Blurring the boundaries between creativity, communication and activation, Machas's mission is to give shape to your vision and to inspire people.
When leading European bank Unicredit decided to donate an artwork to Milan they looked to express the rhythmic flows underpinning the city. Machas, working side by side with creative agency B Fluid, presented the client with three hand selected artists. The kinetic vibrancy and contemporary approach of James Dawe’s work emerged as an obvious choice. Milan, as a site historically threaded by an intricate connection of canals has always enjoyed intertwined economic and social buoyancy. Leonardo Da Vinci created the waterways empowering Milan in an incessant flow.
Now the canals are hidden underground. Whilst their presence may be invisible, their sense of fluid vitality continues to rise to the surface. Today’s Milan is alive with economic, social and cultural flow. These elements work like the river, gifting the city with waves of nourishment. Unicredit wanted to encapsulate Milan’s vibrant vigour. They collaborated with the prestigious nautical club Canottieri Milano visualising the city’s juxtaposition between past and future on the exterior facing wall.
Enter James Dawe. Standing at 30.97m wide and 5.35m tall, the space enabled James’ signature dynamism plenty of room to play. Not that the artwork came without challenges. Incorporating diverse physical, graphic and abstract elements of Milan’s past and future into a unified composition is no mean feat. James’s solution? To draw upon several key anchor points across his hyper-enhanced photo collage such as the Unicredit Tower, the Aulenti Square, the Fiera di Milano and the Tree of Life and build from there. Machas used their innate knowledge of Milan’s urbanscape to provide James with an inspirational springboard for his aesthetic choices. Almost 1000 Photoshop layers pieced old and new together in an undulating vision of the organic connections that balance the city. Milan’s authentic architecture was deconstructed to achieve an exciting new perspective. Sharp angles, sweeping curves, contemporary structures and the invisible flows of people and technology are resized, enflamed and united with James’ compelling colourful energy. Combining the visual language of big data with the freedom and movement of flowing urban life, the result highlights Milan’s global import yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The Machas team and James were invited to the official opening of the artwork. Together with a selected number of journalist we boarded a boat in the popular area of Darsana and enjoyed the opportunity to witness the work live for the very first time whilst travelling on water. The journey was a first hand experience of the city’s flow culminated in the final stop outside Canottieri Milano, where to our surprised all the guest were welcomed by a picked fence. The press conference featured a mixed audience of financial journalists, cultural commentators, selected clients and notable sport figures that join celebrate the success of James’ prolific commission and Milan’s history.