Cindy Sherman’s body of work is a commentary on self image and societies understanding of beauty and gender through subversive and voyeuristic images. Her largest body of work is the Film Stills series which are self portraits of her replicating scenes from movies. The images are not of specific scenes but explore the stereotypes female characters are put in through the male gaze. Sherman is still a very relevant and exciting artist who has brought her work into social media with her Instagram account exploring beauty standards and the extremes people are willing to go to to achieve said standards. I find Sherman's work to be some of the most poignant social commentary in all of art. The way Sherman subverts the male gaze and turns it back on its self to create a critical dialogue about societies' misunderstanding of gender equality and appropriate representation is one of a kind and perfectly executed. She uses humor and familiarity to communicate her concepts which makes her work approachable and easy to understand while maintaining depth. Her most recent work is her Instagram in which she posts heavily edited and vulgar selfies meant to critique the current trends of extreme beauty standards and false representations on social media. I enjoy the subtle humor of Sherman's posts and the extreme nature of them which I could take into my work. Although I appreciate and usually incorporate a social or political commentary for this project I want to focus more on myself and my immediate emotions.
Musto is a writer best known for his gossip column in The Village Voice La Dolce Musto. He documented the rise and fall of Club Kids and New York nightlife since the late 1980s. His flamboyant and humorous writing style is considered some of the best gossip and social commentary journalism. Musto involved himself with all the biggest parties and clubs in New York and gathered all the hottest gossip and put it in his column. In the early 90s he covered the doings of the Club Kids and gave them a voice in pop culture and the more mainstream society. He is also known for writing scathing and sharply worded reviews and writeups. What I'm interested in about Musto is his documentation of what is likely the only time in history so many people from so many different backgrounds would collide. He wrote about the appeal of Studio 54, The Limelight, USA, Area, etc. being the mix of the crowd from drag queens and Club Kids to CEOs and art dealers there was a sharing of sub cultures all revolving around the social culture of clubbing and parties. Musto also fervehntly wrote about gay rights and the AIDS crisis and continues to be a strong voiced advocate. He is one of the best documentarians of the grinding club culture of New York and by reading his work I can understand the exciting and unique way clubs have brought people together, for better or worse, which is what I want to do a club night at St. John's in archway.
Moscoso is a graphic artist that was part of the Psychedelic art movement of the 1960s. He referenced Victorian themes and Art Nouveau styles in his designs but most notably used color theory to make his posters vibrant and stand out. When I was doing my initial quick sketches of invites and posters the handwritten font I kept doing was loose and flowy, and I realized it looked similar to psychedelic fonts. I am familiar with the Op Art movement which dovetails with psychedelic art and design but I wanted to incorporate it with my work as many of the artists from this movement were inspired by Art Nouveau which is was a response to Victorian decorative art but still similar and over lapped some. Also the most interesting to me is Moscoso's use of color, he would put colors that are opposites on the color wheel in the same values of intensity and brightness to really make his work pop and have a lot of brightness. I want to bring his color use and font styles into my designs. I feel like the unrestrained use of color is similar to the Club Kid's freedom as well as the drug and party connotations of the psychedelic era are similar to that of the club scene.
Sister Corita Kent
Sister Corita Kent was an artist that worked almost exclusively with screen printing. Kent revolutionized the media and technique by transforming the two-dimensional media into a much more expressive and exciting way of working with fun and eye-catching outcomes. Kent made screen printed posters to spread messages of love and peace which were particularly relevant during her era in the 60s and 70s. Recently Kent has been recognized as an influential artist in the Pop Art movement. Her style is equally playful and intellectual, she made serious topics, such as the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, understandable and approachable while also being respectful and most importantly making a clear and concise social-political stance. As many of the best artists have done, Kent presents fully thought out work strongly communicating messages. I wanted to include Kent in my research because not only is her unique use of color and layouts something I can bring into my work but she was also a nun. Her work was rarely about her religion but about community and love showing someone from a religious community reaching out to other communities, something very relevant to my project.
