consequently to define my artistic identity as an artist. I met Angelo Bellini, the Lecco artist whose studio I frequented in my free time for 3 years: evenings, after work etc.

This was a very pleasant period in my life as I had the joy of sharing it with my father, discussing my pictures with him - we had planned to paint a picture together one day - four hands. Life tends to get in the way however taking away my mother first, followed shortly after by my father.

In spite of the precious support of my wife, artistically speaking, I felt isolated. My business partner left and I was forced to abandon painting and dedicate myself to design. I opted to concentrate on jewellery endeavouring to identify my personal style. It was around this time I met Lorenzo Riva, great designer of wedding dresses and high-fashion and with whom I collaborated on a number of fashion shows, supplying jewellery reflecting the theme of his collections.
From him I learned about purity of the line and its essence. I learned that a particular form can emphasise a particular personality.

Today I can affirm that with correct use of simple lines, without resorting to a portrait and without the use of artistic tricks I could represent a person's character.

This is not art in the abstract: in fact this is a series of lines with no connection to one another and gain awareness only through the eyes of the designer who created them. I, on the other hand, design a line which is only apparently casual but which acquires recognition also in the eyes of the observer "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.......Shakespeare".

This concept is the basis of the form I apply to my jewellery and watches and also to other elements of my creation. To this end, I have recently started to experiment outside of my usual comfort zone expanding my activity towards web-page design, logos and packaging.

My other great passion for traditional sword-play has contributed undoubtedly to increase my perception and attention to detail: indeed artists such as Benvenuto Cellini and Caravaggio were keen swordsmen.
I would say that through my intense and passionate curriculum vitae I have found my true artistic dimension in the concept that "design is quite simply the perception of form".

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