Artkrush Issue on Intersection between Art & Fashion - the Fashion Spot
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Artkrush Issue on Intersection between Art & Fashion
Just got the new issue of Artkrush which, in honor of fashion week, is about the intersection between art and fashion. These are the fashion-related articles, but there are reviews of shows and artists (as well as photos) if you click on the link.

Please move this thread if I've filed it incorrectly!

After escaping the clutches of elite culture, art and fashion — once exclusive properties of the few — have filtered down to mass accessibility and consumption. What started out as an acquaintance between forms has become a steady flirtation, yielding interdisciplinary creators of varied influence, criticism, and collaboration.

Using fashion magazines, Wangechi Mutu creates collages that juxtapose stereotypically black attributes with idealized white counterparts. Kehinde Wiley takes on black marginality by positioning proud black men, dressed in the height of urban fashion, as the subjects of baroque-style portraits. Also using clothes as signifiers of class and race, Yinka Shonibare pulls genteel postures out of the frame and onto headless mannequins donning 18th-century garb in "traditional" African prints that are really made in Amsterdam. Ideas about facade also loom large in the work of Marilyn Minter and Amy Dicke. Minter's crisp close-ups of caked makeup on tired faces and stilettos on blistered feet reveal fashion's gritty realities; Dicke's cut-outs of fashion ads, with their vacantly webbed outlines, transform models into ghoulish specters.

Martin Parr's bright, popping photographs of tourists and shoppers, especially his Fashion Magazine project, are biting social commentaries on consumption. Josephine Meckseper's still life and photographic compositions allude to globalization by juxtaposing designer underwear with a toilet plunger and chic footwear with protest posters. Collaborative installation artists Elmgreen & Dragset dropped a model Prada store in the middle of the desert to comment on capitalist encroachments into every corner of the earth.

Other team-ups abound. Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin's digitally manipulated photos often have a pointed, surreal quality. The twosome has collaborated with Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf, whose high-concept shows have been likened to performance pieces. Turkish designer Hussein Chalayan references architectural theories and pays homage to sculpture. The process and materiality of clothing is also central to the recycled work of the mysterious Belgian designer Martin Margiela.

Perhaps the flirtation has even grown into a love affair. The hip collective assume vivid astro focus' psychedelic designs can be found on LeSportsac bags. Cindy Sherman has incorporated her continued probing of postmodern subjectivity into Marc Jacobs ads shot by fellow photographer Juergen Teller. The most symbiotic and progressive of unions is United Bamboo's collaboration with curators who pick young artists to design their own t-shirts. As the art market surges, fashion's influence is ever-present in art's rejuvenated glamour, visual familiarity, and ready-to-sell attitude. (JC)
There is also an interview with Penny Martin from SHOWstudio:
Hannah Vaughan talks with Penny Martin, editor-in-chief of London's SHOWstudio, about the creative process of putting together an online fashion-broadcasting company.

AK: How would you describe SHOWstudio?

PM: SHOWstudio is an online fashion broadcast that's been in operation for about six years. It is owned and run by fashion photographer Nick Knight, and it produces fashion editorial that interacts with new media from an Internet platform. It deals with moving images, interactivity, broadcast, and notions of performance.

AK: Fashion is a notoriously closed community. SHOWstudio facilitates greater access to fashion production through its projects online; how does that affect the audience for fashion?

PM: There are certainly some projects that are more appropriate than others, but by and large, we're very accessible. In fact, when we scrutinize our viewing figures, we find that we reach just about every demographic, even though we haven't necessarily pursued that directly. Unlike print publications, we can reach almost anybody.

AK: SHOWstudio often collaborates with print magazines, most recently with i-D. Can you tell us how collaborations come about and how they work?

PM: There is huge potential in being owned and run by a photographer like Nick Knight, who is naturally involved with interesting projects. If he's doing a project that has the capacity to expand beyond the printed page, then he involves SHOWstudio. Quite often, he'll do a couture shoot for a publication like W, and he'll have a great opportunity for a broadcast project within the shoot. If the participants are generous enough to allow us to do it, we do, but it's not an intentional thing. It comes up as an opportunity, and we grab it.

AK: What does Nick Knight offer as a director that other creators might lack?