Piss Christ (1987)
Andres Serrano is a controversial artist who often uses bodily fluids and iconic objects in his work. One of the most known works is Immersed (Piss Christ), which is an image of a crucifixion figure apparently submerged in the artists urine. I’m quite familiar with the work of Serrano and Piss Christ. What I wanted to note is the response to this work. The extent of complaining and protesting about this work really surprises me, I understand it can be interpreted as disrespectful but it’s art it’s something personal and individual, compositionally it’s a simple but beautiful work with deep and meaningful colors and consideration of scale, and if not for the description of it being immersed in piss the viewer would be clueless as to what the substance is. It is not defacing or ruining the image of Christ. But prints have been attacked and destroyed. The cultural debates that spurred from this work shows an interesting part of religious groups which condemns free speech and artistic freedom while also practicing a religion which is all loving and accepting. I find this extreme response something of a work of art in itself. A big part of making art is to get a response and one particularly exciting response in my opinion is disgust and hatred I would never want to visually attack a group or organization but a work such as Piss Christ which is, according to the artist, commentary in favor of the imagery used but still is seen as distrustful.
Blackletter type came from a hand written font called Carolingian. In the 12th century it gained popularity as Europe became more literate and became less associated with religious scripts until 1454 with the release of the Gutenberg Bible. Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized printing with the use of movable metal type which was carved and formed in a Blackletter font securing it as a font associated with religion. I want to use some Blackletter in my work as it is so representative of religious text it seems necessary. Graphically speaking I don't find it particularly interesting, it is hard to read and looks very typical. It now also carries a connotation of moody punk rock bands with poor taste, possibly referencing the use of the fonts by the Nazi's. But I because the perspective of the posters was not coming from me as a designer but as a clergyman who would likely want to celebrate the history of his religions typefaces and also be slightly clueless on the design qualities, or lack thereof, of using Blackletter in a club poster design.
The Limelight was a club owned by Peter Gatien in New York which was in a deconsecrated church. I wanted to briefly research Limelight as it was a very popular among and the club kids in the 90s. It hosted many of Michael Alig's parties and was known as quite seedy despite being in a church. I love the concept of contrasting spaces. My family is atheist so growing up I very rarely encountered religion and today it is still very foreign but it is something that is almost like a dream or fantasy, I've never wanted to believe in something like a god but I am in awe of people who do and the culture surrounding something which appears to me is so obviously fake and then also so destructive to society. Religion is almost always a factor in war and hate crimes and social rights issues so I feel like this project is a bit of an anarchist take on dismantling the sanctity of a church as well as idealizing religious people to open heartedly accept and welcome 'sinners' into their home.
'Clown Torture' (Clip, 1987) Bruce Nauman
Bruce Nauman is an American performance and installation artist. He produced during the Minimalist movement but his work is more representative and less polished and clean focusing on satire and social commentary. His performative pieces from the early 70s revolve around mundane repetitive tasks commenting on the creative process and banality of being an artist, something usually shied away from in the arts community this introduces a theme of self criticism in his work. Nauman presents readymades to start a conversation about process and making. He also has themes of torture and abuse in his work, which I think represents along with the political commentary his suffering as a 'creative genius' ironically.
Robert Smithson was an American post-minimalism artist and sculptor. He is best known for his work Spiral Jetty (1970), which is a massive spiral made of mud and stone in the shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah constructed in 1970. Smithson created minimalist works but was primarily part of the Process Art movement, he focused on the viewer's interaction and understanding of the work itself. The Spiral Jetty is a very interesting work because of the planning which had to go into manipulating the environment and the construction of something so monumental. It took six days to construct using dump trucks and other equipment, but Smithson wanted to change the design which took another three days and resulted in the current spiral shape. The water in that part of the Great Salt Lake is colored dark red from the presence of salt-tolerant bacteria and algae. I think the process of how the spiral was conceived and made is most fascinating. Smithson had to acquire the land and building rights, hire a construction company that would be willing to take on the unusual task, and he needed a loan from an art gallery to begin the work. The interaction with the environment around the spiral is also interesting, the way the water moves in and out and through the spiral following the currents and slight tides. Unlike most work done in studios and controlled spaces, Spiral Jetty is a victim of nature which plays a massive part in the process of making, which is virtually impossible to make tests or moquettes to test the design so a lot was riding on chance, which I think was part of the artistry.
