Inspired by the recent Cinemagia launch in Capri, Italy, Bulgari brought to life a sumptuous visual affair with iconic jewels, vintage photography and rich architecture – all to celebrate the inspiring Bulgari Art Award 2019.
A gold carpet and festive harmony by Dan Fontaine & His Orchestra greeted guests at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia, as the likes of Isabel Lucas, Charlotte Best, Tash Oakley and Nadia Fairfax arrived at the magical gallery.
Between flutes of Veuve Clicquot, delectable canapes and sips of lavender and mint G&Ts, Nusra Latif Qureshi was announced the recipient of the 2019 Bulgari Art Award.
Qureshi, whose work has been exhibited in Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Pakistan and the US, marries traditional South Asian miniature painting techniques with layers of historical and contemporary references.
The Pakistani-born artist brings the 16th century Persian painting style into the 21st century by featuring female protagonists who transcend cultures and historic periods, showcasing how history is a "collection of overlapping fragments".
"This is the first time the Bulgari Art Award has been given for a body of work, rather than just a single painting," Art Gallery of NSW Director Michael Brand said. "I can attest to the fact that the so-called miniature painting is a very, very exacting medium. It’s wonderful to see how Nusra uses that medium so convincingly and so beautifully."
The award, which was established in 2012 to support mid-career Australian painters, consists of a A$50,000 painting acquisition for the Art Gallery of NSW and a residency in Rome, valued at A$30,000, making it one of the most valuable art awards in the country.
"Bulgari is a brand that is synonymous with being bold and designing beautiful creations full of rich and daring colours," Bulgari Australia Managing Director Brad Harvey said. "Qureshi’s collection of paintings that have been recognised through the Bulgari Art Award could not be more aligned with our DNA."
Not only was it a festive evening for the 2019 Art Award, but it was also a chance for guests to experience Bulgari’s iconic bold designs through a range of custom-made activations, including a personalised polaroid opportunity.
Getting a taste for the Capri launch, many tried on larger-than-life Bulgari jewellery in front of glamourous Hollywood-style vanity mirrors before capturing the moment on a gold stage centered in the 19th century Australian art court.
Marble-top dressing tables, scattered buckets of gold popcorn, sleek white director chairs, jewellery box-sized vintage luggage cases and shining lights infused the cinema-inspired soirée, further illustrating the effortless bridge between Bulgari’s audacious jewels and historic art.
"There’s actually a wonderful quote from Andy Warhol in the 1980s who said, ‘I always visit Bulgari as it’s the most important museum of contemporary art,’" Harvey said.