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Inspired By The G-Timeless Watch by Gucci, 3 Global Artists Interpret The Concept Of Time

Inspired By The G-Timeless Watch by Gucci, 3 Global Artists Interpret The Concept Of Time

G-Timeless watch by Gucci
https://www.instagram.com/p/CAAY05fg4zK/

Recent times have led us to reflect on many things, including our concept of time. As part of Gucci’s G-Timeless Project, the Italian luxury house engaged global artists to explore this fluid concept while reinterpreting the iconic G-Timeless watch. These dreamlike artworks represent “suspended worlds” where the timepiece is much more than a simple element in the narrative, but it becomes a representation of time itself.

For those who are familiar with House Creative Director Alessandro Michele‘s Gucci, you would know that the maison has pioneered several collaborative projects over the past years, exploring different mediums and supporting artists all over the world. For this project, Michele engaged Oda Sonderland from Norway, Winnie Chi from China (who had worked with the brand before), David Macho from Spain and Andrey Kasay from Russia.

They were challenged to creatively interpret different models of the G-Timeless automatic, and tasked to focus on the distinctive elements of the watch, such as the brand’s signature bee motif. The bee that is now synonymously tied to the brand was first introduced in the 70s, and is also featured on the stone dials of these timepieces.

Their beautiful muses are eight Swiss-made variations of the G-Timeless watch, with a 38mm or a 42mm case. Three of which had an 18-carat yellow gold case with a black onyx, brown tiger eye or green malachite stone dial while the other five featured a lacquered metal case with a blue lapis stone dial or a black onyx stone dial.

In this exclusive interview with the artists, we delve deeper into their pieces, creative process and genuine thoughts on time.

Oda Sonderland

Oda Sonderland, G-Timeless Project
Photo: Courtesy of Gucci

Born in Norway in 1996, Oda Sonderland discovered Japanese anime and manga at the beginning of her teenage years and became instantly obsessed. Drawn to the innocence behind female characters in shoujou anime, she began drawing pictures of anime girls, often versions of herself or imaginary friends.

Now, as a young adult, she reflects on her relationship with escapism and her own anxieties through watercolour paintings, placed somewhere between the grounded reality and a dream. The characters in Oda’s paintings search for a feeling of control, but they’re trapped by their own fears. They find themselves drenched in sweat, stuck in loops or stressful situations. The delicacy and transparency of the medium, with the harmonic colouring, provides a soft touch to the nightmarish motives.

ELLE: Your artworks seem to come from an oneiric world. Would you tell us about it?

Oda: I love the stories that tell folklore. They often contain a lot of absurdity, which reminds me of dreams. This playful type of narrative is what I try to recreate in my paintings. Then, there are also nightmares lurking in my work amidst all the beauty.

Speaking about the GUCCI project, where did you take the inspiration from?

One of the two pieces I made exclusively for ELLE and Gucci plays with the Vanitas genre, it recalls the Latin sentence “memento mori” that means “remember you will die”. The other one is inspired by the dreamy snowy landscapes that you can see in Norway during winter.

What were you doing when you received the call from GUCCI?

I was playing a video game with a friend of mine, when I checked my phone. There was an email from Gucci, and at first, I thought it was one of those hundreds of spam emails that I receive weekly. It was a very nice surprise when I realized that it was not.

How long did it take to create the artwork? What are your usual creative steps?

The paintings needed to match both my vision and Gucci’s, so it took a few days. The longest part of the process is thinking and drawing, but that is indeed the step I prefer because you lose control of time and reality.

How would you describe your art in one minute?

Confused girls trapped in a very strange dream.

Since ancient times bees have had countless meanings and symbols. What is the most significant for you?   

I see bees as a symbol of rebirth and eternal life. They don’t live as individuals, but as a community. They accept death in a way that is difficult for human beings; they understand their role as part of something bigger that will always continue in the cycle of nature.

Which was the turning point for your artistic career?

I think it was when I had my first show in an art gallery. That was the moment I decided to become an artist. Since then, new opportunities have showed up and I acquired the confidence to pursue what I truly want.

What does time mean to you?

Time is what breaks old things and lets new things grow.

Which is the moment of the day when you find yourself more productive?

Midday.

Which was the longest minute of your life? And the shortest?

I think the longest was when I had a horrible interview for a school project last spring. The shortest was probably when I first met my boyfriend. Aww!

David Macho

David Macho, G-Timeless Project
Photo: Courtesy of Gucci

David Macho is a conceptual artist and defines himself as a contemporary anarchist, too. A graduate from the University of the Basque Country with a masters in art and design research, David’s art often centres around what he calls “bureaucratic plasticity”, observing our relationship with the system as an aesthetic problem. He is currently working in the field of painting, using this medium to create and imagine apocalyptic narratives, where characters are mainly consecrated artists trapped in the most media-centric moments.

ELLE: Your artworks seem to come from an oneiric world. Would you tell us about it?

David: When I talk about my work, I like to refer to the apocalypse, because I think the biblical happenings sound like a good prelude to tell stories. The world that I represent through my paintings is dystopian; it is a fiction that could happen; it is a game in which all the elements that compose my imagination find space and become cartoons, artworks or products.

On the other hand, my work always represents several scenes. I do it as a sort of redemption, because it’s proved that people look at a painting for max 15 seconds. So, I try to create a game in my artworks, therefore people can see more stories in the frame at the same time and feel more engaged. Also, I aim to turn my work into something fun for kids, so they can look at my paintings and enjoy them, too.

Speaking about the GUCCI project, where did you take the inspiration from?

