His burnt drawings are born in an extraordinary loft in the coolest area of Brooklyn.
ARTIST AND COLLECTOR
Originally from Milan, Davide Cantoni completed his studies at the Royal College of Art in London, with a stint in Berlin, spending a year as a fellow at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. His works, exhibited in important solo and group exhibitions across Europe and the United States, are included in prestigious public and private collections, such as the MOMA collection or the OSRAM collection, just to name a few. An art producer but also a collector, Davide loves to discover gems by semi-obscure artists that make every corner of his extraordinary loft in Dumbo, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, where he now resides, unique.
IT'S THE ARTISTS
WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED
TO MAKING DUMBO SO FASCINATING.
IN FRONT OF THE FIRE, IDEAS
Cantoni's artistic research has always focused on how modern society tends to present images and "consume" them, turning them into commodities, objects of exchange like any other physical good.
In front of the wood-burning fireplace, the centerpiece of the spacious living room overlooking one of the bustling streets of Dumbo, there are stacks of newspaper clippings. It's a personal selection of images that, for some reason, have captured the artist's attention, often not so much for their sensationalism but for the stories that can be glimpsed within them. It takes weeks, sometimes months, before a small portion of these images becomes creative material, only to undergo a radical transformation through light and fire.
In addition to Cantoni's own drawings, the house hosts a series of curious artworks, like this sculpture created by Michael Anthony Simon: a cobweb covered in golden dust.
FIRE AS A TOOL OF EXPERIMENTATION AND CREATION
He had always been fascinated by documentary photography. Strong yet ephemeral images that occupy our memory for a day or even less, immediately replaced by new, even more sensational photographs. One day, it was 1997, Davide was trying to reproduce an image from the New York Times with a pencil. He wanted to capture every detail and was using a magnifying glass for this purpose. The sunlight streamed in fiercely through the skylights of his studio, and Davide decided to focus the beam with the lens and attempt to burn the dark areas of the pencil. The technique was intriguing, but only after continuous experimentation did it reveal its full meaning.
Cantoni's drawings and the photos from The New York Times share the same essence; they are both essentially light imprinted on paper. However, contemporary images are destined to fade from collective memory. Only now, that Cantoni has burned them, are they saved from oblivion.
In this regard, journalist Roberto Borghi writes: "For news to become history, it must undergo something akin to a 'purification ritual' that strips it of its ephemeral nature, its 'consumable' character. Like any respectable purification, fire cannot be absent, and in Cantoni's works, it plays an evident role."
FIRE IN CANTONI'S WORKS
HAS A PURIFYING ROLE,
REMOVING THE EPHEMERAL FROM NEWS.
Are you also fascinated by the natural flame of wood? A fireplace is the best way to showcase its beauty.