Art

RED

Definitely Rad Hourani is an exceptional presence on contemporary fashion scene. The French-Canadian designer clearly traced his own path from the very beginning. Opting for the minimal approach, he was strongly determined to redefine the ‘neutral’ look in fashion – genderless, raceless, ageless, limitless. Preoccupied by aesthetic beyond fashion, perfecting his creative expression during the years – paying great attention to every detail, calibrating proportions and shapes, Hourani coined the concept of unisex couture.

Rad Hourani’s Red collection presented at DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, deserves a closer look. The effect of this stunning red in conjuction with Hourani’s signature architectural garment construction is literally breathtaking.

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ART BY ADRIANA VAREJÃO / IMAGINE BRAZIL EXHIBITION CURATED BY HANS-ULRICH OBRIST + CHERYL SIM AT DHC/ART

MODELS CAMILLE + SOPHIA + JEEHYE + RICHARD PHOTOGRAPHED BY BRENT GOLDSMITH – STYLE SASHA WELLS – MAKEUP PATRICK RAHMÉ – HAIR JASON WILLIAMS

images source: radhourani.com

The Cloud Gate Becomes the Void Gate

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Anish Kapoor – Cloud Gate / before & after

The “Cloud Gate”, Anish Kapoor’s iconic public sculpture placed in Millennium Park of Chicago, recently encountered an unexpected creative twist. Issued by artist himself, the change could be regarded as extreme, controversial, trendy or deeply conceptual.

Kapoor covered the mirror-like surface with something that seems to be exactly the opposite – a deep black material called Vantablack. Vantablack, labeled as ‘the blackest black ever’, because it absorbs up to 99.96 percent of light (radiation in the visible spectrum), was initially developed by British company Surrey NanoSystems for military purposes and astronomy equipment. Anish Kapoor who gained exclusive rights in using this material for artistic purposes, says that he plans to explore it further and review many of his famous art pieces within the next years.

The project itself is challenging not just through the way contemporary art meets high-technology, but also in the way it blends with the work of an artist like Anish Kapoor. While the idea of an artist adhering to a specific ‘color’ and making it ‘his own’ created a buzz around the art community, I guess this is not the main attraction here. However, it has happened before (see the Yves Klein blue – IKB).

The project of reformulating referential art works, so well ingrained both in artist’s track record and in public consciousness, this is really challenging. I love the perspective of iconic art pieces seen as work in progress, projects that can be periodically revised, evolving in new unexpected ways. I love the idea that something like the Cloud Gate might not remain forever a mirror of the clouds, and one fine day might become “a void of nothingness”.

Joseph Kosuth – Agnosia

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Joseph Kosuth is one of the pioneers of conceptual and installation art. The creator of language-based works connected with broader fields as philosophy, psychology and literature, Kosuth constantly investigates the role of language and meaning within art. Neon installation, a kind of a ‘democratic’ medium used by Kosuth in many art projects,  takes new dimensions at Sean Kelly Gallery New York which currently hosts a Joseph Kosuth major retrospective.

Agnosia, an Illuminated Ontology‘ reunites over 40 of Joseph Kosuth works dating from 1960s to the present. The neon words and pictograms covering walls, ceiling and columns in a total architectural effect, propose the experience of an exquisite space opened to visitors till December 19.

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images via designboom.com

Floating Flower Garden

TeamLab, formed in 2001, is a collaborative, interdisciplinary creative group that brings together professionals from various fields of practice in the digital society: artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects, web and print graphic designers and editors. Referring to themselves as “Ultra-technologists,” their aim is to achieve a balance between art, science, technology and creativity

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Their recent project titled Floating Flower Garden – Flowers and I are of the same root, the Garden and I are one, was on show at Maison et Objet Paris – a major event for professionals working in the art of living in all its rich and varied expressions. Previously exhibited at Tokyo’s Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, TeamLab’s flower installation is an interactive project providing the visitors with a particular experience. 

Floating Flower Garden is designed so that viewers can walk through a suspended garden while sensors detecting the presence of the viewer cause the flowers to rise upwards all at once, creating a hemispherical space with the viewer at its center.

Inspired by Japanese Zen gardens, the interactive floating flower garden is conceived as a place where viewers are immersed in flowers, becoming one with the garden itself. I found this creative/conceptual approach both contemporary and sublime.

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Floating Flower Garden – Flowers and I are of the same root, the Garden and I are one – TeamLab‘s art installation

Cool Sporty Embroideries

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Lately, the possible connections that could be traced between fashion and art became the subject of quite interesting discussions. Whether fashion could be linked to the world of arts or whether art could play a fashion role – these questions remain opened for further explorations. On the other hand, we have to admit that we are dealing with two different things that don’t need to be forced to work together. At least not literally, like we saw in Viktor & Rolf demonstration for their last couture show.

In my opinion, the topic deserves a lighter treatment. That is why I picked James Merry’s work for example. His cute embroideries on vintage sweaters and his very personal way to adorn all those iconic sportswear logos with flowers, moss or mushrooms, seems to be a more adequate formula – smart, sincere, clean, honest… and wearable after all! The concept definitely deserves to be developed further while it could be extended at various levels.

James Merry, a very particular artist who spends his life between New York and Iceland, is already known as the creator of exquisite embroidered masks for Bjork’s stage shows or videos. James Merry is also a former collaborator of Damien Hirst and the author of an illustration book. His recent sportswear logo project (see the pictures) shows that he still has plenty to say, whether it would be in the field of art, fashion or something in between.

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Stiff Drapery

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Martijn Van Strien – piece from Dystopian Brutalist Outerwear collection, tarpaulin

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Danh Vo – detail of We the People project (deconstructing the Statue of Liberty), copper

 

Blossom

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Alexis and Isabelle – photos from Blossom series

Isabelle Chapuis and Alexis Pichot (simply known as Alexis and Isabelle) are the authors of several interesting photo projects combining art and fashion. Working subtly with light effects and colored smoke, they fill their images with a mysterious atmosphere.  The ‘Blossom’ photo series, for which the photographers have also used their signature smoke bombs, evokes a journey of fantasy. In artists words: “We read in the smoke, as we guess in the clouds, forms of the imagination; ghostly presence that has been or will be: everyone is free to see what they like“.