Saturday, September 20, 2008
Beauty in the grotesque
Christopher Kane appropriates The Flintstones dinosaur scales and Planet of the Apes gorilla nightmares in his 2009 Spring/Summer collection.
A fitting companion to John Galliano's 2007 Fall/Winter rags-and-yarn cavemen from the time of the mammoths. I'm sure there can be something equally Freudian interpreted from the sheer organza dresses.
The forwardness of both collections conceal a bleakness uncovered by Jean-Michel Basquiat's graffiti paintings.
There is something visceral about the associations and references, something intrinsically raw and animalistic, which is frozen in formalin or captured in sculpture by contemporary artist Damien Hirst.
Kane's new collection may border on the tacky. But restraint and visionary punch lift concept to wearability.
Galliano takes the opposite tack by dusting and greasing up wearable items with modern mythology.
Either way, the outcome stares at you straight at the face. Both succeed in selling their ideas.
For Hirst, the element of shock found in his works draws audiences to the maw of disconcertment.
Is it because of the works' scale?
Or the encounter with sheer physicality and objectivity, which jar the sensibility of city and internet inhabitants?
Whether Damien Hirst is a revolutionary artist or merely a swindler of both ideas and auction patrons, true art shall continue to strive to represent current conditions.
Honesty is a fragile thing.
On the canvas or in the flesh.
Good thing for fashion, the evolution of art shall provide an an ever-expanding portofolio of cultural references, from painting and architecture to cinema and music.
Life in all its beauty and ugliness.
Its pretensions and emptiness.
Anything can be a source of inspiration.
Everything is pregnant with meaning. It is only a matter of dissecting.
Photos from men.style.com and style.com