About truffles, art, Salvador Dali and design: Giacomo by Gufram

Once again, the interest always shown by the International Alba White Truffle Fair for the spirit of the times hit the mark: hence, in 2020, the collaboration with Gufram was born to launch Giacomo, the truffle brush dedicated to Giacomo Morra.

In Ridley Scott’s recent movie House of Gucci, it is featured in a scene starring Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci. It is Bocca (mouth), the iconic sofa made by Gufram. A work created in the late 1960s on the inspiration of one of Dali’s surrealist masterpieces (“Face of Mae West”). In the artist’s painting, the elements that form the scene include a sofa representing the diva’s mouth.

Gufram, a Piedmontese company founded in 1966, which manufactures furniture and accessories with distinctive designs, has a history of revolutionary creativity behind it. With its innovative, pop, disruptive approach, capable of reading the aesthetics of its time with artistic contaminations that are always suggestive, Gufram was asked by the Fair to be part of the creation of a kit for the Alba White Truffle.

The company, based in Barolo, right in the heart of the Langhe, accepted the challenge and successfully impressed.

Giacomo, by Gufram

How was Giacomo the truffle brush born? Charley Vezza, Gufram’s young Global Creative Orchestrator, tells us.

“Gufram’s first tableware creation could only be born at the table. The ritual of truffles, of cooking, of being together, are key elements of the area in which Gufram is today, and this collaboration was born precisely during dinner […] We also invited Job Smeets to this table, since he is an important Belgian artist, but true ‘langhetto’ by adoption. We called him to help us out, and in the end he put a nose in it, not his”.

In fact, the nose was Giacomo Morra‘s, creator of the Alba White Truffle Fair, an event that, since 1933, has been livening up autumn in the capital of the Langhe.

When Charley first contacted me, the idea immediately came to mind: the truffle and the nose are always connected, dogs use their noses to find it, while for humans the nose represents the smell and taste of eating. Truffles are not for the eyes, they are for the nose”, explains Job Smeets. The Belgian designer with a passion for the Langhe and Italy started from this very strong connection between nose and truffle, going back in time to the person who first had a truly unique nose. A flair that enabled him to start one of Italy’s best-loved and longest-lasting events.

The object created is functional and strongly evocative: its shape seems to anticipate the sensory dimension of truffles. It was made for the 2020 edition of the event, in a version with a 24-carat gold finish. Some master goldsmiths were involved in Giacomo’s creation, working on the individual pieces with innovative techniques of high-end jewellery making.

The bristles are made of natural tampico fibre, in full compliance with the performance requirements suggested by the National Truffle Study Centre.

Real / Surreal

Giacomo seems to reflect in its form the legacy of Surrealism, a movement that contributed (indirectly) to one of the first successes of Barolo’s creative enterprise. Charley Vezza often emphasises the close relationship between creativity, design and art.

“Gufram is a company that straddles the line between design and art”, he recently stated in an interview, emphasising that the company’s production does not aim to revolutionise the daily use of the furniture or furnishings it creates, but rather to make them aesthetically unique.

Quite defiantly, Vezza adds: “We would be useless if beauty were not important, but beauty is everything“.

The approach chosen for the creation of Gufram’s works is always that of an aesthetic research that leaves nothing to chance. Every detail is part of an overall picture that reinterprets reality under a light of unexpected wonder. In this, perhaps, lies the meaning of the cult of beauty expressed by Vezza. Not a pointless form of idolatry, but rather a way of reinterpreting reality by suggesting the magic and allure of each of its expressions.

Giacomo Black, a limited edition, and…

Gourmets do not live by Tuber Magnatum Pico alone: it was with this cheeky thought in mind that Job Smeets decided to extend the Giacomo range with a total black version of the brush.

A finish made with a ruthenium galvanic treatment and fully matching horsehair bristles, available in only 100 pieces: another piece in the mosaic of Gufram creations and a further signal sent out by the Truffle Fair in its enhancement of the most impressive creative expressions.

The partnership with Gufram does not stop with Giacomo. As a matter of fact, the company was involved in setting up the Sala Beppe Fenoglio and the interior of the Castle of Roddi, by embellishing the rooms with some of its sculptures.

Alongside tradition, the Alba White Truffle is also research and innovation. A spirit that combines food and wine, animated by the creativity of prestigious chefs, with the most eclectic and challenging artistic expression.

Giacomo Morra’s main skill was his ability to read the zeitgeist, the spirit of that time: an innovator and non-conformist, he brought top celebrities from the world of culture and the star system to Alba, launching Alba into an international dimension. Therefore, Gufram entered the Fair’s orbit and, thanks to its own unique features, was able to speak with its own style to a boundless audience. A brand that would definitely have impressed even Giacomo Morra: he would certainly not have missed the opportunity to involve Gufram, had he been given the chance. Further proof, once again, of the unparalleled flair of a great man and a great Alba native.