Salcedo is a Columbian artist who's installation work comments on political and social issues. Her work often appropriates objects and imagery to exploit their meaning and make vivid images with meaning. In the work Untitled (2003) she filled the space of what used to be a building in Istanbul with 1550 old chairs, which comments on the unrecognized migrants which support the economy and community. My favorite work of hers is Shibboleth (2007) which was a large crack in the floor of the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. Shibboleth is a word used to describe the categorization or separation of people. Shibboleth was filled in but left a scar in the floor of the museum, as a constant reminder of the separation of people. I think this work is particularly relevant right now with the Trump administration physically separating families and separating the country in mentality.
Manus x Machina
Manus X Machina was the title of the Metropolitan Museum Of Art's Costume Institute's 2016 exhibition and theme of the 2016 Met Gala. This exhibition explored the fashion industry's use of traditional handmade crafts, Métiers d'Art, and modern technological crafts such as 3D printing and the combination of the two. I was very lucky to get a private viewing with the head conservator of the costume institute to talk about the garments. This exhibition was so amazing and special to see. The show was divided into the main Métiers d'Art; Toiles (pattern making), Plumasserie (feathers), Parurier, Floral (Artificial Flowers), Broderie (embroidery, Dentellerie (lace), Maroquinerie (leather work), Eventailliste (fanmaker, pleating), Tailleur and Flou (tailoring and draping). In each section there were traditional examples of the techniques and modern interpretations. In the toiles there was a Charles James gown inside-out next to a Margiela coat made of pattern paper. I love seeing the new and the old side by side and the techniques which they share, but also have been adapted and updated. The exhibition's focus on the small details of making was very captivating and made me want to go and learn one of the Métiers d'Art, though people spend their entire life learning how to successfully be a craftsman in a Métiers d'Art workshop.
Are Fabricators the Most Important People in the Art World?
Late in June, The New York Times posted a short article in their style publication T Magazine titled "Are Fabricators the Most Important People in the Art World?". I saw this article after we were introduced to the Hand Made project and thought it was particularly relevant. I really enjoyed the content and some of the insider information about some very prominent artists, but most importantly it address what I think is a massive issue in the art community; who is actually making the art? Jeff Koons is not sitting in his studio with a rag polishing a giant flower to reflective perfection. So who is? Are they important to the artistic development ? (yes). But do they get credit? (sometimes)
If this project is to teach us anything it is that the process of making can be just as inspiring and important as idea and concept development. We have gone in blind to the different workshops and had to go with the flow of mistakes and embrace the learning process to get outcomes which we could not have visualized or developed previous to actually seeing them finished. This article speaks about how some artists come to a manufacturer and ask them to produce something and then the artist presents it in a show. But what if the artist tried making it or at least was there and helped problem solve? or is this the remnants of the Warhol-induced commercialization of art? What is more important the idea or the outcome?
I wanted to research Hatoum because her work often has a social and political commentary which was the other aspect I brought to the Hand Made project. In my research I focused on Process Artists because of this project brief's focus on the process of making. The Process Art movement has very little contextual placement, it could be argued that it is a response to the 1970s American economic turmoil caused by consumerism pushing artists to go back to the process and not just produce a 'product' like outcome. So to give some context to the making I wanted to research Hatoum. Hatoum is not part of the process movement and is a contemporary artist who primarily works in performance and installations. When I started looking at the newspaper article from the beginning of the Hand Made project I was very focused on the political aspect and thought of Hatoum because her outspokenly political works employ a witty prose that has respectful and strong conviction. Her work is balanced and thought out. In the pieces which aren't political they have a presence. I also find some of her work kind of humorous, she has a very literal approach to some very abstract concepts, such as Corps étranger which is a portrait of the inside of the artists body, taking a new and unusual approach to the very traditional self portrait. I was inspired by all of this, I wanted to embody both aspects of process but with underlying thoughts about the current political situations.
Hot Spot (2006) and Map (clear) (2015)
Hans Bellmer was a surrealist photographer. His work is very fascinating to me because it seems relevant today. I think he initially was aiming to just make some thought out creepy surreal images but now when you look at them today they are quite poignant. Ive interpreted them as social criticism of how we treat each other. The figures are mannequins but look like staged dead bodies, malled or even reconstructed. They are unnerving and you want to know why. We were interested in the surreal at the beginning of the Co create project because we really struggled to think of a story to link our objects so we thought lets just mash everything up and there doesn't need to be an explanation.
