MILLE MIGLIA

By Damon Roberts

MILLE MIGLIA

30 x 30 inch - Metal coated canvas.

Finely ground steel adhered on all sides of a custom wood frame canvas.

This was an experiment in silkscreen printing on heavily textured surfaces. Several screens were destroyed whilst working out this process which was a costly exercise. The image itself referenced the work of Italian fashion designer Massimo Osti and the British football casuals obsession with his output. It has the be said his experimental approach to fabric processing and clothing design has been very influential on my own work.

The image itself divided opinion at the time and is still frequently called into question today when people see it. Most people who know the work of Massimo Osti, recognize the famous Mille Miglia jacket he produced with the goggles in the hood and the watch viewer on the sleeve of the jacket. He created this garment based around the Italian gentleman's open top car race called 'The Mille Miglia'. To my knowledge the goggles were an idea adapted from a piece of military clothing from Osti's archive. They were implemented in the jacket to keep grit out of the racing car drivers eyes.

Many people who didn't know of Osti's works saw something entirely different in the image, and saw something far more sinister. Especially as it contained the Union Flag as it's referred to when used on land. Its interesting how people perceive images differently.

Several large scale versions of these that I produced were used by the Flannels group in their stores in various locations around the U.K. to promote the original Glass Siren Studio custom made - boxed t-shirt series. It was fascinating seeing peoples response to these as they walked past the 'LIFE' stores window in the City of Leeds' beautiful Victoria Quarter.

This particular metal production was sold to a Massimo Osti obsessive in the U.K.

R.I.P. Massimo Osti

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