To say the Camal Pirbhai is the Picasso of Home Couture would not be too far from the truth. His company, Studio La Beauté, has catered to the crème de la crème of the country’s elite for nearly 20 years. He humbly calls himself a curtain maker, but he is far from that. His talent is immense, with each of his creations more of a work of art than home décor. Raised in Switzerland and classically trained in England, Camal started as a teen training under the best couturier’s in the world. He travelled back to Canada where he has been able to turn his passion into a career.
When given the time and opportunity, Camal channels his curious creative energy into collections of the absurd and peculiar. Gallery Bespoke, a sister company to Studio La Beauté acts as the vehicle for Camal's creative genius. Case in point is his latest project, SALIGIA….The Seven Deadly Sins, a collection far and away his most creative and personal to date.
Some deep introspection was the inspiration for SALIGIA. He recognized that some of the characteristics he saw in other people, not always flattering, were characteristics that he at times, recognized in himself. A year ago, a simple white gown on a mannequin, became the inspiration for what became a video project. Assisted by photographer and friend Christina and her fiancé and fellow artist Lloyd they trespassed in to a ‘borrowed’ space in the middle of the night, painting the walls and floors, and transforming the gown into a video art piece. Defacing the space that wasn't his gave him the instant thrill of the ‘improperness’ of the whole thing. As an artist, the instant gratification was intriguing. Wrong but beautiful. The project was completed and Camal brought the space back to its original drabness before sunrise. No one would even know he was there. Christina documented the evening in photographs and will be showing them at the opening gala.
The video became the genesis of the SALIGIA project, representing the ‘sin’ of Wrath. The Seven Deadly Sins, in the original Latin Superbia, Avaritia, Luxuria, Invidia, Gula Ira, Acedia or ‘SALIGIA’ are interpreted intriguingly by Camal. “Each of us embodies these characteristics in one way or another” Camal says “they don’t need to be interpreted in a negative way…..they are part of what makes each of us human. Dissecting these characteristics is fascinating”.
Each of the sins was ultimately fashioned in to a sculptural art piece. Each piece is worn by a model who epitomizes the characteristic. A touchy proposition to find models needless to say. But Camal was able to inspire each participant, who not only agreed to wear the piece but also help to create the piece along with Camal, either physically or through extensive discussion.
Gluttony is represented magnificently through a theatrical mask made in part from chicken wing bones. The incongruity of the whole thing is outrageous. Friend and artist Mimmo was the inspiration for this piece. A classically trained Italian painter, Mimmo confided that he had a secret passion for chicken wings that absolutely no one knew about. Camal and Mimmo gluttonously ravaged pounds and pounds of chicken wings one evening in a celebration of the concept. Meticulously weaving the left overs together created the piece.
September 7th, 2013 marks the unveiling of Camal’s SALIGIA to coincide with the Toronto International Film Festival. La Casa Del Habano in Yorkville will host the event during TIFF. You can see more of Camal’s work on the Gallery Bespoke website including the video piece created for the Textile Museum of Canada called ‘Virtual Textilology’.
Camal is also featured in City Home, a special edition of Toronto Life, on stands November 30th, and will participate in Studio North at the 2014 Interior Design Show held in Toronto.
For more information on Camal Pirbhai, Studio La Beauté, Gallery Bespoke and the SALIGIA project, visit www.gallerybespoke.com