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Off The Wall, A Design Book By Ralph Pucci

YYZ Living Magazine November 2011

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Ralph Pucci is the main man in the mannequin business. As the head of RALPH PUCCI INTERNATIONAL, he is a visionary in his field, extending his business into lighting, furniture, floor coverings, sculpture, fine art and graphics.

Pucci operates out of his spacious loft in New York City where all the mannequins are designed, manufactured and unveiled twice a year. His claim to fame is his ‘action mannequin’ concept. Instead of uninteresting statues, he creates mannequins in various positions including, diving, yoga, headstands etc. His countless collaborations with models, fashion designers, architects and more, have propelled him into new dimensions of success in structural art.

The latest buzz surrounding Pucci is his new book of curated murals entitled, ‘Wall’. His showrooms always start with “The Wall' which acts as a back drop or preface for the entire exhibit. It is a temporary space for murals created by artists who interpret the space in their own way. The Wall is created in harmony with whatever is displayed in front of it by incorporating specific aspects of the exhibit on to the The Wall ie: colour, texture, etc.

The lifespan of these one-of-a-kind murals is usually about three months until it is painted over to make way for the newest exhibit. Although suggestions have been made to create the murals on large canvases to sell after the end of an exhibit, Pucci feels that creating the mural on a canvas would subconsciously limit the artist, “When painting directly on The Wall there would be no inhibitions.

I want a situation that creates spontaneity and improvisation, with total freedom to explore and be inspired by the artworks.' And he says, because The Wall itself has imperfections due to the many others that have let their artistry flow through, the spirit of what has been painted over remains and it is hoped that it transcends through on to the next artist.

Our favourite walls included ‘1995 wall & mannequins’ by Ruben Toledo found on page 92 which summoned a hint of Andy Warhol with its grouping of 16 square canvases of the same image, slightly altered. A note of Amedeo Modigliani also seemed present with the elongated, mask-like face of a woman, with and without eyes. Paul Mathieu’s ‘2006 wall & furniture’ on page 84, showcasing a coffee table with legs seemingly inspired by a deer, which is cleverly hand drawn on the back wall.

“Wall' by Ralph Pucci successfully illustrates how the walls of a living space can directly transform and give new meaning to its contents, not to mention, set the tone and attitude. It is a page after page of wall wonderment with fascinating images of how a simple space can take on a multitude of personas.

Words by Samira Rehman