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Decorators to Know: Alberto Pinto

If there is proof that some individuals are destined for a life of beauty and creativity, look no further than the extraordinary talent of interior designer Alberto Pinto (1945-2012). In his 41-year career, Pinto achieved...

If there is proof that some individuals are destined for a life of beauty and creativity, look no further than the extraordinary talent of interior designer Alberto Pinto (1945-2012). In his 41-year career, Pinto achieved unparalleled success in the world of interior design, transforming palaces, villas, pieds-à-terre, townhouses, corporate headquarters, yachts, jets, and hotels into stunning works of art. What makes his story even more remarkable is the fact that he had no formal training in interior design. His cosmopolitan upbringing and love for art and beauty paved the way for his incredible journey.

Born in Casablanca to well-traveled Argentine parents of Sephardic Jewish descent, Pinto spent his childhood exploring glamorous and exotic destinations with his family. These early experiences, particularly in Morocco, exposed him to the rich and intricate world of art and decor. As a young man, Pinto studied art history and world cultures at the École du Louvre in Paris, further fueling his passion for aesthetics.

Pinto's artistic journey took a new direction when he moved to New York in the 1960s to work as a photographer for Condé Nast. His travels around the world, capturing fabulous interiors, inspired him to venture into interior design. Encouraged by his close friend, the renowned fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, Pinto embarked on his first interior design project in his twenties: a grand and elegant apartment that showcased his exceptional taste and talent. Givenchy himself acknowledges Pinto's immediate success in designing his own space.

In 1971, Pinto founded Cabinet Alberto Pinto, which was situated in a stunning 17th-century hôtel du particulier on Place des Victoires in Paris. His reputation soared as he attracted a clientele comprising European aristocrats, Saudi and Qatari princes, and influential business figures from around the world. At the time of his passing, Pinto's studio boasted a team of 70 talented individuals.

One of the most striking aspects of Pinto's career is the incredible diversity of styles he embraced. From luxurious minimalism to opulent "Oriental" aesthetics, his projects were a testament to his versatility and ability to create remarkable interiors. With his Moroccan heritage, Pinto embraced the concept of Orientalism and adorned spaces with exquisite tiling, ornate plaster moldings, vibrant stained-glass light fixtures, and sumptuous fabrics.

In addition to his interior design firm, Pinto launched a homewares collection, collaborating with luxury manufacturers like Pierre Frey, Raynaud, and D. Porthault. Surprisingly, despite lacking drawing skills, Pinto had an uncanny ability to precisely articulate his vision to his collaborators and artisans. This unique talent allowed him to create intricate and detailed spaces that captivated all who experienced them.

Above all, Pinto prided himself on his ability to combine "immensity and comfort" in his designs. Unlike many, he felt completely at home in grand spaces and thrived in creating harmonious environments on a large scale.

The new monograph dedicated to Alberto Pinto's work showcases interiors of unrivaled extravagance. While these opulent spaces may provoke mixed feelings in a world where wealth is under scrutiny, one cannot deny the exceptional refinement and artistic brilliance evident in every detail, from the architectural forms to the furnishings and artwork. Pinto's interiors are a testament to the power of design as a form of artistic expression.

Alberto Pinto's legacy lives on through his remarkable body of work and the love and admiration he received from friends and collaborators. Known for his warmth, generosity, and affectionate personality, Pinto lived a life that mirrored the beauty he created.

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Decorators to Know: Alberto Pinto

Caption: Cover of the book "Decorators to Know: Alberto Pinto"