Interview with Danilo FarinonHow do you feel when making real works of art with your own hands?
It is hard to explain what a work of art is. And I don’t feel like mine are works of art. You feel, you live and suffer your work of art... not always the final result expresses all the feelings and emotions that you thought you could express. Personally I always find something objectionable about what I do. We can say that expressing yourself is critical to the success: if you like the subject and the client leave you to a free interpretation, it is easier that beauty finds its fulfillment.
Where does your passion for sculpture come from?
I believe I was born with this passion inside me. As a little boy, I used to go to church and I got lost in thousands fantasies looking at the marble statues around me. I imagined who sculpted them, how he did ... and I wish I had been the one. I literally fell in love with marble, it is still my life. I attended the Art and Expertise School in Chiampo, where I had the good fortune to meet Prof Fontana, a real master-father. It is important to follow our own passion, but it is also important to find the right teachers on our path. At School I learned the marble characteristics, various types and the structures. I studied design, modeling and history of art. Going to school was a marvelous adventure that I welcomed with enthusiasm and willing to learn as much as possible. After School, at the age of 14 I began to look for work. But Chiampo valley was so poor in the 50’s and it could not offer me work opportunities. So I asked my sister some money to buy the train ticket to Vicenza, I put on my best pants and luckily I got a job at School- Artisan Bottega of Giuseppe Cingano who asked me to start working that same day. I did not think twice. I ruined my best pants, but I found the job of my dreams. I woke up every morning at 4:30 am and came back home at 10 pm, but happy.
Why and how did you found Decormarmi?
I officially started in 1963 at the age of 24 with four machineries: a lathe craft, a tackle to lift up marble blocks, a big saw to cut marble and a compressor. My first important job was a portal in Ventimiglia. Then two of my brothers joined the company and started an industrial setting. In that period Italy had been going to be re-built; there was such a lot of work that many emigrants came back home. But industrialization did not belong to me. All my passion was connected to sculpture, shaping objects, projecting them living in symbiosis with them. Industrialization paid economically, but it was not what I wanted to do. In 1972 I quit and I began again from the beginning with lots of sacrifices.
How did you start again?
For more than 6 months I had nothing to do. Then for some random life coincidences I was commissioned a villa in France. It was a wonderful project and I put all my efforts and passion in its realization. But the final installation did not convince me. I had been completely already paid, but I could not sign a work that did not satisfy me. On August 14th I went and re-installed the work at my own expenses. I was leaving the job-site when a very distinguished man asked me my opinion about some details. I was really honest. I really did not like some parts. That man appreciated my frankness and asked me to participate to the tender to build some new houses in Switzerland. My competitors were famous and big architectural studios, but I perfectly remember that everybody was so incredulous when the elegant man said “ the job has been assigned to the Italian!” Even if I wished I could won, I was frightened at the beginning. But I worked for more than 2 years in that project and I created a good human and professional fellowship with the client; such a good relation that after more than 30 years we are still cooperating.
Is there any order that you remember with more affection and pride?
Each order deserves dedication and commitment. And I am always inclined to think with enthusiasm to my next project rather than the past ones. But maybe because I was young, I remember the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, a pharaonic building, bigger than the Parthenon, made by a disproportioned number of perfect capitals and columns hose maximum tolerance in size was 2 mm!
Who helped you to crown your passion?
My mother sensed it when I was young, and my wife always understood and supported me. Even in the hard periods, and when I decided to start everything again in 1972 and we already had 3 children. Then I was so lucky that I met some good professionals that I will always thank.
Three of your four children joined in Decormarmi. Did you think that they would have continued your activity?
I surely wished, but never claimed. I tried to teach them the value of the passion for your own job and the satisfaction at working with commitment and reliability.
How do you see Decormarmi in 10 years?
Decormarmi has the history, the capacity and the characteristics for growing and continuing to work professionally all over the world. I see a bright future despite all the everyday difficulties, but I know for sure that anybody works with dedication and passion.
What do you think of Kreoo, the design brand of Decormarmi?
I really like it! It is a contemporary line that takes its origins from the classic proportions. It is a clean and naked classic.
In your opinion what does Kreoo have more then its competitors?
It has a strong identity, a personality that comes from the experience of Decormarmi. Some technical details (such as thin thickness) cannot be done by others. You need a story behind. Otherwise it is a replica.
What do you wish to your grandchildren?
I wish they could find their own passion in life, to cultivate it with sacrifice and dedication, to fall in love with their job and to do it at best. Passion does not make you feel tired.