Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Each issue, Parterre de Rois plays host to one such imaginary soirée, where the menu states a theme their guests are to explore. Their last issue, themed ‘Happiness’, picked up Best Cover at The Stack Awards with a smiley face menacingly splashed across the front. Now, they’re continuing that energy to focus on the dark and the ominous.
Read on for founders Molly Molloy (design director of Marni) and Gianni Tozzi’s definitive guide to the issue.
1. Why Black after Happiness
We keep hearing that we live in black times and there is a lot going on out there that supports this. We wanted to respond to this feeling, offering a visual dialogue with artists from different disciplines and continents. There is lots of beauty in darkness.
2. Anish Kapoor, and other inspirations for the issue
Inspired by the dark side, this PDR dinner party gets murky, and as our previous issues we wanted to mix the great and good with the dark and ominous. Leaving artists to select their own work or create bespoke works for the issue, the parterre this issue include Anish Kapoor with his beautiful black drawings that are a very intense interpretation of the word black. To counterbalance, we have the elaborate paintings of Mickalene Thomas (below), her complex vision of what it means to be a woman and exploration of notions of black female celebrity.
3. Cordula Reyer talks with Jan Harlan, Stanley Kubrick’s brother-in-law
Cordula Reyer is a 1990’s muse of Helmut Lang, and you’ll find some beautiful poetry and an intimate conversation on Stanley Kubrick in the issue. We asked Cordula how she wanted to interpret the theme, and she replied saying that aside from his amazing movies, she had always been fascinated by Stanley Kubrick’s looks, his black hair and dark eyes, and she knew there were some great unseen portraits of him that could fit the issue.
4. Jacopo Benassi’s interpretation of Black
Jacopo shot the group Satanic Youth performing; the photographs depict the suffocating mosh of its performers and audience.
5. We remember the amazingly dark work of Stephen Dwoskin
We discovered Stephen Dwoskin’s work through a contemporary of his, Denis Masi. Dwoskin was a key figure in 70s British avant-garde cinema, but he also worked on the fringe, accepting small scale commissions during his career. He made the perfect fit for this issue and we are blown away by how contemporary the images are today.
6. We created unique bespoke inserts
We want each issue to be memorable by creating something bespoke, and for the Black issue, we decided to create unique inserts. One is of everyone’s fear, deadly spiders by Gianni and Stefano Marino, and the other is a painted triptych, a dark dedication to our favourite lyricists.
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