THE ALCHEMIST
20 years later Italian designer Matteo Cibic wakes up from his dream state with spectacular and dramatic artworks.
Editor: Pelin Kestanecioğlu

The only reason for my yearning to be in Italy right now is Matteo Cibic’s solo exhibition which opened recently at the Palazzo Podestarile Modern Art Museum in Florence. The overall atmosphere and intriguing pieces included in the “Paradiso Dreams” Exhibition takes the viewer to a whole new dimension. More than 120 ceramic works of the artist can now be seen in the breath-taking setting of the 14th century museum building.

Developed with the support of the “Fondazione Museo Montelupo” and the contributions of “Toscana in Contemporanea 2019”, the exhibition is the result of a very comprehensive process and the involvement of a large production team. Having worked in close collaboration to materialise Cibic’s imagination, the team members are very content with the outcome.

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It appears that the talented artisans of Montelupo Fiorentino and numerous large-scale industrial manufacturers have materialised everything inside Matteo Cibic’s head. Some of the designer’s works were produced at ceramic artist Ivana Antonini’s workshop. The sum of these collaborations has succeeded in reinforcing the kudos of this region in arts and crafts, and contributed to the strengthening and development of local production.

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The Capital of Ceramic Art - Montelupo Fiorentino
Located in Toscana, Italy, Montelupo Fiorentino is a small commune housing some 14,000 residents. One of the most distinctive characteristics of this commune is ceramic production which has a history that goes back some six centuries. Many ceramic objects made by the talented artisans of the region have decorated the homes of aristocratic families like the Medici, Strozzi and Pandolfini. As one of the most well-known producers of the period, the Ceramiche Bitossi company collaborated with designers such as Aldo Londi and Ettore Sottsass. Closely associated with superior ceramic production, Montelupo Fiorentino has now become one of the first places that come to mind for artists and designers alike. Matteo Cibic’s Paradiso Dreams exhibition comes across as a reverberation of these efforts.

Matteo Cibic and his dreams
The 37-year-old Italian artist has been involved in design since his childhood. As for “Paradiso Dreams”, the exhibition is like a platform where he embarks on a mission of public-disclosure. This is a showcase of his world of ceramics that span a period of two decades of incessant production. During his career, the artist has worked with many brands and collectors which confirms his ability of adding value to a product. Dramatically laid out, the “Paradiso Dreams” exhibition consists of multiple collections with homogenous transitions providing the onlooker the feeling of moving from one fantastic story to another. “Animagic” is definitely one of the most intriguing sections featuring 24-carat gold plated ceramic statues inspired by imaginary creatures and animals. Whereas, “Dermopoliesis” is based on the concept of concealing ceramic and organic forms inside a glass bell. The designer works on this idea with the fictive concept of having plants which grow perfumes, cookies or knitted clothing for future generations. “Alchemy” is undoubtedly one of the most piquant sections of the exhibition. In this collection, Cibic takes on the role of an alchemist, employing powders, pills, drugs and elixir concoctions to emphasise the possibility of transforming our minds and bodies. Silvana Annicchiarico, the curator of this supernatural exhibition atmosphere adorned with crossbred animal characters, objects reminiscent of human forms and Pinocchio-like noses describes the designer as a “oneironaut” – a conscious dream traveller. Indeed, Matteo Cibic is a daydreamer capable of consciously wandering in a galaxy of fantasies. An artist who can transform abstract and conceptual feelings into a piece of ceramic which can be held.

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Paradiso Dreams is the tangible version of Cibic’s vision. “A person who can transform his imagination and dreams” must be one of the best definitions for a designer. Just like an alchemist…

The exhibition is open until January 26th for everyone willing to go to Florence and become a part of this young designer’s dreams.

www.matteocibicstudio.com

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