“The space in which we present the bags is ‘a grotto’. It is narrow and is walked through one by one, whether it is underground or above, you find a way through. What you are actually walking through is the outline of a figure shooting for a basket. He represents almost a victory – it is not clear whether it goes in. In this case, the victory is discovery, the discovery of the language of representation. It is about opening new ways for design.” 

Gaetano Pesce 

The Humanist architect-designer-artist Gaetano Pesce is a towering figure in each of his fields; a true multidisciplinarian with an iconoclastic agenda who, despite a career spanning seven decades, still refuses to be cowed or quantified. In numerous public and private works realised globally, in the fields of architecture, town planning, interior design, industrial design and exhibition design, the constant experimentation of an artist who refuses repetition infuses all. 

Following the commission given to Pesce to create a temporary site-specific artwork as show space for the Summer ’23 Bottega Veneta fashion show, the dialogue continues and a further stage is explored. Once again given creative carte blanche, and this time situated in the brand’s Montenapoleone store, Pesce creates a unique installation called ‘Vieni a Vedere’ (Come and See). Spanning the store, the immersive installation utilises resin and fabric to create a unique experience that the visitor travels through. It frames an edition of handbags realised by Bottega Veneta for the artist according to his designs. 

The installation can be visited for a week – 15th-22nd April, where the artist’s edition of hand- crafted handbags can also be purchased. 


“This is my first design of a bag and it is figurative – two mountains with a sunrise or a sunset behind. I wanted a bag with an optimistic view. There is a capacity to realise anything at Bottega Veneta and this bag opens up a way to express future design. The design of the future has to be figurative and it has to communicate – such an object has to tell a story.” Gaetano Pesce 

Embracing figuration and stories of the personal rather than the purely functional, Pesce’s bags utilise the idiosyncratic both in terms of handcraft and creativity. Based on mountains and prairies, the handbags echo his early life in Italy growing up near the mountains in Este, and the prairies of America, a reflection of where he lives today. 

Realised by Bottega Veneta’s leather workers and artisans, the signature Intrecciato is utilised once more, yet in a completely new way according to Pesce’s sketches. The smooth mountains and the grassy prairies are reflected in the unique, intensely handcrafted techniques to startling and joyful effect. Each glossy Intrecciato bag is individually painted with an airbrush technique to resemble Pesce’s watercolour rendering with respect to the mountains in nappa leather. A meticulous crochet technique is utilised for the prairies in seven shades of green calf and lamb leathers, evoking the whorling grasses. 

These artists’ editions are extremely limited and are individually numbered and documented: ‘My Dear Mountains’ 15 with 1AP and ‘My Dear Prairies’ 3 with 1AP. 


As a celebration of this unique Gaetano Pesce project, each visitor to the installation will receive a free gift. A poster drawn by Pesce commemorates the installation and hand-painted chocolates by Peyrano, the storied Turin-based chocolatier, are given as a souvenir. Both echo Pesce’s personally meaningful, exalted mountains. 

“Having a figurative design is very important. I want people to express something in what they do; to express the self and their identity. We need to not only follow function and utility through design but to explore the personal and unique rather than the purely practical.” Gaetano Pesce