A conversation with Ambra Medda about art and inspiration

Thanks to Parker, the fine pen’s label, I’ve had the opportunity to interview Ambra Medda, founder and director of the Miami Art Basel, a great exhibition that showed some of the best contemporary artists. Ambra was born in Greece, raised between London and Milan, got a degree in Chinese Language, Literature and Art in Beijing, and now she lives in NY with her husband Damian Kulash, from the band OK Go.

Ambra Medda with Damian Kulash

Because of her outstanding work, her creativity and her talent, Parker chose her to represent the label’s spirit. As Ambra says: “I do a lot of research for my work and make a lot of notes. I love writing in my diary, every day I create wish lists and jot down ideas I have. Writing is fundamental to my work process”. As part of the campaign, Parker has organized an amazing exhibition in Shanghai (you can view all the details here), based around the theme “words for the future”.

Ambra told me about her inspirations, her work, her friendship with Pharrell, her favourite places around the world… I really interesting conversation:

· How do you get inspired every day?
I mostly travel, go to museums and galleries and meet people. Inspiration is totally incalculable. You can never predict when it’s going to come or what will bring it about. You could be on a plain or at the supermarket…it just happens. it’s a wonderful feeling. I think after love, inspiration would be number 2 on my list.

· Could you tell us the deeper meaning of your PARKER Words For the Future? What do them represent to you, in a personal way?
“Upward and onward” Onward and Upward symbolizes being strong and no matter what the circumstances to keep your head up and view things positively. It’s a positive determination to move forward and make things you believe in happen.

·Which current artists inspire you today?
Ying Wu, John Baldessari, Max Lamb, Tokujin Yoshioka, Es Devlin and Becky Starck.

· You’ve lived in Miami, New York, Beijing, London, Milan, Greece… They say every city has a personality, what did you perceive in each of those places?
Each and every one of these places is special in its own unique way. Each of these cities offers a different approach and is infused with a different culture. Milano is filled with friends and has a very fashionable imprint. the size of the city makes it super easy to get around and get a lot done in one day. Beijing was totally exciting, being there in 2000 for a year of studies was one of the most eye opening experiences for me. Beijing can be very harsh but also very magical and retains a great combination of the past and the future. New York is my home and I simply love it. Greece is filled with wonderful childhood memories, it’s tradition and nature are incredibly restorative, i try and go once a year to re-energize myself.

· What do you think is the relationship between fashion and art?
I think Art and Fashion have always influenced and inspired one another. When two different fields come together it’s amazing what comes out. The intersection between art, design, fashion, technology is creating some of the most interesting work today.

· How was the experience of working with Pharrell Williams? [she collaborated with him on "Pharrell: Places and Spaces I've been] What did you learn from him?
Pharrell is an incredibly talented and fearless man. My friendship with Pharrell over the years has allowed for us to have some great conversations and working together felt totally natural and fun.

· Which is the favourite art piece you have at your home?
A painting by Whitney Bedford and my Gio Ponti armchairs.

· Your favourite movie is…
Rear Window. I love Hitchcock. The guy is a genius.

· Albums you love listening…
Of The blue Colour Of the Sky by Ok Go, Prince’s Purple rain and Classics by Ratatat and Lean on me the best of Bill Whithers.

· Do you watch any TV shows?
The Wire, Murder She wrote, and Mad Men. the characters are great. Boardwalk Empire and Deadwood are incredible, they have great costumes and phenomenal dialogue.

· Do you read a lot? Which is your favorite magazine and why?
I love reading but i need to be relaxed otherwise i can’t focus. I read magazines like Vanity Fair and The New York Times magazine.

· What is your favorite fashion store, how do like to shop?
I love shopping in Paris going to all the different mono brand stores and the vintage shops. I’m not a big department store kind of girl…unless it’s like Corso Como or Dover Street Market with a great mixture and selection of brands.

· You travel a lot and see a lot of inspiring things, what is the most inspiring artwork you have ever seen?
I remember seeing a triptych in London by Francis Bacon that really amazed me. I love Olafur Eliasson’s work and remember exactly how I felt when i stood in front of his Sun in the turbine hall

· Someone you admire…
I admire a lot of my friends and colleagues. There is so much to learn from people close to us. Beyonce and Hillary Clinton have been very inspiring also lately.


images: vogue.de, parker, another magazine, the sartorialist

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11 thoughts on “A conversation with Ambra Medda about art and inspiration

    Sialsiquiero • Feb 21, 2013, 11:26
  1. Reptilia • Feb 21, 2013, 12:51
  2. Emily Ulrich • Feb 21, 2013, 14:09
  3. I like what she said about inspiration. And it’s so true–real inspiration is incalculable. In this day, Pinterest and Tumblr have made everything and anything inspiring and the race is to find as many inspire-worthy images as possible. But inspiration doesn’t just come through imagery, in fact, it doesn’t even need to be tangible.

    Lovely interview. :)

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  4. Rocío del Mar • Feb 21, 2013, 17:46
  5. Bruna Marx • Feb 22, 2013, 4:00
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