Let’s start with the feeling of community, the idea of enjoying something we like without being judged. I mean having a good time just because we deserve it, even if everything is an illusion. I believe this is the only way to survive and it is indeed what I try to do with my paintings. Although we are in the middle of a global pandemic, let’s try to see the world as a child would do, with curiosity to the future despite the fear. Everything can suddenly turn into an adventure where we can enjoy the discovery.

What were you doing when you received the call from GUCCI?

It was 11PM when I checked my emails and I saw a message from Gucci: they were inviting me to take part in a great digital campaign for G-Timeless watches, among other international artists from all over the world. I called my manager and asked her, “Is this for real?” and she said, “Yes, David. It is.”

That came up when Spain was at its first month of the pandemic I felt like I couldn’t distinguish what was real and what wasn’t anymore.

How long did it take to create the artwork? What are your usual creative steps?

I usually don’t follow any step when I work. I don’t do sketches before; I simply fill up a canvas. Although it took me a very intensive 10 days to work on this. I had to think a lot about the subject – the Gucci watches – and then I came up with this concept: representing the idea of watches as a symbol of time.

How would you describe your art in a minute time?

I think my art could be represented as a teenager’s room full of chaos, where you start looking and don’t find anything, but you have everything instead. It is a Britney Spears’s song, a Paul B. Preciado’s book, an autograph by Hannah Montana, a sketch by Mickey Mouse, a character who jumped out from a series from the 90s. My art can also be like an external hard drive that you find in a drawer after many years and when you plug it in, you find what you were looking for.

My art comes with a lot of information in it, in my paintings there is a lot happening at the same time. The spectators change their perspective constantly.

Since ancient times bees have had countless meanings and symbols. What is the most significant for you?  

Bees remind me of my childhood. I come from a little town immersed into flowers, trees and wild animals. When I was a kid I used to go to my grandmother’s orchard, and she used to show me the different species of vegetables. We picked up carrots and potatoes – those are sweet memories. I found bees always very present; my grandma wasn’t scared of them, so she taught me how much they were important for the circle of life and how to respect them. “Without bees my orchard wouldn’t be the beauty it is” – she used to say.

Which was the turning point for your artistic career?

I think it was the day I decided that my art name would have been David Macho (my real name is David González Fernández). I liked how it sounded, how it vibrated in my mouth every time I pronounced it, I felt like it would have accompanied my work perfectly. That was the first time I ever felt confident within defining myself as an artist. Macho is the last name of my grandmother. I decided to borrow it, in the name of love I still have for her. Sometimes a name helps us to be our true selves.

What does time mean to you?

I’ll be honest, the passage of time scares me. I usually don’t think about it, because when I do, I get my memories back from the past and I forget about the future. I like to think that our lives are not based on a chronological line, and that time does not only go forward, but our path can change direction. I believe in parallel realities, a sort of sliding-doors-life. 

Which is the moment of the day you find yourself more productive?

After midnight I feel more creative in thinking and writing. 6PM is my favourite time to paint.

Which was the longest minute of your life? And the shortest?

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The longest minute of my life was a very tragic one. When I was 8 years old, I was riding a skate for the first time and a car was coming towards me. I got hit. The driver was my dad’s best friend.

I’m afraid I can’t really say when the shortest minute of my life was, that’s probably because I enjoy life very much.

Winnie Chi

Xuefei Chi, known as Winnie Chi, is a multimedia artist and animator from China, graduated at the Loughborough University, United Kingdom. As a child of the post-80s generation, she was influenced by a mix of Chinese and Western cartoons, painters, and illustration styles, which led her to pursue 2D and 3D animation in her graduate career. She uses a wide palette of skills ranging from drawing, rotoscope, collage and animation to explore concepts in her work. She is now based in Shanghai but often travels around the world.

Your artworks seem to come from an oneiric world. Would you tell us about it?

Durian Pig is the avatar that I created when I collaborated with Gucci for the first time in 2016. In this project, Durian Pig is a gender-fuzzy creature, and its face changes into different shapes. Durian Pig is not limited by gravity, space or any restrictions on the Earth, it can float in the air and explore the underwater. It fiddles with various body shapes, attempts to break the dimension through dance and leads us into a surreal world.

Speaking about the GUCCI project, where did you take the inspirations from?

The inspiration for the background scene was influenced by Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. His fantasy world and weird creatures have always fascinated me.

Through my artwork I wanted to show what would happen if a time machine brought us back before the pandemic breakout. Is there anything you could do back then to change the current situation? 

What were you doing when you received the call from GUCCI?

Two days before I received the call, I saw a new Gucci golden watch that made me think of painting a sort of trip through time. When I was about to end the drawing, Gucci sent me the invitation for this project.

How long did it take to create the artwork? What are your usual creative steps?

It took me a few days to make it. I usually write down some inspirations and dreams I had on a paper board. Then I try to put them together in a vision. Sometimes I find inspiration from a person I meet or something new I get to know. The crucial step for me is to have some sketches of the animation before I start performing a soundtrack with the help of my keyboard and software.

How would you describe your art in a minute time?

Vivid colours that create a new world, surreal and real at the same time. There are no genders here. Creatures dance freely, not limited by time and space. 

Since ancient times bees have had countless meanings and symbols. What is the most significant for you?  

In my animation, the bee represents a sort of space switcher that rolls the character into another dimension. For example, from the bottom of the sea to an urban garden where the watch becomes a building.

Which was the turning point for your artistic career?

When Gucci asked me to cooperate in 2016.

What does time mean to you?

Time for me is a reminder system from the universe.

Which is the moment of the day you find yourself more productive?

Inspiration may be anywhere and anytime. But the most efficient time for me is usually from 6AM to 10AM.

Which was the longest minute of your life? And the shortest?

The longest minute of my life was when I found myself into tears while listening to my favourite band. The shortest? Me, diving into the sea.


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