For anyone lucky enough to have seen designer Gaetano Pesce in person, you are bound to know that the man speaks in tongues. His vocabulary is full of metaphors and his anecdotes full of contradictions—and yet, Pesce is irresistible.
Archival image of the original Up chair from 1969.
It is clear that he loves women; if memory serves me right, he called them the creators of the universe at Design Miami in 2009. Everyone who has seen his iconic Up (reissued for the new millennium as Serie Up 2000) lounge chair and ottoman would immediately recognize his attraction to the fairer sex.
Serie Up 2000. Designed by Gaetano Pesce. Manufactured by B&B Italia.
Lounge and Ottoman Celebrates the Female Form
Serie Up 2000 takes its shape from the dramatic dips and curves of a woman's body. Its accompanying ottoman, a perfect sphere, resembles both a ball of yarn and a ball and chain. Pesce explains that the orb symbolizes "the shackles that keep women subjugated." Ironically, Serie Up 2000 appears in the apartment of the jock/Lothario Matty (played by Owen Wilson) in the movie How Do You Know? The subversive appeal of Serie Up 2000, however, is that it recognizes men's objectification of women while also celebrating the feminine mystique.
Serie Up 2000 marries (pun intended) art and design. Pesce's creation is as much sculpture as it is furniture—in fact, to call it furniture is almost insulting. While the elastic fabric cover is available in solid black, red, yellow, blue, and dark green, it is the legendary striped orange and beige material that emphasizes the serpentine contours of Eve's sex. When I heard Pesce interviewed, I was surprised and amused by one of his many enigmatically deep and self-evident musings. He said something to this effect—that we must honor women because they are the future. Serie Up 2000 illustrates this very paradox, at once paying homage to the female form and simultaneously presenting a critique of that adoration.
The whole Serie Up family, including "Baby Up" in red.
About the Manufacturer: Since 1966, B&B Italia has manufactured luxury goods for residential interiors and exteriors, as well as products for the contract market. Known for their routine collaborations with iconic designers like Gaetano Pesce, Patricia Urquiola, Zaha Hadid, and Antonio Citterio, B&B Italia has a stellar reputation in the industry—their trademark synthesis of innovation and classical craftsmanship has garnered no less than four Compasso d’oro prizes.