Q&A with International Artist Ralph Pucci!

Q&A with International Artist Ralph Pucci! 

Article by Ashley Pineiro

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The Daily Wood got the chance to interview internationally recognized artist Ralph Pucci. Pucci has galleries in New York, Los Angeles, and Wynwood, Miami. We wanted to get his take on Art Basel and being in the Wynwood neighborhood, he also gave us advice for starving artists. Ralph Pucci is known for his mannequins and furniture art, he has worked with students from the Pratt Institute and many world renowned artists, illustrators, and fine artists to create interesting exhibitions that are truly original. Some of the artists he has worked with are Andrée Putman, Patrick Naggar, Ruben Toledo, and Andy Warhol, who showed up to one of his openings he had with Andrée Putman in the 80’s!  His gallery is located in the Wynwood Art District at 343 N.W. 25th Street,  Miami, Fl. The hours are Monday through Friday 9:30 to 5:30.  Weekends by appointment only.

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Ralph Pucci is the major force behind Ralph Pucci International, and an innovator in the mannequin industry. He is President of the mannequin company founded by his parents in the l950’s. Operating in a spacious loft on West 18th Street, mannequins are designed, manufactured and unveiled yearly. With designers Karl Lagerfeld, Bob Currie, Aldo Cibic and famed illustrator Ruben Toledo, Pucci went free-form and art-deco. The collaboration with Ruben Toledo continues and has resulted in many collections, including the introduction of the industry’s first high-end large size (size 16) mannequin, Birdie. Also with Toledo, Pucci created the first VH1 Award. More info at Ralph Pucci.

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ASHLEY PINEIRO: How often do you come to Miami?

RALPH PUCCI: About four times a year.

AP: What did you think of 2013 Art Basel?

RP: Terrific energy, with quality people, I loved seeing all the new ideas.

AP: What was it like the first time you came to Wynwood?

RP: I was blown away with the creativity and freshness of the neighborhood, it appears there are no rules and anything can be developed there. The area is well accepted and promoted I was blown away by all of the opportunities.

AP: What advice do you have for a starving artist?

RP: Stay true to their vision, not to compromise anything, and don’t be a follower. BE ORIGINAL!

AP: Why is Wynwood Art District a good location for your furniture gallery?

RP: The neighborhood exudes newness and freshness. The Pucci Company goes by their own rules, and I believe that’s what Wynwood is about. Wynwood really breaks new ground.

AP: Your gallery in Wynwood is inspired by the galleries in Berlin, can you tell me why you chose Berlin as your inspiration?

RP: I love New York, but the galleries aren’t as refined. You miss the high/low aspect of design and art in New York. Thats what I felt about Wynwood; it reminded me of Berlin because of the high/low.

AP: You work with many leaders of design, can you tell me what that’s like?
RP: Andrée Putman, Patrick Naggar, Steven Sprouse, their some of the greatest minds in the world are always exploring new ideas. They are leaders that look at things in a different incredible way, its great to surround yourself with people like that.

AP: You’ve worked with some students from the Pratt Institute in New York, what’s it like working with students?

RP: I’m on the board at Pratt, I also did a book with them called Pratt, Paper and Pucci. We did one project competition where the students used white paper to dress mannequins, with 25 students. It was a great challenge for them, and I love working with them.

AP: What comes into play when choosing emerging artists for your gallery?

RP: Freshness and originality. They need to have quality, substance, and soul in their work.

AP: Do you have any projects you are working on at the moment?

RP: Next week at Pratt, we are doing a project called Organic Matter. Which is a take on how they handle form, function, and design. Since the passing of Andrée Putman, the Pucci family will release classic work of hers in her honor as well.

I also have another exhibition soon coming to Miami with an 80’s photographer. I plan to have 2-3 shows a year in Miami.

AP: What do you like to do in your spare time?

RP: I like to visit galleries, go to museums, listen to music, read biographies; when I am not spending time with my family.

AP: What inspires you?

RP: Art inspires me; color, shape, texture, and space.

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RALPH PUCCI INTERNATIONAL TO OPEN A SHOWROOM IN MIAMI’S WYNWOOD ART DISTRICT

 Ralph Pucci will open a Miami showroom on December 7th, 2013,  joining the Art Basel celebration.

The new showroom in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood Art District is at 343 N. W. 25th street.

 Pucci will occupy the street floor of the one level former warehouse as the sole occupant. The 6,500 feet of raw industrial space will be painted white, for a modern and clean look.   Florescent tubes in the spirit of Dan Flavin will float from the 20 foot ceiling.  The ambiance of the space was inspired by the art galleries in Berlin.  The 20 x 20 foot entrance wall will feature murals by the many talented Pucci artists. The scale of the space is powerful, the emphasis, the focus of the gallery will, of course, be the furniture.

 THE FURNITURE

The majority of the furniture will be introduced to Miami for the first time, with limited edition designs introduced , as well as, the classic and iconic furniture pieces.

 Upholstered pieces will be covered in fabrics in shades of cream, making a strong  architectural statement.  The wood finishes will be in white and grey oak, as well as, walnut, metal designs will be in gold, bronze and silver.  To compliment the space, black and white will be the accent color.

 Like Pucci showrooms in New York and Los Angeles, Pucci will present collections by the iconic

leaders in contemporary design.

Herve Van der Straeten         Vladimir Kagan         Chris Lehrecke/Gabriella Kiss                   Patrick Naggar         Jens Risom             Kevin Walz

         Eric Schmitt         Jim Zivic                Fran Taubman

         Paul Mathieu         Robert Bristow/Pilar Proffitt       Dana Barnes

         India Mahdavi         Ruben Toledo         Ted Abramczyk

         Jerome Abel Seguin                           Lianne Gold

 The gallery will open with a photography collection by award winning artist Manuel Geerinck.  Future shows  will feature art by emerging artists.

 Ralph Pucci International,    www.ralphpucci.net