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Come here, closer, I want to show you a small (but extremely powerful) collection. Something never seen before. Terrible and marvellous at the same time. Don’t be scared. Basically, it’s just crystal, tremendously fragile and tremendously powerful. One can almost hear Maxim Velčovský, creative director of Lasvit, the avant-garde Czech design and glass processing brand, say it while presenting the latest evocative collection of Bohemian glass sculptures and vases, signed by a wonder team that would give you the shivers. Maarten Baas, Jaroslav Brychta, the Campana Brothers, Stephan Hamel, Maurizio Galante & Tal Lancman, Martin Janecký, Vladimír Kopecký, Daniel Libeskind, Alessandro Mendini, Stanislav Müller, Nendo, Fabio Novembre, Yabu Pushelberg, Renè Roubíček, Raja Schwahn-Reichmann, Moritz Waldemayer and Maxim Velčovský himself are the demiurges responsible for these mysterious creatures, personifications of all our fears and fragilities, but also of all the genius and creativity that we contain. 

Monsters is a collection of beasts, ghosts, chimera, Mephistophelean figures and genius loci: imaginary creatures, both docile and fierce, free of their imposed confines. Terrifying, granted, but also undoubtedly great sources of inspiration. The concept of monsters has always been truly fascinating. A monster is the Other, it can frighten yet open minds onto new horizons. Monsters are supernatural, in a world populated by disquieting presences, that has its own poetic allure. “Monstrum” is the miracle, the extraordinary thing that does not obey the laws of Nature but is an expression of the will of the gods. Lasvit’s Monsters are Plato’s “good demons”; our brilliant, magic spirits that can make us look upon the turbulent passing of life with irony. 

Thus, the monstrous, i.e. the not-beautiful, the not-common, the not-perfect, becomes a tool for designers to give shape and face to their own fears and exorcise them. The result is a collection of marvellous things that we fall in love with at first sight, and towards which we, the fearless and design-addicted, feel a certain tendresse. 

Stephan Hamel, brand development director of Lasvit and godfather of the collection has designed three of the demons: Swaco, the swan with the power to destroy good taste; Max, the aesthete bat, which has the honour of maintaining the balance in nature, and Tommy, the Tomatokiller, the guardian that defends food against chemical and genetically modified ingredients.


The highly coloured BHSD by Maarten Baas, on the other hand, are representations of authentic fossilised creatures recently discovered in Holland: an army of small, two-dimensional creatures with sharp teeth and large mouths that crunched up their prey without swallowing them. They had no stomachs, in fact. 


Jaroslav Brychta designed St. George and the Dragon. The archetype and paradigm of the hero slaying his own demons. 


The Campana brothers were responsible for the Outer Space Monsters, alien/astronauts resembling humans that have landed on the earth with no protection whatsoever. 


Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman’s take depicts a monster looking in the mirror only to discover hidden, unbearable truths that nevertheless help to dispel other fears.  


Martin Janecký’s magnetic and mystical Morana is the incarnation of the soul of a dead woman who comes back to earth to celebrate the Día de los Muertos with her family. 


Then there are the terrifying dogs that stand guard over Hades: a glass caravan made by Vladimír Kopecký and inspired by a fairy story he loved as a child. 


Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, like the figures in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, are Daniel Libeskind’s monsters, handmade in a special glass that changes colour according to the light it captures and reflects. 


Alessandro Mendini is the demiurge behind Rombo 1 and Rombo 2, large coloured glass vases of differing heights, depicting a funny robotic face with eyes and ears. 


The two Manabi monsters (Sensei, the master, and Gakusei, the follower) by Stanislav Müller are members of the Order of Opton and are born of light to conquer darkness. 


Nendo’s poetry, on the other hand, betrays no monstrosity: Something Underneath consists of thin sheets of black and white glass under which something mysterious and formless, but live, takes cover.


Fabio Novembre’s Toyboy demonises the figure of a clown with a Vitruvian man that becomes an erotic object of monstrous proportions. 


Not all monsters have fangs and claws: the Tsukumogami (Shiin, Uro-Uro and Jiro-Jiro) by the creative duo Yabu Pushelberg are objects of Japanese folklore that have attained the age of 100 and acquired a soul. 


There is nothing menacing about Renè Roubíček’s figure either. The Martian is affectionate and amusing, happy and bizarre, like the uranium glass from which it is crafted. 


Der Tanzlaubenhund, the Dancing Dog with a single eye, reminiscent of the Tasmanian Devil, by Raja Schwahn-Reichmann, hides under a bench, watching people. Suddenly, however, it starts dancing on its hind legs, making those who watch it go crazy. 


Moritz Waldemeyer’s two monsters are drawn from Persian mythology. Ghoul is the spirit of a profaner of tombs that devours the dead; Jen is a malevolent spirit that possesses people’s bodies. The malevolent spirits of these minimalistic, almost elegant figures shine through their LED-illuminated eyes. 


The last piece in the collection is Maxim Velčovský’s interpretation of Soviet socialism, Leftism, a Lenin look-alike with malformed and abnormally large left (!) limbs.