The Doll, 1936 and The Doll, 1935
Museum Object- Galliano Dress A/W 1987
In the museum we received a 1987 John Galliano dress. This dress is from a very early collection of his, he graduated CSM in 1984 and his graduation collection Les Incroyables was bought in full by Browns in London which secured his place as a fashion luminary. Looking specifically at this dress I wanted to note some interesting details and observations. It is asymmetrical and other than some false buttons and a center front opening there is only one closed seam with the rest of the seams being darts or something similar, done for fit. The dress is oddly unfinished looking but according to the curator it was not a show piece and was actually bought by a client and donated to CSM, which explains the several light red stains. Id like to go back to the construction of the dress; although not cut on bias this is very typical Galliano style. It appears that he had a cut off of this fabric which is likely because the rest of the collection had several other garments made in the same black and white rayon cheviot fabric. So suspect after creating the other looks, which appear to be much less abstract, with well thought out details such as box pleats, raglan sleeves and symmetrical gathering, Galliano had a left over piece of this fabric and quickly draped a dress from it. Interestingly looking at the few pieces of this collection which I can find the abstract nature of this dress does not fit in with the rest of the designs, but do of course reflect Galliano's unique style.
Pieces from John Galliano A/W 1987
Eva Hesse is very unusual to me, her work is greatly abstract and organic but expresses a feeling more than anything else to me, and I don't like it. It makes me uncomfortable and unsure, but I appreciate how she works and I love the way her work can provoke such a feeling. Hesse worked with many materials and objects and allowed the individual materials dictate a lot of the work. Rather than manipulating latex into specific forms she studied and developed, she let sheets of latex hang carelessly creating a balance between manipulated and natural forms. This is why I find her work important. In fashion design while tailoring a garment its very important to listen to the material, the fabric will tell you where the dart or seam goes, and I think paying attention to material choice and curating what you use carefully is very important.
Expanded Expansion, 1969
Repetition Nineteen III, 1968
Ai Weiwei is a Chinese fine artist, we looked at some of his more culturally influenced works to get an understanding of how artists represent and discuss Chinese culture and heritage. We wanted to understand what can make something special to or specific to China and how that can be related to the U.S. In his work Study of Perspective (1995 to 2003) he takes pictures of himself flipping off world monuments, in a defiant act of antiestablishment, he does this with Chinese monuments as well as US monuments. His other work Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995) questions why certain imagery is considered culturally important and critiques who gets to decide on the importance of this, as it is often with some bias. Although a genius piece, we wanted to understand the meaning behind deconstructing a symbol more than being inspired to make social commentary.
This is Jenny Saville and Glen Luchford's Closed Contact (1995) photo series. The images are of Saville nude and pressed up against glass. She distorts and squishes her body into unrecognizable and grotesque shapes to comment on the harshness and pain that comes with aesthetic plastic surgery and the mentality behind doing it. I personally think the images also show a conflict and a struggle. They are full of violence and physical pulling and manipulating which I think also in a more extreme sense represent how I was feeling during the start of the self portrait project. I find the range of colors and tones in the pictures very interesting it shows how diverse skin tone can be.
New York Club Kids
Club Kids came about in the late 80's and 90's as a group of young people in New York lead by Michael Alig and James St. James, and included people such as Susanne Bartsch, Amanda Lepore, Patricia Field, Rupaul, and Lady Bunny. This group of people revolutionized club culture and created a platform of LGBTQ+ inclusivity, their outrageous and creative style and personalities continue to inspire people today. The movement which was club kids spurred from Warhol's Superstars and The Factory which emphasized a life of carelessness and partying. When Warhol died the kids that came to New York to be a Superstar had to make their own way. I've always found club kids interesting, I was aware of them from an early age and even before I knew that they existed I was in my bedroom drawing on my face with markers and draping myself in feather boas. As I grew up society and a craving of professionalism and respect tamed that 'fabulousness' but since moving to London where there is a sensational club scene I've begun to feel more comfortable expressing that side of myself. I think the biggest appeal of Club Kids new and old is their confidence and freedom, most people would never think to dress up like that and then actually go out. They have a freedom which I think is a common thread with thoes who are religious. If you speak with someone who has accepted faith late in their life they often speak about the freedom religion has given them, such as believing someone died for mistakes you've made so you don't have to feel guilty about them. Other than the mentality of Club Kids I also appreciate their style, it is often DIY and unrefined, there is a temporariness about the costumes as they only need to last a night and the next night is a different look which seems liberating as an artist. They also challenge gender constructs which I think is now a very current 'trend' with a new wave of queer and trans rights movements as well as the fashion industry's shift towards less defined gendered clothing and more mixed gendered shows. We now see bits of what is very much Club Kid culture coming into pop culture today so I feel referencing them is relevant. I want my work to feel authentic while also personifying the Club Kid's loose and whimsical side, which I think can be done by showing development and having supporting research. It quite similar to a Dadaist redymade, yes the work looks amateur or messy but there is a meaning to it. Because I have been inspired by the cultural melting pot of Archway and by having a church as my location I think a logical combination is mixing in Club Kids.
