January, 2012 Monthly archive

Born in 1973 in Vienna, Austrian ornament designer Nina Levett is best known for her provocative tableware designs and her inspiring works like her Sperm sofa and colourful moveable wallpapers.

In this video she shows how she engraves her cutlery designs for the tableware box which is part of the permanent collection of the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

This wedding video was partly produced for the real wedding of Nina Levett but modified to be shown at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna. The exhibition which it was for was curated by Sam Jacob. The wedding video leaves doubt as to whether it is the marriage of the artist Nina Levett (dressed in black underwear and veil) or of her sister (dressed in the white wedding dress).

Please like Nina Levett on Facebook by clicking on the “like” button here.

2012 is the 150th anniversary of Gustav Klimt. Until mid 2010 Nina Levett was rather more interested in architectural use of illustration in contemporary projects as are published by Hong Kong based editor Victionary and in the works of contemporary designers such as Hella Jongerius or Jaime Hayon.

One and a half years ago when Thomas Geisler asked Levett wanted to be part of the Design Criminals exhibition that was to be held in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts and that was to be curated by Sam Jacob of something changed. Writing to the museum and receiving emails from the museum while she was in Malaysia and Singapore on her wedding trip was one of the rare occasions that she was being questioned about what she was doing and where she was heading. One of the main concerns of  the curator was whether she regarded what she did as “fine art” or “design” or “applied art”. One thing that was triggered by the discussion with him was that she became increasingly interested in the PURPOSE of what she was doing. This is when her interest for Klimt sparked off.

In the last year many things have changed. Her work is now in the permanent collection of the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna (MAK). With the advent of a new leadership in the MAK Levett also had the chance to get to know a lot of what was being planned there. She also got a good idea of the collection of works and the structuring of the collections as to the ideas about the “ideal museum” of Gottfried Semper.

The research Nina Levett recently conducted on Gustav Klimt (after learning that 2021 was to be the Klimt year and that the MAK – of which she now feel part – would be concentrating some of its efforts to his anniversary). First she went to see an exhibition where she learned that Gustav Klimt cooperated with Josef Hoffmann, e.g. developing a hanging system for his paintings. The paintings were not merely seen as art, but they were seen as part of the architecture of the room. At this stage Nina Levett began to identify with Klimt/Hoffmanns view of the Gesamtkunstwerk because similarly to their view she never considered her moveable wallpapers to be paintings but as wall-panels serving a similar decorative purpose as wallpapers. The primary intention of her work remains architectural/ornamental/aesthetic and not artistic.

The identification with Klimt goes a lot further when we look what is to be seen on his artworks. In his landscape paintings Klimt did not depict people. The landscape were not using narrative elements such as people. Klimt’s portraits are not combined with landscape painting or nature in their background but with ornaments or scenery which is so abstract that the background and the portraits melt as though they were all flat elements. Nina Levett also concentrate on the human form. In her portraits there is no background or an ornamented background. She avoids landscape painting altogether.

Copyright of the pictures above lies with the Belvedere/Gustav Klimt/respective photographers/artists. The pictures were photographed using an Iphone from newspaper articles and books.

For further reading click here for a group interview with Nina Levett in the daily newspaper “Die Presse” about Gustav Klimt by Daniel Kalt.

Mustafa was introduced to me by Michal Jellinek who is my wedding photographer and has also worked with me on many projects since then. I met Mustafa because he was assistant photographer to Michal at my wedding. Mustafa and I have been in touch via Facebook in the last year and I had the idea to ask him a few questions and to publish them on my website. I have added some of the informal photos of the wedding above for you to see the days we first met.

1. What inspired you guys to play music?
Tomas: Music has alway been my way of escape from reality. Being an 11 year old boy I didn´t know what I want from life, didn’t know who I am, when suddenly I saw a video of Guns N´Roses on MTV.
From that moment on I realised this is what defines me, that is what I would love to do too.
Mustafa: Everybody on the earth has an individual relationship with music so do i, when i was 16 my best friend inspired me to buy a bassguitar and till that day the best way to
express my emotion is through the musical instrument. And my inspirations comes from mood, music, life experiences.
Krizo:  My girlfriend, my life. A deep inspiration for me is also the life of my most favourite musician Freddie Mercury.

