Duo KINGS – Federica Perazzoli and Daniele Innamorato – saw in Depot the perfect location for booKINGS: a combination of art, design and culture now complete with a curated selection of books and independent magazines
BooKINGS, Nilufar Depot
The relationship between Nina Yashar – founder and owner of Nilufar Gallery – and KINGS – Italian artist duo composed of Federica Perazzoli and Daniele Innamorato- started as friendship over fifteen years ago when Yashar began to collect their works. When KINGS came up with the idea of opening a bookshop inside Nilufar Depot, located in viale Lancetti 34, Milan, Yashar and Mirko Rizzi – general manager of Nilufar Gallery – showed enthusiasm for the project. «booKINGS is not our first collaboration with Nina Yashar. Over the years, Federica has developed several projects for Nilufar relating to the world of interiors, such as wallpapers, textile products and carpets» Innamorato explains.
Rizzi, also director and founder of Marsèlleria for which the artist duo designed the neon external sign and the bookshop and curated its title selection, proposed to position the bookshop inside the central hall of Depot as a big-size art installation. Despite the commercial purpose of Nilufar Gallery, KINGS saw in Depot the perfect location for booKINGS: a combination of art, design and culture now complete with a curated selection of books and independent magazines.
Originally located in via Bigli, Milan, and specializing in antique carpets, Yashar has, over the years, enhanced the cross-contamination of the gallery by exhibiting works by established mid-century designers alongside antique carpets and cutting-edge furniture and design pieces by emerging talents, making Nilufar Gallery an international point of reference for design lovers and creatives. With Depot, a 1,500 square-meter space in a former silverware factory building, Nilufar Gallery has expanded its exhibition space and cultural offer through new opportunities for events and exhibitions dedicated to other disciplines besides architecture and interior design, such as contemporary art and performance art.
Thus the bookshop, consistent with Yashar’s vision, encompasses both vocations of Nilufar Depot: the commercial purposes and the promotion of culture. With booKINGS Yashar aims at including the literary world, also physically, in the in the spaces of Nilufar as a support for visitors to better understand and appreciate the pieces collected by her over the years. «Nina is really passionate about design. At Nilufar you can find works by great names of the international design scene who have made history, but she also has a vocation for research, especially for emerging talents and young designers» Innamorato claims. «In addition to her professional prestige, Nina is a volcano of ideas, she is stimulating and very curious, which is important: without curiosity there is no creativity», Perazzoli adds.
BooKINGS’ curated title selection
This hybrid project, halfway between an art installation and a concept store, wishes to promote culture in all its forms allowing the customers to purchase rare and original publications completing the artistic experience offered by Nilufar Depot. booKINGS offers a wide range of titles on several subjects related to creativity and design: from architecture to photography, from contemporary art to fashion. After visiting the exhibition hall, visitors can stop for a moment and flip through books and catalogs by established publishing houses about worldwide famous designers and design brands such as Gio Ponti, Ico Parisi, Stilnovo and Arredoluce, among others.
For the more curious, a curated selection of research books by independent publishers such as Mousse – an independent Milan-based publishing company, Edition Patrick Frey – mainly focused on Swiss artists, Roma Publications – an Amsterdam-based art book publisher and design studio – and Walther König – German art book publisher and proprietor of Germany’s leading art bookstores, is available. In addition, Perazzoli and Innamorato selected two independent magazines: Purple – a French fashion, art and culture magazine funded in 1992 – and a rare reprint of the edition of A Magazine curated by Maison Margiela.
The structure of booKINGS was conceived to create a Russian doll effect: Depot, which contains artworks, hosts another container – the bookstore – holding books, which in turn are containers of culture. The immersive installation composed of three rows of shelves made of blue steel draws inspiration from the architecture of a warehouse and was built by Situèr, a Milan-based design atelier born with the aim of offering refined furniture pieces made of industrial raw materials.
«The synergy between us and Situèr is the consequence of a collaboration which was already underway with Nilufar Gallery, which is giving life to an archive of books, volumes, catalogs and color charts, for which Situèr supplies the shelves» Innamorato explains. The steel structure is enriched by a yellow neon light installation created with the support of Viasaterna Gallery. «The luminous sign “New Wave” is a message of positivity and new beginnings which we wanted to convey after the hard times marked by the outbreak of Covid-19. Also, the choice fell on the color yellow because it is synonymous with optimism» Perazzoli claims.
KINGS: multidisciplinarity and research
KINGS is the brainchild of Federica Perazzoli and Daniele Innamorato born in 2000. Several other artists and creative minds revolve around the project, as it ranges through different artistic languages and techniques. The forms of expression preferred by Perazzoli and Innamorato are photography and neon, but they often venture into other creative disciplines, such as installation, merchandising and the publication of self-produced art books and fanzines.
According to Innamorato, the selection of titles available at booKINGS and the ones making up their private collection represent KINGS’ artistic identity, their multiple interests and the multidisciplinarity characterizing their work: «Individually, we carry out our personal artistic projects. We are both painters, but while Federica’s art is more figurative, mine is more abstract. KINGS is our common project through which we discover new media and languages. We are influenced by all cultures and our books play a fundamental role in our artistic research».
Books about contemporary art, fashion, interior design, graphic design and communication can be found in their personal bookcase which constitutes a major source of inspiration for their work and studies. KINGS’ poetics stems from the observation of society and its complexities. Shots immortalizing with an objective eye the consequences of substance abuse or social behaviors at limits as well as punk statements questioning the dynamics of the art market are examples of their social committed works of art.
The design of a brand-new concept of bookshop provided Perazzoli and Innamorato with the opportunity to merge neon, graphics, their propensity to involve other creative professionals into the production process of their works – Situèr and Viasaterna – and, of course, their fascination with the literary world, into one single installation. Thanks to booKINGS, the publishing sector became part of a bigger cross-cultural project stemmed from the visionary mind of Yashar: «I see Depot as an ever-changing space, I believe ‘cross-contamination’ between different worlds is key to fostering creative dialogue in the industry. […] Together with KINGS, we imagined a truly unique cultural space that offers visitors the opportunity to connect with the place itself and the culture contained in it, an inspirational collection of publications and rare books».
Nilufar has redesigned the central hall of Depot in viale Lancetti 34, which will be accessible to visitors starting 3 December 2021. booKINGS designed by the artist duo KINGS in collaboration with Situèr, is a bookshop poised between an art installation and a concept store where visitors have the opportunity to purchase independent magazines and books about numerous artistic disciplines such as art, fashion, design and architecture.