Monday, September 29, 2014

Visconti Impressionist Van Gogh 2011 Collection.

Believe what you will about his reputation, but there is no one in the world that can say Vincent van Gogh is not one of the most influential artists the world has ever seen. Despite his complicated personal life, continuous bouts of mental illness and that dreadful ear incident everyone is familiar with, van Gogh’s artworks have become world-renowned for their rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold colors that are just as captivating as they are striking. In fact, these are the very feelings Visconti wishes to convey in their newest Van Gogh Impressionist collection. The original collection enjoyed more than ten years of success worldwide before being discontinued in 2008. Three years later, Visconti’s innovation of their original idea has turned the collection into something unusually beautiful. Instead of dedicating the series to the overall magnificence of van Gogh, each writing utensil will be inspired by not only his heritage, skill and technique, but by the emotion and personality of each individual painting. Visconti has honored each of his most famous works, from Sunflowers to Room in Arles in a collection that is sure to enthrall any art-lover – and anyone who simply appreciates finely crafted work.
The gift boxes themselves are unique treasures of ingenuity that can be appreciated all on their own. They are made of smooth, dark brown leather, and shaped like an elongated triangle with the Visconti symbol imprinted on the cover. When opened, the inside is reminiscent of a picture book. On the right is a picture of the dedicated painting and on the left, in all its majesty, is the writing utensil with a collection booklet tucked underneath.
Now it’s time for the fun part: the designs. Let us begin with Sunflowers. A still life painted in 1888, the painting utilizes a very unique range of yellows, browns and greens. The yellows, traditionally meant to be bright, are muted to more somber shades, while van Gogh manages to make the browns come alive and steal the show. The pen’s barrel and cap are commendably-crafted works of art that artfully combine Sunflowers complicated palette of colors into a surprisingly beautiful collage. (Think about it, the very thought of meshing yellow, gold, brown and green together just sounds ugly, but hey, that’s Visconti for you. They make daisies into diamonds!) The top of the cap is nondescript and simply boasts the Visconti logo on a slightly raised silver background. The pen’s ring is thick, and like every other member of the collection, has the title of the tributary painting engraved in all capital letters, as if it would ever be possible for you to forget.
The second addition to the collection is based on Room in Arles. (Don’t even think about asking me where that is. Narnia, I imagine.) This one must have been particularly difficult to design, since nearly every color in the entire spectrum had to be included. Van Gogh’s use of blue, brown, red, yellow, orange, black (And once again, I repeat, doesn’t that just sound ugly?) brings to life the smoothness of polished wood, the coolness of the blue walls, and the homey feeling of a lived-in room, a feat he accomplishes quite nicely. The colors are arranged in a swirling pattern that allows them to flow together instead of crashing and creating a jarring image.
Last but most certainly not least, is the dedication to the painting Starry Night. (Thankfully, possible color clashes with this palette are not as alarming as the others.) Browns, blacks, whites, blues and yellows, each a color of the night lay over one another with a familiarity that comes from centuries of being blended together. This one is my absolute favorite. The blues give off a cool mystique while the striking yellows and browns lend it an air of sophistication. The finished result is a pen that is the embodiment of power carefully shrouded in elegance.
From these three designs alone, this series has the class, character and craftsmanship to be a completed masterpiece, but Visconti does not stop there. Far from done, they have planned to add dedications to A Pair of Shoes, Iris, Self Portrait With Hat and others to this already impressive repertoire of designs. It will be a while before they’re released, but the original three have enough specs and appeal to keep us entertained until that day comes.
The series is available as ballpoint, rollerball and fountain pens, but the hidden treasure to look for is the eco-roller. It has the same traditional tip as a rollerball pen, but it fills by an ink cartridge. Rollerball pens have a permanent cartridge that must be thrown out, nib and all, when the ink runs out. Instead of having all of this excess, unnecessary waste, the much more economical eco-roller only requires the abandonment of a small plastic cartridge. (That, and the whole design makes everything much, much more convenient, and I’m all about convenience.)
Brilliance inspires brilliance, creativity inspires creativity and innovation inspires innovation. Vincent van Gogh, a leader in all these qualities, has been paid homage to by a much more recent master in a tribute that will forever set a new standard. Visconti has risen above their peers in terms of ingenuity and dedication and presented to the world a collection that they, and most importantly, van Gogh, can be proud of.

1 comment:

  1. The incorrect use of the word utensil (you mean instrument) spoils an otherwise nice review of beautiful pens.

    OED states: Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th Edition Revised
    utensil • n. a tool or container, especially for household use.


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