Featured Artist // Elena Kazmier for Interi
Introducing the Arte Collection under featured artist, Elena Kazmier. Her line for Interi encompasses 18th century Italian artifacts with gesso, wax, and oil to transport and inspire.
I met Elena in 2015, and we were immediately at one with each other as we innately connected through artistic intentionality. After showing her the fragment artifacts, she twirled them through her hands, and thus, the collaboration began.
“My present work with Interi is a collection of studies in canvas, gesso, marble paste, plaster, oil, wax, ash, gems, and minerals on wood featuring a strata of pentimenti, or alterations in composition resulting in visible traces of previous work, prepared as settings for seventeenth and eighteenth century Italian architectural fragments originating primarily from the regions surrounding Florence, Italy.
The inspiration for Interi’s Arte Collection proceeds from my experiences as a young art student in Florence. My flat was the third floor above the last in a row of restaurants in the famous Piazza della Signoria. The Ponte Vecchio was around the corner on one side and on the other a thin alley separated my building from the Loggia Dei Lanzi (an open-air sculpture gallery designed in the 1300’s), and the acoustics in the space made the fluttering of pigeons rising in flight sound more like the drumming of the great wings of angels.
The Uffizi Gallery was just beyond the sculpture gallery, and almost right outside my window, towering colossal at the center of the square stood the rusticated stone Palazzo Vecchio, a Medieval fortress built over the theatre of the Roman colony of Florentia. This was my view. This was my world. And from the front bedroom (there were frescoes on its walls), I could almost put my fingers on the pulse of the city day and night, and from the threshold of my building I gained a straight shot to the green, rose, white and gold heart of the city of Florence, the Duomo.
But I think perhaps what I prized most about Florence was her openness, that in a single moment of undisparaging transparency she would display the utilitarian strata of glue, gesso, and bole underneath her gilding and then without hesitation let the same sun beams that let us look under her skin also catch and hang lavishly on every bit of her fiery, finished glamour. This is why I spent as much time in the streets of Florence as I did in the museums.
The whole city was my gallery, from dust to dome, and as I lived in it I began to believe that the most complete beauty dwells in the blank expanse of possibility which arises at the intersection of past and present, that resplendent crossroads where the future lifts its head like Michelangelo’s David and looks at us face to face with eyes full of renaissance.
It seems to me that this kind of beauty has put down roots in Florence, Italy, that the seed of the Fleur de Lis, carried on a gust of wind, has fallen on good earth and stayed there to bloom.
Our hope at Interi is to give the modern home access to this singular beauty. After all, the home is the highest gallery. It is where life happens, and life, to be sure, is beautiful.