Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) was an Italian painter, sculptor, designer, craftsman, engraver, and compulsive collector of printed ephemera. A precursor to pop-art and an exemplar of a post-modernism which would not be named for decades hence. Prolific and unafraid of the utilitarian he created tens-of-thousands of objects in his lifetime. Perhaps most recognized for his Themes and Variations series (which reworked a single image of opera singer Lina Cavalieri he found in a 19th century French magazine over 500 times) his works include porcelain and gold plates, chairs, jars, tables, bureaus, teapots, umbrellas, lamps, screens, clothes, etc. Evidently he once said of his work: “I believe in neither periods nor dates. I refuse to define the value of an object in terms of its era.” Fitting for a man whose objects, by remaining somehow stylistically relevant decade after decade, seem to defy era as well.
I post all this, very simply, because the plate pictured above made me laugh. Reason enough, no? If you’d like to know more about Fornasetti Designboom did a very nice feature way back in 2001 and, of course, there is an official site, kept up by Fornasetti’s son (and heir to the aesthetic) Barnaba.