Bosch was a Dutch painter from late 15th and 16th centuries. His worked revolved around depictions of religious happenings and scenes taken from the bible. Bosch is one of the first artists in history to visualize scenes and figures which are not real, the Surrealists considered him the first artist that could be defined as a painting surreal works. He is known for his many paintings of Hell. One of Bosch's most known works is a panel that shows the Seven Deadly Sins, he shows all classes and different cultures committing sins which shows the reach of evil. The 'always present eye of God' is the most consistent theme in Bosch's work. I wanted to research Bosch'sSeven Deadly Sins And Four Last Things as it is firstly one of the most notable depictions of all the sins, and secondly he is one of the most exciting and bizarre religious artists. Bosch strayed away from tradition and painted amazingly unusual and disturbing scenes. For me other than the exciting imagery of each sin the Seven Deadly Sins And Four Last Things is very relevant to my concept as it shows a wide range of people committing sins, unlike how the church usually portrays the only sinners to be criminals or drug using queer club kids when there is plenty of sinning happening in the body of the church as well. Bosch is still celebrating the writings from the Bible but is also calling out the hypocrisy, understanding that no one is perfect and that one sin is no worse than the next (according to the Bible) is the ultimate goal per se of the party in my church St. John's. I can not only bring the conceptual side of Bosch's work to my development but also some visual imagery I think would mix well with my work. The tormented and twisted figures and uncensored actions in some of Bosch's work is something I can explore in my own style.
Interview was (shocking!) a publication started by Andy Warhol that among regular columns and editorials had an interview with someone of cultural importance usually conducted by another famous person, a family member or friend, or someone from a different industry. But the point of the interview was to go deeper and have a less constructed conversation that was personal and explored more than just an actor's latest movie or an artist's most recent project but more about their personality and everyday life. Warhol was interested in the benign and everyday as much as he was the unusual and unique. Unfortunately due to very poor management Interview has gone bankrupt but the magazine offered a special perspective which most magazines lack. I wanted to highlight Interview because it showed a relationship between two people who sometimes didn't see eye to eye or came from different backgrounds and that was a big part of what intrigued Warhol and the readers there is an art about unlikely mixtures and combinations which is in part what has inspired my concept.
"We Magnify His Name" Floorplan
Floorplan is the pseudonym of producer and DJ Robert Hood. He mixes house, techno, disco, and gospel music to create a unique and exciting sound. I’ve been a fan of Floorplan for a few years, I grew up listening to disco and when I started going out I would recognize some disco sounds in updated house music which I eventually learned was by Floorplan. His most popular work is the songs that sample tradition African American gospel music looped over heavy beats. I think this music is genius it has the soul and love from gospel mixed in with the intensity and freshness of house. I wanted to learn some more about Floorplan and found out that he was deeply religious and attends a church of a particularly conservative Christian branch which I thought was really interesting that he believes so deeply in the name of God and then can walk into a dark club filled with drugs, drinking, and maybe sex, but he feels he has a gift to make music and he uses it to share the gospel to a demographic of people who might have never touched a bible. And he does so with no judgement. In an interview he spoke of being of a service to provide the people with music and he comes in ‘covered in the blood of Jesus’ with the ‘authority of God’ which allows him to do his thing and the club goers do theirs. His music is stunning and really great to dance to when you’re out, and he represents the kind of understanding and respectful Christian that would be open to hosting a club night in church.
