A little while ago the Brooklyn artist Fernando Mastrangelo was approached by the watchmaking legends Audemars Piguet to design and build a sculpture that would represent the brand and show its artistic values at Art Basel, one of the world’s leading art fairs. An outsider might assume AP picked Mastrangelo because of a background, or at least an interest, in watches. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
“Zilch. Zero. Nothing!” laughs Mastrangelo when asked by EDGAR to describe his knowledge of watches before he accepted the project.
“I’ve never even worn a watch. I have my hands completely free because I make sculpture in my studio. My father liked watches but it wasn’t something we talked about or a topic that I learned about,” he continues. “But before working with Audemars Piguet I got a crash course in watches and, naturally, because I’m a maker I admire the craftsmanship and the beauty.
Now I’m a fan.” He points to the 22 timepieces AP have displayed at their Art Basel VIP lounge and says, “These things are art.”
Mastrangelo, whose studio is in Brooklyn, spent some time at AP’s HQ in Switzerland in the Vallée de Joux and was immediately impressed by the work of the watchmakers.