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July 29, 2014

The Secret Garden: Ford Ranch

A Peek Into a Private Wonderland in the American West for this Week's Great Gardens

Nestled in a mountain canyon where Hemingway spent his summers, Queen Elizabeth II popped by to visit friends, and rodeo is still a main event, lies the cultivated oasis of Ford Ranch. Acquired by Joan F. Wallick and Robert L. Wallick Sr. in 1968, the sprawling Wyoming residence is captured by director Albert Moya for NOWNESS’s weekly Great Gardens series. “I was inspired by meeting the kind of dreamer who has, and still is, working on making her stories real,” says the filmmaker of Ms Wallick, an accomplished pilot whose obsessive passion for collecting spans insects, Christmas ornaments (32,656), and over 400 varieties of plants in 35 acres. It’s a marvel to discover radiant blue delphinium spires, hundreds of hostas and the apothecary rose Rosa gallica officinalis blooming alongside the grave of Wallick’s late wolf, Eeyore (winters dip to -30 and summers experience 100 degree heat punctuated by huge thunderstorms). “Part of the joy of gardening lies in the challenge of this environment,” explains Wallick, who has built fences to keep the mountain lions, bears and deer at bay, enabling her manicured paradise to flourish. “I’ve got the urge to plant one of everything and see what it looks like,” she adds. “But that’s for next year.”

The next Great Gardens film premieres Tuesday August 5.

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The Foodist Manifesto

Renowned Artists and Designers Cook Up Dada Snacks in Northern Italy

A cake made into a pie chart by Martí Guixé, a baguette repurposed as a shackle by Alexis Georgacopoulos and a knife and fork made from a potato and a leek by Peter Marigold were captured in photographer Daniel Stier’s clinical yet surreal style during a late night lock-in at Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (MART). Because the objects had to be shot outside of museum hours, Stier and his assistant were granted access in the dead of night with just an elusive night guard for company: “It was just a beautiful atmosphere to be locked in alone in the museum in that crazy exhibition.” The northern Italian museum’s current exhibition The Food Project takes Good Design by Bruno Munari as a starting point to showcase food-inspired imagery derived from artists, designers and chefs including Bompas & Parr, Marcel Wanders, Carlo Cracco and Philippe Starck. Steir, who has shot for Wallpaper*The New York Times’ T Magazine and W as well as exhibiting internationally at venues including the Moscow House of Photography and the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie in Hyères, was attracted to the show's mash-up potential. “I wanted to create a set of images that’s pitched somewhere between a test kitchen and a science lab,” he explains. “With a bit of a mad-scientist twist.”

The Food Project runs through June 2 at MART.

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In Residence: Jean Pigozzi

A Day at the Bon Vivant’s Ettore Sottsass-Designed Pop Paradise

Entrepreneur, art collector, snapshot photographer, and streetwear designer Jean Pigozzi lives large, as filmmaker Matthew Donaldson discovered at Villa Dorane, Pigozzi’s residence-slash-playground in the jetset Cap d’Antibes. The villa is a monumental testament to his long-term collaboration with late Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, who played a significant role in the design of Pigozzi's seven homes. He inherited the house, built in 1953 by neo-classical architect Tomaso Buzzi, from his father Henri–who founded Simca cars–but it was postmodernist Sottsass who “pimped it out.” A member of the Memphis Group, Sottsass’ playful provocations are evident in the clash of off-kilter geometric furnishings and flamboyant colors, accessorized by Baluchi carpets, kitschy ceramics, and giddy light fixtures. “Ettore would say it was boring to have a normal house, you have to change things around all the time. He was not scared of funny colors and funny things,” says Pigozzi. The jubilant décor is enhanced by pieces from Pigozzi’s extensive African art collection, including photographs by Malick Sidibé and an entrance hall hand-painted in bold motifs by Esther Mahlangu with her trademark chicken-feather brush. Around the hall’s perimeter stand four life-size sculptures of notable R&B singers, including Aretha Franklin, by Ivory Coast artist Nicolas Damas—Pigozzi jokingly calls them his “cousins.” Sottsass makes his biggest impact here with the guest quarters, a blocky architectural feat in multiple shades of green paint and even greener balustrades, the interior kitted out with boxy sofas, chairs and beds in hues reminiscent of 80s-era Esprit fashion. Though the pair would collaborate on every aspect of the design, shapes and colors were strictly down to Sottsass. “He was a complete genius [at those],” says Pigozzi. Villa Dorane attracts a steady stream of “friends, venture capitalists and pretty girls” and Pigozzi’s annual Festival de Cannes party is the stuff of legend. “My main idol in life is Howard Hughes,” he says. “I like how he lived all alone with airplanes and girls, but on the other hand I’m a social animal.”

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