2. How has music changed your life?
Tomas:   Music is the most intimate language for me. Music is in my mind 24 hours a day. It’s almost like illness. There is always some music switched on in my mind subconsciously. I don’t feel the need
to consume drugs or alcohol when I´m down because I can heal my soul with this precious medicine. It may sound funny but I think music is like herbs.
Mustafa: My life has changed totally, all days I was at the practise room with my band, or playing gigs, I’m living the life of a musician.
Krizo: Music shapes every aspect of my life so is difficult to say what exactly it changed.

3. What bands do you listen to and how have they shaped your music?
Tomas:  Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Suicidal Tendencies, Led Zeppelin, INXS, The Who, Rage Against The Machine, KORN, James Brown, Jimmy Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Nine Inch Nails, KYUSS,  Monster Magnet, Public Image Ltd, Faith No More, Soundgarden, Audioslave, DOWN, Pantera, Cypress Hill, Tricky, Faithless, Massive Attack, Prodigy, Skinny Puppy, Young Gods and many more.
Everyone in the band comes from different music background so we often argue during the songwriting process, but at the end we always find the best compromise that sounds like nothing I have heard before.
Mustafa: These days Selah Sue, Florence and the Machine, Leon Jean Marie,  Kings of Leon, Too Fighters and many others. I think subconsciously I put all that stuff in to my musical ideas.
Krizo: I like any kind of music. I literally listen to everythig starting with opera ending with folk music but my favourite is rock.

4. What advice do you guys have for others that want to pursue music as their career?
Tomas:   Listen to yourself and analyse it soberly. Ask people what they think about your songs and try to find the best compromise between your craziness and peoples’s abilty to dig it.
Mustafa: Work hard and everytime you need to be ready to kill your babies (songs) the strongest ideas will survive, focus on the detail, and don’t lose your attention on what’s most important for you. You also need to make compromises, the school of music is everywhere around you, you need to sacrifice your everything for your love (music).
Krizo:  It is very important to know the right people in music business.

5. Where did you guys get the idea for the name of your band?
Tomas: Mustafa invented it. He probably wanted us to sound very exotic yet trustworthy
Mustafa: It was idea of guitarist Michael from my ex-band, he create it at a private party. It was just good sounding name, remaining us of some Italian style.
Krizo: It was Mustafa’s idea.

6. What do you guys want your fans to know about you that they might not know already?
Tomas:  – Our video and music production had nearly zero budget. We are greatly thankful to our friends who helped us in this way.
Mustafa: I want to say that the most important thing we want to keep in our band is friendship, love, understanding, detachment, we know that we all want the same, everything is about communication, compromieses, and understanding.
Krizo:  I would like to tell them we love them.

7. What are you thinking when you are on stage?
Tomas:  How the hell lyrics go in the second verse? or Damn, can we really be louder than Metallica tonight?
Mustafa:  I’m proud, I’m excited, I’m enjoing the show and I’m checking people’s reactions.
Krizo:  When I’m on stage, I’m always excited because it’s the best thing to make others feel happy.

8. What does your family think of your music?
Tomas:  My mom prefers the mellow songs generally. Dad likes all of our songs but always makes a funny expression of his face as he tries to recall what famous band in history the song reminds him.
Mustafa:   My parents love our music, my brother too, and my girlfirend with my brother are the biggest reviewers and I’m so thankful for that, it moves us forward.
Krizo:  My family supports me.

9. What is your favourite food on tour?
Tomas: Mainly pizza, burgers, nachos, pancakes, fish, risotto and pasta.
Mustafa:   I’m always trying to choose the smaller harm, but it’s pretty hard because of the fast foods and gas station diets.
Krizo:  Rum.

10. Which song is your favorite that you guys created together as a band?
Tomas: Mainly songs from our upcoming album. As from the previous it would be You´re My Mate and For Sure.
Mustafa:   I think its is a new song called Evermore. It will be on our new album.
Krizo: Vykam.

Bruno Benetton Free Band

Tomáš Palonder – lead vocal
Krížko – piano, back vocal
Mustafa – guitar, back vocal
Juraj Varga – bass, back vocal
Marek Hradský – the magic guitar
Michal Danielis – keyboards, pc
Michal Uličný – drums

Rock, Pop, and Electro

Slovakia, 85100 Bratislava

Photo credits: Michal Jellinek,,