“Not philosophers but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose
the backbone of society”. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1932
API is the acronym for Antichi Pavime nti Italia ni. It is craftsmanship and creativity that extend into antique wooden surfaces inlaid by hand. It is the precious distinctiveness of a Made in Italy creation.
Designer Carlo Apollo is the ingenious creator, having spent forty years in the fields of flooring and luxury, after experience in the art workshops of illustrious masters such as Mario Di Donato and Renzo Mongiardino, who are among the greatest exponents of 20th century Italian architecture.
His work has ranged from the St. Alexander and St. Andrew reception halls in Grand Kremlin Palace, to flooring in the Presidential Palace in Grozny, to Milanese venues, as well as exclusive private residences all over the world.
GSM: To you, what is the art of decorating?
CA: Decoration is the added value that bestows character and personality to things. It’s like the layout of notes on the staff; the music played will restore what has been put on the lines and spaces on an emotional level. It can be simple or moving, and above all, always unique. I have transferred this concept to my floors precisely to restore luxury’s primary value: uniqueness.
GSM: How did your passion come about?
CA: I was trained by Mario di Donato and Renzo Mongiardino, who are great exponents of twentieth century architecture. But my love for Italian art and its variations originates from my childhood: I have always felt a strong connection with everything that represents “Italianness”, including warmth of the family and convivial places. It was easy to unite my bond with our traditions together with innovations I learned from my teachers.
GSM: How do you personalize something whose ultimate end is to be walked on?
CA: The first time that I went to Venice, as a child, I entered St. Mark’s Basilica. All the visitors had their noses turned up to admire the mosaics and vault decorations; I had my nose turned down, completely captured by the wonder I was walking on – the floors. This feeling has never left me. I have elaborated the idea that not just sight, but also other senses can be involved in the perception of “beauty”.
GSM: Where do you find your source of inspiration?
CA: I am inspired by forms found in nature, which was able to create incredible motifs long before us, and I observe works of the great masters who have preceded us. Sometimes I follow an idea in the moment or a particular suggestion that comes from the place where my flooring will go. I have no preclusions and no preferences.
GSM: Artist or artisan?
CA: The two are not isolated: I am an artist in the moment in which I transform material into a piece of work, when my ideas are instilled into the wood; I am an artisan when I put my hands to work, when I choose wood, when I bring out the technical side of every artistic object.
GSM: Your typical client?
CA: It is a person who knows the value of art and isn’t afraid to prove – to others and to himself – that in this moment of cultural impoverishment, investing in beauty always has a
benefit. It is someone who loves tradition but is open to the future, someone who doesn’t let himself be conditioned and who glorifies luxury and aesthetics, in any form.
GSM: Which completed projects are the most important?
What is the flagship of the new collection?
CA: Among my most significant works, there are the floorings of St. Alexander and St. Andrew Halls in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, the floors of the Presidential Palace in Grozny, and numerous public venues in Milan. Now, I’m working on a very intimate and specific collection that will open up dialogues on themes that represent me. This line is intended to represent some of the elements intrinsic to man (Time, Love, Friendship,
Family…), and it does so with symbols that are contemporary and immediately recognizable, and have a great emotional impact; it will be unforgettable.
Autore: Chiara Melani