A-listers confronted their demons for Czech glass manufacturer Lasvit during Milan Design Week. At the Monster Cabaret, we asked them about their deepest fears – and their macabre art pieces.
For the Viennese artist Raja Schwahn-Reichmann, the scariest monster imaginable is a figure from Swiss fairy tales: a dancing dog “as tall as a man,” with a single eye – evil, of course – “shining upon his forehead.” At the same time, Brazil’s Campana Brothers imagine monsters springing not from dark forests but from outer space, in the guise of hulking aliens that may or may not be real.
Terror for Dutch designer Maarten Baas, meanwhile, comes in tinier form: little, sharp-toothed critters that wait for night to fall so they can “hunt, kill, crunch.”
All of these terrifying visions and more are among the components of a macabre menagerie of art pieces commissioned and produced by Czech glassmaker Lasvit. Unveiled during Milan’s design fair in a 19th-century theatre, where the firm also staged an appropriately creepy cabaret show in rotation, the assemblage of designer “beasts, antiheroes and fantastical creatures” was displayed in the venue’s ornate boxes alongside the company’s chandeliers and fixtures.
At the centre of it all was perhaps the most disturbing element: Lasvit art director Maxim Velčovský’s The Independant, a towering video work whose dozens of crystal screens transmitted the kind of “beautiful fake news” that certain politicians have been using to manipulate the public of late.
“The most interesting monsters of our time,” Velčovský explained, “can talk through its screens.” Now that is scary.