Bowery was a very well known designer, club kid, performer, and artist in the 80s and 90s. He is billed as one of the first unabashedly outrageous public figures in the London club and art scene, which if not for Bowery would have remained more separate. It was the way Bowery mixed up performance art with lifestyle and club promotion and fashion design that made him so successful ultimately as an artist. Bowery is an inspiration to many many designers and artists today, he aligns with everyone who has ever felt out of place or judged for their appearance or personality, he is the voice and image of freaks and weirdos. He opened a club called Taboo which was apparently a nothing off limits all night party supposedly fueled by ecstasy and an unpredictable soundtrack. I think it is important to not group Bowery with other club kids as he brought himself more towards being an artist rather than just a personality. I really admire his style and confidence, it seems like he did everything without holding back and in the end it always looked well done and special. I want to bring his way of mashing up bits of kitsch and fashion and nightlife and presenting it all harmoniously.
Anti-Form by Robert Morris, 1968-Annotated
Robert Morris is a fascinating artists usually labeled as a minimalist but, unlike prominent minimalists, Morris was quite exploratory and experimental in medium and style which is not necessarily in line with most minimalist’s value of purity and consistency in their work. Morris often explored temporality and ephemerality in his work as well as process. Actually Morris was a leading artist of the Process art movement, if we must label him. I have always enjoyed studying the process of things, often asking myself questions like how is something made? What is that technique? Was it made out of a need or just aesthetic? etc... As important as the final outcome is the thought process and making process. Morris’ work Box with the Sound of Its Own Making is simply a wooden box with an audio recording of the sounds produced while making that box. I love the concept behind that, although you still couldn't listen to the recording and then go make an identical box, its not informative or independent its supplementary to the product, you still get an understanding of what it took and what went into making the box, it becomes easier to understand the workmanship. but doing something so simple like producing a box and displaying it with its sounds really pushes focus to the process. He also produced work using felt, which were randomly cut and dropped to the floor. The final composition is meaningless and the overbearing feeling from this work is ephemerality, there is no form or function it is there only to make you think why? or how did this get here? thats the art.
Morris also collaborated with the amazing Lynda Benglis, which focuses less on the physical process but I would argue highlights society's process of development, or in this case, lack thereof. For this collaboration in 1971 Morris published a sexualized and fetishistic ad for his upcoming exhibition in Artforum the issue before Benglis published her iconic ad depicting her nude except for sunglasses and a massive dildo, and as expected our patriarchal society barley glanced at Morris’ ad whereas Benglis’ ad was fabulously controversial. Benglis had previously asked for some editorial space in Artfourm but felt she was being discriminated against.
Images: Box with the Sound of Its Own Making (1961), Untitled (Pink Felt) (1970)
Artforum (April 1968)
Rebecca Horn is a German artist which works in performance, sculpture and spacial intervention. I am obsessed. She has a perfect understanding of a body's relationship to its surroundings, how we respond and communicate with them, and how they manipulate and influence our lives. Her early works extend the body and manipulate how we can use our limbs and sometimes focuses on how our body uses us. She matches her thoughtful concepts with flawless construction and presentation which she further explores later in her career with spacial intervention. But the body extensions really call to me. There is something so visceral and deep about how Horn choses to extend certain body parts such as her Finger Gloves (1972) which extends the wearers fingers a meter, this work plays with the senses and spacial relations with objects and others people. I've been inspired by Horn to visualize how a country, if personified, would communicate its desire of isolation through objects. Shutting the borders to immigration is much more than just a physical action it goes beyond the physicality of writing a law or handcuffing immigrants and touches on deeply rooted psychological themes of fear, privilege, greed, and power in the lawmakers and enforcers. But how could I make it physical? Objects that put distance between the wearer and the viewer, that hides or obscures the identity of the wearer from the viewer and the identify of the viewers from the wearers, it should be two ways, an interaction not just voyeurism.
