WILLY RIZZO: BIOGRAPHY (OCT, 1928 - FEB, 2013,)
Prominent furniture designer and photographer
Furniture designer by accident, prolific photographer, Willy Rizzo is one of the brightest stars in the artistic galaxy of French and Italian artists.
1st period: Photography
Born in Naples, Italy, on October 22, 1928, Willy Rizzo has been passionate about photography from an early age. He began his career as a photographer in the early 1940s. In 1948, he was hired by Paris Match to photograph high society figures, including Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe and Pablo Picasso.
For the next twenty years, until the end of the 1960s, Willy Rizzo would become one of the most famous and prolific photographers of his time. From capturing famous people in his camera to filming the Nuremberg Trials, he has left behind a rich legacy of eclectic work.
Second period: Furniture design
His foray into furniture design was born out of necessity. Being an artist himself, Rizzo felt that Scandinavian furniture was neither comfortable enough nor luxurious enough. His move to Rome in 1968 was propelled by this thought, where he embarked on the world of furniture design.
It was Willy Rizzo who was the first to think of marrying the austerity of sober forms with the terror of lush elements. Her designs have a timeless appeal and are still sought after decades after being showcased.
The 1970s were an exciting time for Italy, characterized by industrial and mass production. In the atmosphere of design homogeneity and similarity, Willy Rizzo led the way with his creative genius and avant-garde furniture designs. Rizzo's signature style combined sophistication and simplicity. Never a mass producer, he produced a line of elegant and very chic furniture. His lack of training in furniture design made his style unique in the market.
The 1970s also saw one of his most iconic pieces of furniture, which effortlessly brought the harmony between decadence and a clean, uncluttered design: the rectangular coffee table with a metal cladding and a wooden frame. .
The last years
His sofas, space-age lamps and coffee tables, with curvy and epicurean shapes, have made him a major force in furniture design. In the late 1970s, Rizzo abandoned his illustrious career as a furniture designer and returned to his first love, photography. He continued to devote himself to furniture design and opened his first gallery in 2010. Willy Rizzo worked on new designs until his death in 2013 at the age of 84.
After his death, his work was immortalized and exhibited in many renowned venues, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York.