Widely credited with redefining modern luxury through equal emphasis on architecture and interior design, Peter Marino’s work includes award-winning residential, retail, cultural, and hospitality projects worldwide. Well known not only for his iconic ‘leather-daddy’ dress sense but also for integrating art within his architectural designs, Marino has commissioned more than 300 site-specific works of art. In fact, since his first art-architecture commission by Andy Warhol, he has gone on to collaborate with and commission the likes of Damien Hirst, Peter Schelsinger and Antony Gormley and create spaces for designers and houses including Yves Saint Laurent, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and Azzedine Alaïa.
A master of his own look, Marino has an uncanny knack of implementing it in all manner of ways. Most recently, his adventures in design have brought him here to London’s Gagosian Gallery, where he is exhibiting ‘Fire and Water’, a collection of sculptural bronze boxes. This series of cast bronze objects is Marino's third, following two previous series produced in 2012 and 2014. The new boxes are finished in a variety of patina techniques: gilded, silvered, and blackened.
In this new series, Marino reveals his deep connection to the traditions of bronze metal work. One of the first and best documented materials in human history, the use of bronze permeates art-historical traditions. About ten years ago, Marino was gripped by the discovery of a boat that sank in 350 BC off the Turkish coast en-route from Greece to Italy. Original bronze works, more than two thousand years old, were recovered from the ancient vessel. Captivated by the idea of a material that outlasts entire civilizations, Marino began to work with bronze, combining the architectural with the ornamental, obdurate materiality with ephemeral gesture.
In 'Fire and Water', six different boxes in limited editions feature designs inspired by organic and mythical forms such as water ripples, dragon scales and rough stone. The boxes, which are functional storage objects, and can take up to a year to produce, are handmade at the Atelier St. Jacques, part of the Fondation de Coubertin, the French national institution for crafts, manual work, and trades.
The exhibit is a sublime testament to the scopious nature of bronze; never did we think such a spectacle could come from the humble ‘box’. If you would like a chance to see for yourselves, the exhibit has now been extended until September 8th.
Peter Marino: petermarinoarchitect.com
Gagosian Gallery: gagosian.com