It may seem the most unlikely of unions, but Dolce & Gabbana and Smeg’s new project – unveiled at this year’s Salone del Mobile – felt strangely harmonious. The Italian powerhouses have collaborated on a bespoke collection of limited-edition, individually hand-painted ‘FAB28’ refrigerators, each one forming a canvas on which Sicilian artists have conjured elaborate scenes.
The refrigerators are embellished with traditional, provincial emblems, such as lemons, the trinacria flag, carts, medieval knights and battle scenes, and finished off with elaborate floral motifs. Contributing artists include Salvatore Sapienza, who has been restoring and decorating Sicilian carts since he was a teenager, and today works from a fruit shop he took over from his grandfather.
Other artisans include mother-and-daughter duo Adriana Zambonelli and Tiziana Nicosia, whose creations from their artisan workshop in Catania have been displayed across the globe; as well as brothers Antonio and Giuseppe Bevilacqua; and artists Biagio Castilletti and Damiano Rotella, who have been working together for over a decade.
There’s very much a sense of kinship befitting of the family-run Smeg imbued in these one-off pieces, which stake a claim to be artworks in their own right. Many painstaking hours of work have been poured into each fridge, and each one features an individual and unique painting – with a price tag to match.