Vanni “Visum” is a collection of sunglasses that combines an artistic component with the design’s functionality, an encounter between art’s capacity of “seeing beyond”, and an accessory created to protect us from the sun; while still maintaining their shielding purpose, thanks to the artistic nature of the collection these glasses also open new and unexpected sceneries.
Teresa Giannico is the Italian artist who was selected by a multisectoral jury at Artissima 2022 to explore the possibility of fusion between the brilliance of contemporary art and eyewear design, alongside VANNI Glasses. While the task might appear simple, it took Teresa and VANNI’s style office over six months of intensive exchange and discussion to develop the perfect collection: throughout the process, the artist took on the challenge of becoming a designer while breaking free of design code’s constraints, while the VANNI designer was pushed to open up to new ideas and suggestions that did not necessarily coincide with regular project schemas.
Following the line of her artistic practice, for this project Teresa draws from digital images archives, digging into the history of eyewear: “I am always inspired by late 1800’s eyewear, by the meticulous work of artisanal experts, that never ceases to fascinate me”: a reference to thin, small metal frames, which we today have traces of thanks to paintings dating back to the era. Glasses that were once a privilege for the few, with sun lenses that were made from tinted glass.
It is from this idea that VANNI’s Style team and Teresa worked on two models of eyewear that were rooted in history, but that could still look contemporary, making “yesteryear’s” style more modern.
The result of this study is a collection composed of two pairs of limited edition sunglasses, by the name “Visum”. The glasses are made with precision milled metal, molded into original shapes, in both gold and rose gold shades, complimented with green or plum lenses. The frame’s bridge and end pieces are decorated with a delicate and modern engraving. An unexpected and distinctive detail lays within the side wings on the temples: they block one’s lateral view in favor of a small inscription with the words “vedere oltre” (to see beyond), visible only to the wearer. A reversal and a contradiction in perspective: the side shield blocks the viewer’s vision, yet – as all works of art do – it invites them to bypass their limits, whether they be visual or mental, in order to see what’s “beyond”.
As said by Teresa: “Visum is a project that reflects on the act of seeing as a social act. While it is true that observing is first and foremost an individual act, it is also true that the impressions that come from it help shape a more collective perception of the world itself. In an era in which our image influenced society coexists with new forms of propaganda, the two models of sun-glasses we have designed aim to be an intimate object that brings our focus back to the importance of sight itself.”
The “Visum” collection is entirely designed and produced in Italy, in a limited-edition series of only 100 pairs per model.
VANNI #ARTISTROOM PRIZE
Elisa Alberti is the winner of the third edition of the VANNI #artistroom Prize. The artist is represented by Krobath Gallery in Vienna. The prize has been assigned by an international jury composed of: Lucia Aspesi, curator, Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milano; Giuseppe Fantasia, journalist, Roma; Annalia Venezia, journalist, Milano, with the following remarks: “For her ability to produce works featuring simple geometric forms and soft monochrome surfaces. For her vocabulary is made of words with multiple meanings, where the colors emerge on surfaces that fill spaces in which the experimental and the non-experimental coexist and trigger emotions. Her acrylic painting, with abstract and minimalist references, creates a world that is ours, in which all viewers can recognize themselves in their own way.”
Alessandra Girardi, promoter of the prize, recounts: “The VANNI #artistroom prize at Artissima was born with the intention of exploring the possible combinations between the genius of contemporary art and eyewear design, awarding the winning artist with both a monetary prize and the opportunity to inspire a capsule collection of auteur eyewear. It is an occasion for us to bring new stimuli into the eyewear sector, letting creativity flow with a process that is more typical of art, but which we then bring into the industrial framework of design, to make it replicable. We’ve been keeping an eye on the art world for over 15 years, with interest and curiosity: since 2019 VANNI completed its two capsule collections of artist eyewear: “Concrete” by Christian Chironi, and “I Breath Poetry” by Catalin Pislaru.”
VANNI’s signature touch of “Made in Italy, for sure” characterizes the frames of the newest collection, animating a current, contemporary Dolce Vita based on solid values and objects made to last. VANNI Eyewear defines and expresses the unique style of its wearers, for any occasion.