You might not expect it but within Patek Philippe’s design department works a genuine and actually quite famous artist; Xavier Magaldi. This by itself might not come as such a surprise, but Magaldi is not into still life paintings or even creations of a more impressionistic nature, no, Magaldi is into street art! Though not a graffiti artist as such, Magali says his work is strongly influenced stylistically by the vocabulary of modern graffiti.
This unexpected marriage finds its roots in Magaldi’s training as a traditional watchmaker. Familiar with all the inner workings of men’s favorite micro-mechanical machine he joined Patek Philippe, only to realize that his true passion was still with watches, but more in designing them. He followed his heart and left Patek Philippe to study graphic design. After completing his education and gaining experience with various other companies, he returned to where it all started; Patek Philippe. You might even enjoy his contribution to these great watches on a daily basis, since his main focus at Patek Philippe is designing dials.
Magaldi has most certainly not forgotten his original education. His colorful and expressive street art influenced paintings are filled with precisely drawn gears and moonphases. No wonder that his work draws a lot of attention, and enthusiasm, from people who can also appreciate the wearable art we call Haute Horlogerie. His approach to street art is diverse. It varies from original paintings and prints, to objects of art, functional as well as slightly less functional.
His talents are also recognized by his employer since, as for example, the Patek Philippe boutiques in Tapei features a painting by Magaldi. Here the core brand values are integrated into a piece of art, that breathes the style of Patek Philippe, while being a true Magaldi at the same time.
It shall not be a surprise that elements of watchmaking are a reoccurring theme in Magaldi’s work. Sometimes at the forefront, expressed through gears and moonphases, and sometimes more at the back, represented by the precise approach Magaldi takes to all his work. In one of his recent projects, which is named SuperLuminova/MoonExperience, an unusual use of light in his work is combined with one of watchmaking’s most traditional and loved complications; the moonphase. With another exhibition named Kaleidoscope, Magaldi perhaps even more unites the Cartesian and methodical rigor of watchmaking with the free and unconstrained approach of street art. Here a painted canvas, layered with metal objects form an almost Escher-nesque display that really draws the viewer into its world of straight lines. This exhibition was featured at the famed Speerstra gallery, which is been a pioneer in street art for the last 25 years.
Magaldi’s latest activity was actually exhibiting at the Art Basel fair in Miami. Living on the edge of the seemingly highly contrasting worlds of haute horlogerie and street art, Magaldi has more than successfully shown that he is able to unite both worlds in captivating pieces of art. Wither it is as a nameless contributor to the timeless dials of Patek Philippe, or through his own artwork, Magaldi’s work is bound to enjoy at least one lifetime!
Xavier Magaldi’s nex work and exhibitions can be followed through his own website; Xavier Magaldi
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics