The moon is an endless source of fascination for creatives and artists alike.
The son of fashion entrepreneurs and designers Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, Luca, artistic director of the family company’s archive, is a passionate photographer, who has collected more than 70 pictures of the moon over the past 20 years.
“My fascination for the moon dates back to my childhood, when I used to stare at it looking through the lenses of a small telescope my parents gave me on Christmas when I was 10,” Missoni told WWD.
“The moon is always visible, whatever part of a landscape you’re trying to look at, you always stumble upon it,” he said adding he is especially intrigued by the physical features of the celestial body — its surface punctuated with asperities, craters and valleys.
“After all it’s a white disc, beautiful yet two-dimensional, but if you look at it up close, with a telescope, you’d be surprised,” he noted, pointing to the myriad different shadows it projects, for example. According to Missoni each picture is like a portrait.
The tome is divided into two parts, the former encompassing a scientific approach through a range of 40 pictures of the moon throughout different lunar phases, “like a catalogue which can be constantly updated with the missing pieces,” said Missoni. Among the most recent images in the book is a picture he took of the lunar eclipse last January.
The second half of the publication further charts Missoni’s endless fascination for the Earth’s satellite via arty renditions of his photographs in which the moon acquires endless hues, including lavender, sage-green, ochre and china blue. After realizing its pearl gray surface comprises a rainbow of colors, Missoni isolated individual shades on photographic paper to obtain “surreal and harmonious compositions of different moons,” he explained.
The book includes a preface in which art critic and curator Maurizio Bortolotti interviews Missoni about his fascination; his approach to photography and the techniques he employs. The text also features excerpts from Galileo Galilei’s “Sidereus Nuncius” astronomy essay.
Published by Bologna-based editor Damiani, the book, which retails at 45 euros, is available starting next week.
An art enthusiast, Missoni has over the years curated a range of exhibitions supported by his family’s company. In 2015 the Maga Art Museum in Italy’s Gallarate mounted the “Missoni, Art, Color” exhibit which explored the influence of post-World War II art on the Italian fashion label’s designs over the past 60 years.
In 2016, the Archeological Museum at the city hall of Sesto Calende, a town in the area of Italy where the Missoni company headquarters are located, hosted the “Marc Chagall, Ottavio Missoni. Dream and Color” showcase, also curated by Missoni.
In 2017, Missoni conceived along with Daniele Paggiaro a sculpture called “Rose of the Winds” inspired by a knitted patchwork tapestry realized in 1986 by Ottavio Missoni. The artwork was installed in a green area for children, covering 215,278 square feet, at the Idroscalo, near the Linate airport.