Out of darkness does come light, as startling as it might sound, yet sometimes it does take completely getting lost in order to find one’s way- and that’s exactly what transpired in the lives of the creative visionaries behind ‘The House of Drop’, the latest sensory-provoking, visually-electrifying art experience to make it’s grand entrance into the world of fine art.
The husband & wife team of Italian-born Fabrizio Venuta & Nashville-native Britt Steele, like many individuals, endured an unsolicited loss of the world/their world as they knew it with the abrupt arrival of a global pandemic, causing an immediate pause and triggering an unavoidable reevaluation of their bigger picture. As they had only moved to America from Italy 7 years prior to launch a luxury lifestyle publication in Nashville with their then 2-year-old daughter, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in what they knew at the time was a future full of as much success dependent on how much of themselves they were willing to invest, since, after all, that is how the ‘American Dream’ works right? ‘Build it and they will come?’
Sept/Oct of 2014 was their 1st issue published and March/April of 2020 was their last. Vast was the spectrum of success in between all of those glossy pages that filled the bimonthly issues onto
which their hearts were poured. Yet even in the sweetest of times, as dynamic of a duo this couple was, each of them felt something was missing, a constant nagging at their souls that was almost like a thirst neither could quench, a hunger-pain never satisfied. During the pandemic, it was only after many conversations over their routine afternoon caffè macchiatos and after much internal reflection during the many still moments, 8 months to be exact, was a realization was finally made, a defining moment of sorts as they were now able to pinpoint what had increasingly continued to leave each of them wanting more out of their days. During what felt like the infinite minutes that then turned into months, they intuitively knew they weren’t alone in feeling a certain type of muteness within after being robbed of even the most routine of joys, seeing all the colors, smiles, scents and sights they realized had been taken for granted up until that point. Their souls were desperately missing a certain level of stirring, stimulation & soothing that each now found satiated in the creation of art. And from this ‘The House of Drop’.
Unlike a traditional business model, ‘The House of Drop’ was passionately founded without boundaries as there is no object onto which their meticulous & unique technique cannot be applied, from stretched canvases to sconces, surfboards to shoes, tables to totes- although the bigger the better, when it comes to the size, type of surface or shape, the possibilities are truly endless.
Whether they’re working with clients on a custom piece, commissioned work or developing the latest addition
to an ongoing collection, hundreds of hours are behind the thousands of layers of paint that create the signature ‘drops’ cascading at the base of every piece. Yet only when the marine-grade high gloss resin is applied do Steele and Venuta feel the work take it's first breath, transforming the heaps of color, heart and hours into a one-of-a-kind visually-electrifying experience born to evoke an emotional response from any who’s path it may cross.
Their inspiration is instinct. A preoccupation with transformation. Their art is best described as ‘contemporary transformative art’ as not only has the founding of ‘The House of Drop’ transformed Steele & Venuta in ways neither could have foreseen but daily they remain united in their drive to both transform and give life to any given piece or commission as well as all the environments in which those pieces will find their new home.
While their relationship came to life in a foreign land, Italy to be precise, there is nothing foreign about new beginnings to this couple. Their story began in Tuscany with Steele meeting Venuta when she was just a 6-year-old little girl who traveled every summer to her family’s home nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscany. A beautiful Etruscan town, Arezzo, also happened to be where Venuta’s father was teaching him the ropes of the restaurant industry in their family’s famed, prestigious caffè, wine bar & restaurant ‘Cristallo.’ The attraction was immediate however both chose to remain in their respective countries, always connecting during the summers, fully certain their time for ‘happily ever after’ would come. And that it did, with the ultimate union of their paths almost 25 years after their first introduction during the summer of ’86 with Steele moving to Arezzo to say ‘I do’ in 2011. There’s never been a challenge, fresh start or new chapter in their lives that’s not been met with vigor and determination but the difference now is a certain type of completeness that resides in both Steele and Venuta that was missing before. One should get lost more often as you never know what incredible surprise that awaits when one door closes and like Venuta famously says, “a much bigger one opens.”