Angela Missoni: “You cannot live in the past”
Ms. Missoni, looking back, what were you most naïve about when you took the helm at Missoni?
I think I’ve never been naïve.
Because I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen it good, I’ve seen it bad, I’ve seen the reaction of my mother who was my predecessor as creative director of the company. I was there. I was always there, right? I’ve lived in the fashion world much more than my 20 years at Missoni! Since an early age I’ve met so many designers, so many journalists, so many stylists — everybody in this business! And I’ve seen so many retire, so many disappear…
Allen Jones: “There’s nothing you can do”
Mr. Jones, what made you venture away from painting in favor of sculpture?
I was living in New York at the Chelsea Hotel, and the French artist Arman, who was also staying there, was working with resins and plastics and doing funny things, and it was intriguing. I suddenly saw there was the possibility of making the color, which is, in a way, imprisoned on the canvas surface, free. I loved the idea that the color could dance free of the wall.
You grew up in London — how did you end up in New York in the sixties?
I wanted to go and experience the New York art scene firsthand. It’s not that it was a case of American art being better than European efforts… But European artists had never abandoned the idea of an illusionistic space in a picture, whereas the avant-garde in New York at that time, they were as flat as a pancake, as I liked to say. Whether or not you were a figurative artist like Roy Lichtenstein or an abstract artist like Ellsworth Kelly, in formal terms the pictures were the same. The way that we’re supposed to read history is that America suddenly was free of its European past and had established its own identity and tradition.