PHILIPPE DAVERIO

Brushes, rare books, lanterns, desks and porcelain. Every Thursday until the 23rd of December the former refectory, in the heart ofMilan, owned by the well-known art critic Philippe Daverio and his wife Elena Gregori, hosts the Daverio Library in which antique furniture and other antiques are displayed and sold.  For the occasion, Redmilk had a chat with Philippe, who explained: “the idea was my wife’s. This is the perfect time to do business with antique furniture.

In an interview he said that contemporary art is being trampled by the business interests of a handful of antique shop owners in London and New York. And Italians have such a sense of inferiority that, “they all ape an international chic which they understand very little about”.
How do you find a way out of the impasse?
I don’t know what to say, but what I do know is that we are living through a time of a huge identity crisis. Important things for art happen everywhere, not just in Berlin or London, but also in Gorgonzola or Cosenza. There is a need for more curiosity about what is around us. We are in a society that is, objectively, in crisis, from the economic and political points of view. For example, Italians like Berlin because it represents the utopia of a city that is different. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Do you think that journalism is capable of indicating the horizons of taste in contemporary art?
Journalism is only able to document what happens in the present. While saying this, I don’t mean to say that there are no journalists able to understand the changes. Unfortunately it is the mechanism of communication that is perverse. The simpler something is, the better it can be communicated. And not everything in art is easy to explain.

In your opinion, what is elegance?
Elegance no longer exists, neither can one talk any more about the aesthetic quality there was, for example, in France in the fifties, with Christian Dior. I think that someone who only buys things that are trendy is merely a “silly goose” like so many others. An elegant person is someone who is guided by their own taste, their own instinct.

Is it true that you wear the colours from the works of art of the artists you love?
Certainly not! I dress according to my character, my mood and the circumstances in life.

Your personal concept of luxury?
Luxury is in the quality of the things that surround me, like air and water. But luxury is also space: social space, space in the sense of movement, and space intended to mean time at our disposal.