La Rinascente, the famous Italian department store in Milan, has taken a different approach to its Christmas window display this year and has asked 8 international artists to each create a unique installation for the 8 shop windows that face onto the Piazza del Duomo.
The artists are Kirsten Hassenfeld (New York), Gyongy Laky (San Francisco), Lava/Chris Bosse (Sydney), Margherita Marchioni (Roma), Andrea Mastrovito (Milano), Satsuki Oishi (Osaka), Richard Sweeney (London) and Frank Tjepkema (Amsterdam).
They have used a variety of everyday materials such as paper, cardboard and plastic to create contemporary Christmas artworks. For us, the stand out installations are Il Cristallo Luminoso by Satsuki Oishi which is a giant yet beautifully intricate snowflake created from segments of rolled up paper; Il Tribute to Capucci Realizzato by Margherita Marchioni which consists of huge flower like ornaments that despite being made from recycled plastic bottles appears both luscious and soft; Il Pendente di Luce Blue Born by Kirsten Hassenfeld which is a 3-dimentional stain-glass like structure that cascades down the window actually made from vintage wrapping paper.
There is a re-occuring theme of reuse and recycling in many of the works – a honorable if not somewhat ironic gesture for a holiday season more commonly associated with consumerism and excess. Regardless, it is a credit to La Rinascente to have engaged with real artistic talent in fashioning a beautiful and engaging Christmas display.