Home » NailART – Alessandro Mendini’s “Poltrona di Proust”
Alessandro Mendini Poltrona di Proust armchair nail art polish

NailART – Alessandro Mendini’s “Poltrona di Proust”

by Deborah

Something you might not know about me, is that I’m an art historian. I’ve followed both a bachelor’s as well as a master’s degree in it at the University of Groningen, where I followed a curator-specific course. Unfortunately, due to multiple reasons, I do not work in that field at the moment, but art remains deeply rooted in myself. As a student in Groningen, I often walked or biked past the Groninger Museum, a building that in itself is already a work of art. Loving the bright colours of its exterior designed by Italian artist and architect Alessandro Mendini, I always wanted to make something similar on my nails. When I remembered the chair by the same artist, I immediately thought it would be perfect!

Embedded photo via Wikipedia Commons

This was the direct inspiration for my nail art: the famous “Poltrona di Proust” (Proust’s armchair) Mendini made in 1978. There are many different variations of this chair, but I love the colours in the specific chair above: the gradient from green to blue, then yellow, blue again, and ending with orange and red. The more you look at it, the more colours you can identify. It’s one of my favourite pieces from postmodern art!

Embedded photo via The Art Post Blog

In this close-up of a similar chair, also by Mendini, you can see how the colours are applied to it. In a manner nearing pointillism, dots of paint are applied to the material, each overlapping each other ever so slightly. The moment I saw this, it immediately reminded me of fingerpaint. It’s a seemingly random paint job, but the colours are much more deliberately put in place than one might think. It’s prefectly balanced, and this was also the biggest struggle when I translated it onto my nails.

Alessandro Mendini Poltrona di Proust armchair nail art polish

For this look, I went with a layer of Essence’s “Blues of Being Cool” (LE Class of 2013) for opacity. On top of this base colour, I started applying dots of the other colours. For this, I used a small brush and dabbed the polish on. Most polishes were more opaque then in the inspiration, but I do love the outcome! It reminds me a lot of pointillism, one of my favourite painting techniques.

Alessandro Mendini Poltrona di Proust armchair nail art polish

A close-up of my thumb nail, so you’re able to see the brush strokes in the individual dots. Some colours, like the bright blue and pink ones, have some transparency and show colours underneath as well. Especially the dark blue show brush strokes, which I do like a lot.

Alessandro Mendini Poltrona di Proust armchair nail art polish

For the colour “story” I went with the sequence in the photo of the chair above. Blue, green, then yellow, a bit of blue, and then merging into red. It was definitely hard to combine all colours, as my nails are waaaaay smaller than the chair. Going with the exact same amount of different colours in the nails, would have been impossible to do.

I do like the outcome, and I hope you can appreciate it as well! Even though it does not have as much colours in it as the chairs, it was SO MUCH FUN to make! It’s almost like a school project on my nails, just doodling around on my nails with different colours, haha! I really recommend trying this yourself, as it’s definitely fun regardless of the outcome.

Full nail polish list:

Barry M CINP10 “Island Fever”
Catrice C10 “Forget-Me-Not” (LE Hop, Hop Hooray Reloaded)
Catrice 240 “Sold Out For Ever” (old version)
Essence 01 “Ahoy, Boy!” (LE Nauti Girl)
Essence 01 “Blues of Being Cool” (LE Class of 2013)
Essence 26 “Brazil Jungle”
Essence 33 “Wild White Ways”
Essie 470 “Flawless” (Retro Revival)
Essie 209A “Olé Caliente”
Kiko 525 “Azzurro Pastello Metallico”
L’Oréal 209
Only You “30 April 2013 Bye Bye Beatrix”
Only You 113 “Banana Split”
W.I.C. by Herome 117 “Minsk”

Leave a Comment