Live the urban art experience! Art Gallery / Artists rooms
Xavier Magaldi is known for combining the rigorous craft of watchmaking with the unconstrained approach of street art and the unusual use of light to create his intricate mechanical imagery. Having made a very successful transition from graffiti to fine art years ago, the artist now uses his extensive street art experience to create numerous works on canvas. The latest series of Xavier Magaldi’s paintings and silkscreen prints will be on display at iDroom gallery in Geneva at a solo show entitled #401.
Swiss artist Xavier Magaldi discovered the fascinating art of graffiti at the end of the 1980s and became instantly interested in the various techniques of lettering. After a few years of wild-style painting he moved on to free-style and mechanical drawings. The many years of free artistic creation have encouraged the artist to take the next step and move his works from the streets onto the canvasses. In 2013, Xavier Magaldi created a new movement coming from the motion graffiti called the MecaFuturism. His style is inspired by pure geometry lines of Cubism of the 1920’s, but it’s heavily influenced by the masterpieces of Italian futurists as well. Today, the artist works in the field of a mechanical abstract art and he continually develops his recognizable style.
Materialization of Time…
The paintings of Xavier Magaldi have their roots in his never-ending quest for the materialization of time. Xavier Magaldi has taken training in watchmaking and his technical skills show as the artist portrays watch mechanisms, geometry shapes and precise lines throughout his numerous works. His intricate, yet elegant imagery resembles industrial drawings, embellished with the futuristic appeal. By employing his detail oriented painting technique, the artist has managed to capture both the energy and the precision of machines. With its clear lines and simple color palette Xavier Magaldi’s imagery quickly pulls the viewers into the futuristic world of the Swiss artist.
#401 exhibition opens on Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 at iDroom gallery located in the Windsor Hotel in the very heart of the Swiss city of Geneva. The reception with the artist is scheduled for the opening day starting from 6.30 pm. #401 exhibition will be accompanied by the opening of the new room created by Xavier Magaldi at Windsor Hotel. Additionally, a special series of silkscreen prints by the prominent artist will be launched at the exhibition as well. New body of work by Xavier Magaldi will be on display till January 6th, 2016 at iDroom gallery in Geneva.
Xavier Magaldi Merges Haute Horlogerie with Street Art.
You might not expect it but within Patek Philippe’s design department works a genuine and actually quite famous artist; Xavier Magaldi. This by itself might not come as such a surprise, but Magaldi is not into still life paintings or even creations of a more impressionistic nature, no, Magaldi is into street art! Though not a graffiti artist as such, Magali says his work is strongly influenced stylistically by the vocabulary of modern graffiti.
This unexpected marriage finds its roots in Magaldi’s training as a traditional watchmaker. Familiar with all the inner workings of men’s favorite micro-mechanical machine he joined Patek Philippe, only to realize that his true passion was still with watches, but more in designing them. He followed his heart and left Patek Philippe to study graphic design. After completing his education and gaining experience with various other companies, he returned to where it all started; Patek Philippe. You might even enjoy his contribution to these great watches on a daily basis, since his main focus at Patek Philippe is designing dials.
Magaldi has most certainly not forgotten his original education. His colorful and expressive street art influenced paintings are filled with precisely drawn gears and moonphases. No wonder that his work draws a lot of attention, and enthusiasm, from people who can also appreciate the wearable art we call Haute Horlogerie. His approach to street art is diverse. It varies from original paintings and prints, to objects of art, functional as well as slightly less functional.
His talents are also recognized by his employer since, as for example, the Patek Philippe boutiques in Tapei features an painting by Magaldi. Here the core brand values are integrated in a piece of art, that breaths the style of Patek Philippe, while being a true Magaldi at the same time.
It shall not be a surprise that elements of watchmaking are a reoccurring theme in Magaldi’s work. Sometimes at the forefront, expressed through gears and moonphases, and sometimes more at the back, represented by the precise approach Magaldi takes to all his work. In one of his recent projects, which is named SuperLuminova/MoonExperience, an unusual use of light in his work is combined with one of watchmaking’s most traditional and loved complications; the moonphase. With another exhibition named Kaleidoscope, Magaldi perhaps even more unites the Cartesian and methodical rigor of watchmaking with the free and unconstrained approach of street art. Here a painted canvas, layered with metal objects form an almost Escher-nesque display that really draws the viewer into its world of straight lines. This exhibition was featured at the famed Speerstra gallery, which is been a pioneer in street art for the last 25 years.
Magaldi’s latest activity was actually exhibiting at the Art Basel fair in Miami. Living on the edge of the seemingly highly contrasting worlds of haute horlogerie and street art, Magaldi has more then successfully shown that he is able to unite both worlds in captivating pieces of art. Wither it is as a nameless contributor to the timeless dials of Patek Philippe, or through his own art work, Magaldi’s work is bound to enjoy at least one life time!
