Italian publication Parterre de Rois launched in 2013 under the premise of “the imaginary dinner party”, where each issue’s “party” has one word on the menu. Bringing together artworks that visually explore the subject, the magazine covers a wide range of creative approaches, from newly commissioned pieces to well-known older works by both established and emerging artists.
Issue four focused on Happiness, and picked up a flurry of awards for publishing and design, so the next is hotly anticipated. Creators Molly Molloy, head of womenswear for Marni, and Gianni Tozzi, a creative director for FutureBrand Milan who’s worked with the likes of Nike and Armani, therefore aimed to make the follow-up starkly different.
“After happiness came darkness,” says Gianni. “The fifth issue is devoted to Black. We wanted to explore a territory that was completely opposite to the previous issue, while also a continuation of our journey. The Black issue is inspired by the obscure matter, the darkest colour, the symbol of pride and extreme elegance. We keep hearing that we live in black times, so this issue is a response to this feeling and a visual dialogue with artists from different disciplines and continents. There is lots of beauty in darkness.”
It features shoots by Marco Pietracupa and Jacopo Benassi alongside pieces by Nina Chanel Abney, Geordie Wood, Michaël Borremans, Stephen Dwoskin and Akatre. Also inside is an interview between Cordula Reyer and Stanley Kubrick’s brother-in-law Jan Harlan, discussing his documentary about the director. Continuing the magazine’s tradition for a collage cover, Queen Palmer has created a collage portrait called Naomi as an homage to Margarete Dumas.
As it seemed illogical to talk about the colour without Anish Kapoor’s input, Molly and Gianni invited the artist to contribute a series of new drawings. “There’s been much talk around Anish and the colour black after his patenting the blackest black, but we asked the artist to contribute with something less exposed and more personal,” says Molly. “The result is a collection of beautiful black drawings that are a very intense interpretation of black and what this theme evokes.”
Parterre de Rois issue five Black, is out 25 May 2017.
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