PM: It's hard to compare because few creators would put themselves in a position to run something like SHOWstudio. I know that David Bailey briefly ran a magazine in the '60s. When we interviewed him for an online broadcast, I remember him saying it was too much trouble and that it distracted him from his career. It does take an enormous amount of time and energy to run a demanding, expensive project like SHOWstudio; it could only be done by someone like Nick, who has a wildly optimistic viewpoint. He's incredibly committed to making SHOWstudio what it is. He's addicted to it and to the possibility of pushing things forward. I think that's been the theme of his career.

AK: Of your current projectsAntony, Fash-Off, What are you looking at?, The Sound of Clothes, and TransmissionsAntony offered viewers the most direct opportunity for collaboration with the SHOWstudio team: a chance to have their own photographic work featured in a Nick Knight photo shoot with Antony Hegarty, lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons. How was the project conceived and executed?

PM: The submitted images were all projected onto Antony, and the image capture was done on set. Nick was working on a project for i-D and wanted to do something that involved the SHOWstudio audience. That was something we had been trying to do for a while, especially over the last two years. Our collaborations with the public are a really important part of our work.

AK: So the blog and webcams, as a direct connection to the audience, must form an important aspect of SHOWstudio.

PM: Absolutely. We're actually launching a new part of the site where viewers will be able to respond to the blog items. It's an unknown, because feedback can go both ways: sometimes it's positive, and sometimes it's negative, but if we say we're open to showing our process, then we have to expose ourselves to this. Sometimes people have hated bits and pieces of what we've done, so we've responded to that and made decisions accordingly. We're committed to pushing ourselves into unfamiliar territories; otherwise we'd fall into the same trap as a lot of magazines. Most of them can dress themselves up with new contributors, but it's very difficult for us because when we get something right, we can never repeat it. It's extremely exhausting, but that's what keeps us going and keeps us fresh.

AK: You describe SHOWstudio as a self-revealing process. This is in direct opposition to the highly airbrushed, polished product the fashion world chooses to promote. Have you met any resistance from the fashion world due to your exposure of what goes on behind the scenes?

PM: In the beginning, it was really apparent that fashion wasn't ready to embrace what we were doing. That is changing now, as designers are starting to do films of their clothes, and the major houses are starting to use the Internet to communicate their ideas. We're also in a very luxurious position because of Nick Knight's ownership. His reputation means that many people in the industry want to work with him. We've had generous contributions from people like Juergen Teller and Tracey Emin. Such generosity is unheard of in an industry that is so concerned with time and costs. The fact that they are prepared to give us their work with no payment and without promise of it having a second or third life in magazine editorial is extremely generous.

AK: Would you say your projects are an attempt to address the increasing crossover between art and fashion?

PM: I don't really believe in a crossover. There's a mutual interest, but not a crossover. So to answer your question, do we choose our projects because of art's interest in fashion? No, we don't. It's more about an intellectual commitment to fashion than any perceived crossover with art.

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AK: What do you think of artists who work successfully in both art and fashion, like Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin?

PM: I spoke to Inez a few years ago, and she was very clever on that subject. She talked about how she didn't see why artists should have to wait tables in restaurants to support their artistic career when the commercial world offered such good opportunities. Philip-Lorca diCorcia is another artist who combines the two, and I don't think it is a mere coincidence that both Inez and Philip are very erudite people. Although, the work Inez does for fashion editorial is very different from the work she produces as art.

AK: What's next for SHOWstudio?

PM: Nick's been chosen to receive the Möet and Chandon Fashion Tribute this year, and rather than doing a very formal, sit-down dinner, which he finds excruciatingly painful and boring, Nick's decided to stage a lavish masked ball. He's asked ten designers to create dresses that will be worn on the night by the designers' chosen muses, and it should be a really visually exciting event. It's taking place in October and will all be documented on the SHOWstudio site.
and a blurb on the Viktor & Rolf documentary:

Viktor & Rolf: Because We're Worth It!
Femke Wolting

Viktor & Rolf's fantastic creations have wowed the fashion crowd since the early '90s. Darlings of the avant-garde, they produce smart collections such as the fall 2002 blue "Long Live the Immaterial" ready-to-wear, inspired by the artist Yves Klein. In this documentary, Femke Wolting — former initiator and programmer of the International Film Festival Rotterdam's adventurous Exploding Cinema — presents an intimate view of the Dutch designers over the course of a year. From preliminary sketches and selection of fabrics to a spirited runway show — a simulated hunt where the models sport antlers and walk to a soundtrack of barking dogs — and on to the development and release of their first perfume, Flowerbomb, Wolting's camera captures the creative process of an energetic and talented team. (PL)

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