Xavier Magaldi’s nex work and exhibitions can be followed through his own website; Xavier Magaldi
Martin Green – Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics
Xavier Magaldi is a Swiss artist who has been present in a graffiti world since the early 90’s. He is also a watchmaker, so in his work Magaldi combines these two ‘métiers,’ creating with it a unique view on mechanical movements.
From Graffiti to Watchmaking, and Other Way Around
Magaldi was born in Geneva, where the first graffiti appeared shortly after London and Paris. Xavier himself discovered graffiti in the late 80s and instantly became particularly interested in the letters. He has made his first experiments with spray-paint in 1989. After some years of “torturing letters in wild style”, he changed it for free style and mechanical drawing:
“When I was younger, I had fun creating my own alphabets, until the day I met the famous graffiti-artists and was taken under their wings, a bit like big brothers. As I specialized, I worked mainly letters through the “wild-style”, as they say in the jargon. This technique is to deform and stylize the letter in an extreme way. By following a few “machines” in freestyle, but this was the “abstract graffiti” … and finally, it was time to move on to the canvas!”
Parallel to his street art interest, he was trained as a watchmaker at the Ecole d’horlogerie de Genève and had the opportunity to work at one of the greatest maisons in watchmaking. Magaldi not only wanted to contribute to the inner beauty of the watches, he wanted to play a part in their outer beauty and design. So, after completing his education, as well as gaining experience with different companies, the circle closed when he came back to watchmaking industry. Only this time as a member of the design department, where he mainly focused on the design of their dials. Together with digital graphics and publishing, these very diverse experiences led Xavier Magaldi to concentrate on fusing those crafts:
“These two worlds (street art and watchmaking) oppose each other yet form an integral part of my life and I’ve learned to combine them in a complementary manner. We find that the parallel fusion in my paintings, all essential to the proper functioning of a mechanism’s components, are released from their constraints and obligations and finally speak.”
MecaFuturism: Tourbillions and Perpetual Calendars
Magaldi uses various techniques originating from street art to integrate elements such as tourbillions and perpetual calendars. He draws parallels between street art and horology through a visible and creative dynamism created from the juxtaposition of the meticulous art of watchmaking with the world of graffiti. The moments of free art and pure creation laid the basis for his work on canvas that is called “MecaFuturism”.
As Magaldi started his professional career as a watchmaker, his work is characterized by precision, geometry and technical drawing, inspired by Cubism of the 1920’s with its pure geometry. That style he combines with the mechanism by Italian futurists. Xavier’s biggest success is his ability to materialize time and capture its energy on his paintings:
“I am primarily looking for the composition. But, actually, color is important. But I’m working a lot in monochrome, namely the use of different tones while remaining in the same color. It is a matter of time and inspiration.”
And for Xavier Magaldi, anything can be inspiration, as he admits that he just loves to observe, analyze balances, compositions, shapes, beautiful objects: “aesthetics fascinates me” as much as technical plans do! Whether it is micro, architecture or urban planning, this artist can easily project himself through it and find forms that he can develop into his work.
Magaldi’s Post-Graffiti Era
Magaldi primarly likes to work on large format:
“I need to feel the gestures, the rhythm and pulse of the artwork which involves a complete integration, a true physical relationship with my canvas.”
Xavier mostly uses brush but the spray is also welcomed with its own set of gestures and the benefit of quick drying. He also likes pens and markers for their accuracy and as an homage to a technical drawing. Sometimes he also uses other techniques such as stenciling, spatula, gold leaf, collage and modeling paste:
”The mixture of techniques is very interesting because it gives a different volume; however, quality is essential and imperative.”
The parallel fusions in Magaldi’s paintings are essential to the proper functioning of a mechanism’s components. However, all of them are released from their constraints – it is actually a mechanism that operates only in the imagination. His work is the continuation of a European art movement that was born in the USA in the 1960′s and 70′s, where every urban element was likely to be decorated. A recent era of Xavier Magaldi’s work is titled Post-Graffiti and it expresses artist’s vision of art, at the same time modern and traditional.
Tempus Fugit and Utopies Urbaines
In 2014, Tempus Fugit, or translated Time Flies, was a Geneva exhibition of Magaldi’s graffiti art displaying mechanical movements. The show presented how the artist’s grafitti and watchmaking roots blended on the canvas. The earthy colors Magaldi used, translated tradition while the watch detail sketches opened the window to a watchmaker’s mind.
In 2015, Xavier Magaldi’s latest works “Sous écoute” were on display at Utopies Urbaines, group show in Paris.
Xavier Magaldi lives in Genève, Switzerland.