As our finished products are a perfect blend of art, science and commerce, we are inspired by two pivotal muses who also successfully blended these elements. Often controversial, and clearly ahead of their time, they created an enduring legacy of works that has left a lasting impact on design and culture.
LEONARDO DA VINCI
“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.”
—Leonardo da Vinci
Born Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci on April 15th, 1452 in Vinci, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci was a leading artist and intellectual of the Italian Renaissance.
His ideas and body of work—which includes “Virgin of the Rocks,” “The Last Supper,” “Leda and the Swan” and “Mona Lisa”—have influenced countless artists and made da Vinci a leading light of the Italian Renaissance.
Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy. Born out of wedlock, the love child of a respected notary and a young peasant woman, he was raised by his father, Ser Piero, and his stepmothers. At the age of 14, da Vinci began apprenticing with the artist Verrocchio. For six years, he learned a wide breadth of technical skills, including metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing and sculpting. By the age of 20, he had qualified as a master artist in the Guild of Saint Luke and established his own workshop.
Da Vinci has been called a genius and the archetypal Renaissance man. His talents inarguably extended far beyond his artistic works. Like many leaders of Renaissance humanism, he did not see a division between science and art. His observations and inventions were recorded in 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, including designs for flying machines (some 400 years before the Wright brothers’ first success), plant studies, war machinery, anatomy and architecture. His ideas were mainly theoretical explanations, laid out in exacting detail, but they were rarely experimental. His drawings of a foetus in utero, the heart and vascular system, reproductive organs, and other bone and muscular structures, are some of the first on human record.
One of da Vinci’s last commissioned works was a mechanical lion that could walk and open its chest to reveal a bouquet of lilies. The famous artist died in Amboise, France, on May 2, 1519.
“I’m bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is ‘In 15 minutes everybody will be famous.”
- Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennysylvania, on August 6th 1928. This enigmatic artist and visionary lead the “pop art” visual art movement. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, he became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. His pioneering works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement.
The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennysylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist.
Warhol’s art used many types of media, including hand drawing, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film and music.
He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art, using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death.
He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books. He managed and produced The Velvet Underground, a rock band which had a strong influence on the evolution of punk and rock music.
Andy Warhol died in New York on February 22, 1987, of heart failure.
Portrait of Tina Chow (One of Andy Warhol’s muses)
One of his notorious “Campbell’s Soup” prints. Although widely criticised at the time for his subject material, Warhol was a commercial success during his lifetime, a feat by no means achieved by all artists.