Willem De Kooning
De Kooning is the most known Abstract Expressionist after Jackson Pollock, though some argue he isn't a perfect fit in the movement because of his return to female figures and landscapes throughout his career. His aggressive and remarkable painting skills certainly make him an active painter similar to Pollock, but more so than other artists De Kooning would continue to work into paintings and scrape off to repaint, working on some pieces for years. I feel De Kooning could also be considered the father of Process Art, although not ultimately abstract as the Process Art movement becomes, his paintings took so much time and show the signs of constant reworking, some canvas even have rips and holes from his aggressive brush strokes, show the critical process which made his work so unique.
Woman I (1950-1952)
The North Atlantic Light (1977)
Bengils is an artist who combined the traditional forms and practices of sculpture and painting. She would pour vats of tinted latex or polyurethane on the floor of her studio or build up shapes in the corner of a room which would take its own form. Bengils was part of the process art movement as her work relied on gravity manipulating the shape or the foam expanding into the form of the walls or studio space. I really enjoy Bengils' work because it is so colorful and abstract, but I also enjoy the performative aspect, the act of splashing or pouring the latex can dictate the form. If you are angry you would pour more aggressively for example.
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge (Pecha Kucha)
YSL and Pierre Berge were partners in life and in business. Berge was the composed and commercial thinking response to Laurent's capricious artistic personality. Together they built from the ground up one of the largest and most successful fashion houses of all time. They complimented each other perfectly in an unusually harsh way, they butted heads frequently but in the end still produced amazing products. But in this day and age of social media where your image is so important YSL and Berge always seemed to be the classiest and most sophisticated of people. Everything they did seemed calculated but also natural and easy. After YSL's death Berge became the president of Paris' Opera and breathed new life into an otherwise dead art. I think it would be best to learn from both of them.
Diana Vreeland (Pecha Kucha)
Diana Vreeland was the editor-in-chief of Haper’s Bazaar and the American Vogue in the 1960s. She revolutionized how media is consumed through her creative direction of the magazine. She broke the mold of traditional text with image spreads, encouraging photo series and she gave a platform to young designers, writers, and photographers. She also strongly embraced the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s, merging fashion with politics and social movements, she was the first major fashion editor to allow models of color into the magazine. Vreeland has been the subject of many documentaries and has clearly had huge lasting impact on much of the fashion industry. Her charisma and uniqueness is admirable, from what I can gather from either the film The Eye Has To Travel to Visionaire 37: Vreeland Memos I can try to replicate her ambition and anything goes mentality.
Truman Capote (Pecha Kucha)
Capote was an American author who's southern gothic novellas got him attention as a prominent write while still in his early twenties, he went on to write the now iconic Breakfast At Tiffany's and then in 1959 was inspired to write a non fiction novel about a quadruple murder in rural Kansas which took him four years and secured his place as one of the most influential writers of his time. Capote was unapologetically gay with a nasally southern twang and flamboyant style. He was an amazing character and personality as much as he was a writer. I have loved his work from when I first read his breakout novella Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948) Capote's sophisticated yet loose and flowing prose makes his books feel comfortably intellectual. I have now read the majority of his published work and enjoy rereading often. I relate to him in many way but mostly have a great admiration for him.
Loie Fuller Performance
Fuller was an American dancer and actress in the early 20th century. She revolutionized modern dance techniques introducing improvisation to dance. A lot of her work relied on the material's qualities to drape and flow as she danced and moved her body. I'm interested in how if she used a heavy fabric or plastic how the shapes would be different Fuller was so innovative in a field which relies to this day so much on tradition. Ballet is dying, young people have very little interest and I think every creative needs to consider how their craft is changing.
Robert Morris and Milton
I've previously researched Morris for the Hand Made project, but interestingly my partner in the CoCreate project came to me with some of Morris's work which has ended playing a big part in the project. We are looking at his Anti-Form/Process Art/ Post Minimalism work, again very interested in the materials role in the actual end form and shape of the outcome. Morris has inspired us to explore the use of felt. I have chosen to bring in a sample of wool Milton which is a fabric I've used before in a design project, I think it actually fits perfectly with this project as well because we are looking at our personal heritage, which has brought in the star shape ( seen both in the US and China flag) but the culture we have in common is from living in the UK. Milton is most known for being the fabric of the famous English red fox hunting coats, something that recalls a very specific cultural activity specific to a certain demographic of people. We don't want to reference that exactly but rather than using a generic felt the Milton has some cultural contextual connotations.