‘Let there be light’ seemed to be the mission statement radiating from Galerie Kreo's tastefully illuminated booth at San Francisco's FOG Design+Art Fair. ‘In all my booths, there is a lot of lights because that is my passion,’ says Didier Krzentowski, who founded the gallery with his wife Clémence, and also co-authored a history of lights with her. For Krzentowski, there is no greater talent than Gino Sarfatti – the late Italian maestro who was the subject of a 2012 retrospective at La Triennale Design Museum in Milan.
Dressed in a sharp blue suit and navy slippers monogrammed with ON and OFF, Krzentowski picked up a yellow-shaded, bronze-based floor lamp, adjusted it with a simple twist of his hand before moving towards his favourite: a two-bulb blue shaded Scarfatti sconce. ‘He was thinking about lighting different positions however you wanted,’ he says. ‘It's easy to do something complicated, but something so simple, it's very difficult.’
Around and under lamps, illuminated mirrors and chandeliers from Scarfatti, Studio Wieki Somers and the Bouroullec brothers, Kreo shed some light on their decor. Against one wall leaned a carbon fibre ladder by Marc Newson beside Doshi Levien's multi-colored 'Squarable Lune' mirror. Across the booth, Jaime Hayon's Venetian-influenced ‘Monkey’ mirror held court between Alessandro Mendini's reflective white gold 'Poltrona' chair and a hollowed console made from Maquina black marble by Pierre Charpin. ‘It's genius because it's concave inside,’ says Krzentowski pointing out the engineering that allowed for the weighty material to be so light.
However, the centre of attention in the booth seemed to be focused on the glass-topped 'Champions' table from Konstantin Grcic. Inspired by racing sports, its red, green and yellow aluminium base appeared to invoke a road bicycle or cigarette boat, enhanced via the word ‘Jetdog’ emblazoned down the middle by master lacquerer Walter Maurer.
‘It doesn't mean anything,’ says Krzentowski with a laugh. ‘But "Jetdog" gives you the feeling of speed.’