In the eye of Christophe Dupouy: the 594 lamp by Gino Sarfatti
Poetry of light and shadow, Gino Sarfatti's “lighting devices” are the reflection of an enlightened genius This week Christophe Dupouy presents the model 594, from 1960, published by Arteluce
Gino Sarfatti, the lighting of intimacy
When Gino Sarfatti was asked to explain his work, he defined himself as a designer of lighting fixtures. Let’s begin the subject by talking about “lighting” and first of all public lighting. Its main function is to recreate light of the day, that of the sun which is a homogeneous, omnidirectional, invisible lighting.
Just like the sun that we do not look at, these lighting devices, we do not see them. They light us up but we do not pay attention to them. It is the lighting of street lamps in the street, or that of the ramps of neon in the metro corridors.
When entering our interiors, the lighting gradually passes from above (from general and diffuse light, which is meant to be "natural" since it tries to imitate that of the sun), towards a closer, more intimate light.
In the entrance to our apartments, for example, a transitional space between the outside and the inside, we often find a ceiling lamp or wall lights that diffuse a more oriented, more decorative light.
In the living room, they are no longer used so much to illuminate the room as to decorate it, to embellish the space where they are placed. They create fulls and hollows by the play of shadows that they draw. They will enhance, in "light" a piece of furniture, a painting, the corner of a room that you want to see or show.
In the bedroom, the need for lighting becomes quite different, the functional character gives way to a more intimate dimension, to accompany us towards sleep.
For me it is this lamp by Gino Sarfatti that accompanies me, I must tell you that I have tried a lot ...
When form follows function
Gino Sarfatti's lights do not bear names but are numbered according to a precise classification, in a desire for rationalization. The lamp presented here (594), is part of the category of table lamps. Its shape is very simple, it is a sheet metal folded in four, connected thanks to an invisible weld. Its material is very particular, matt and at the same time velvety, its painting really catches the light. Gino Sarfatti used paints from the automotive and aviation industry, ultra resistant to be able to withstand the heat.
Nothing is hidden in the design of this lamp. The wire is visible, the bulb clearly visible and even highlighted by the red frame. This marks a constant in the work of Gino Sarfatti The wires are an integral part of the design and put in value the function of the object, preponderant in his eyes.
What touches me in this piece is its perfect and minimal form, its lightness and its red color, which makes it look like a child's toy, handle naturally since its size perfectly matches the size of the hand. Depending on the desired use, it can be oriented in many ways.
For Gino Sarfatti, the form does not matter, what matters is the ability to light and the fact that the object meets the needs of the person who uses it It is for this purpose that he created this lamp. The question of the movement of light is still present for Gino Sarfatti's work. You can always adjust the light yourself, very simply. At the time, there was no dimmer. You can orient it to read or, on the contrary, turn it 1/4 turn and completely hide its light.
Every night, I like to find this little lamp. It's a touching object, which inspires me before I fall asleep, it is soothing in its purity.