Im Gespräch mit Adriano Balestra von Studio Balestra
TEXT & INTERVIEW DZENANA MUJADZIC | ERSCHIENEN IN CHAPTER №VIII »ELEMENTS« – SOMMER 2023
Das neu erwachte Interesse rund um Designthemen aller Art, insbesondere Interior Design, hat auch der Gestaltung der eigenen vier Wände neue Relevanz verliehen. Der gehobene Stellenwert physischen Raums lässt sich auch beim Blick auf eine neue, jüngere Generation von Antiquitätenhändler:innen wie Adriano Balestra feststellen. Mit der Eröffnung seiner neuen Galerie in Los Angeles überträgt er die stimmungsvolle Inszenierung seiner Onlinepräsenz auf die Ausstellung seiner Arbeit im analogen Rahmen.
Chapter Originally being from Rome, how has The Eternal City in one way or another shaped your understanding of antiques and ancient objects?
Adriano Balestra Walking around Rome being surrounded by and exposed to its beauty almost forced me to appreciate the history of my country. It ultimately trained my eye for design and helped me understand proportions. This goes from the architecture of the historical buildings to the color values of Old Master paintings and just a general sense and appreciation for beauty. Something that I am the most grateful for is that I was fortunate enough to travel since I was little. Being exposed to other European cities at a young age definitely helped me understand different styles, designs and cultures a whole lot better.
Chapter Theatrical lighting and atmospheric colors — what inspired the staging of your recently opened physical space where you showcase your finds not only to private collectors but also to the public?
Adriano Balestra Lighting is everything to me! When I visited Japan for the first time I instantly understood that lighting plays a significant role in its culture. It is used in a way where the eye is not disturbed by it so that the individual is able to experience the given environment at its fullest, inviting them to stay for a while. I follow this principle not only in my home, but also in my showroom and photography where I use very dimmed lighting creating an intimate space for others and myself to enjoy. It’s all about making it a unique experience for my clients.
Chapter What is your idea of beauty and how does it reflect in your work?
Adriano Balestra I am a perfectionist. Beauty for me is about symmetry, color balance and contrast. I have to selfishly admit that I am very much aware of my talent — which is my eye for design and beauty — and I am very grateful for it. On the other hand, beauty also lies in imperfection. This theory grew on me with time after being exposed to the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy where imperfections are both meaningful and in their own way, beautiful. In this sense, my idea of beauty is constantly evolving.
Chapter Building a personal collection usually requires a lot of patience, on the client side, as well as research, on your side. What role does intuition play within this usually long and slow process?
Adriano Balestra Luckily, my intuition speeds up and therefore plays a relevant role in the process of sourcing hidden treasures around the world making me able to create a new setting and experience at the showroom relatively quickly. So while I am assigned to the restless part of the job, my colleagues’ patience and dedication are being of tremendous value to my business as a whole.
Chapter What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in the context of vintage and antique sourcing?
Adriano Balestra Trust your eye and don’t compromise. Creating a setting so specific wasn’t easy, but I always followed my instinct finding and exhibiting pieces in the showroom that I love, appreciating their story rather than following any trends. These are the pieces that usually end up creating a balanced and special curation that my clients and myself can appreciate.
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