Thursday, October 30, 2008

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Well, just take a look at these little beauties ... Marc would be very pleased. Thank you Topshop for providing such divine imitations of what houses such as Vuitton, Balenciaga and Givenchy conjure up. With the dollar conversion, some of these come in at around AUD$250. Yum.

6 Degrees of Bjork

It is Halloween after all so I thought it timely to show the work of Gabriela Fridriksdottir (Reykjavik). I met her when she showed as part of the Auckland Triennal and she was very "rock star" in her bespoke sunglasses (given to the artist by her cousin Bjork), tattoos and piercings. All the Bjork associations aside, her work is a unique blend of horror and folklore, but then haven't folk tales always been a little horrific anyway (think Little Red Riding Hood)? According to her gallery i8's website, "She seeks answers in what happens in between waking and sleeping, the objective and subjective, or in the tension between the mind and the material world". Dark dreams indeed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gareth Pugh and Epstein lovers?

Imagine the love child? Although, considering Matthew Collings' recent article "The Shape of Things" (Wallpaper*, September, page 95), maybe this would be a slightly incestuous union.

It's a delicious article and he conjures up comparisons between Dior and Kapoor, Sander and Serra, Hepworth and Chanel and Margiela and Picasso. This is a taster:

"Gareth Pugh's new collection, for instance, goes in for the un-normal. Think of artifice based on nature, of leaf forms, body armour, segmentation, breastplates - a carapace for the body - or a creature emerging from a chrysalis.

What is it that Boccioni does with his sculpture in London's Tate Modern, "Unique Forms of Continuity in Space", or Jacob Epstein does with "Rock Drill", at New York's MOMA (both made in 1913)? Man as machine, man moving through space - as if when an artist conceptualises human movement, he comes up with a form that looks a bit machine-like.

The pleasure of Gareth Pugh's outfits is different in that he's ironic where modernists in the 20th century were sincere; they were influenced by the threat to nature of new industrial forms, but Pugh seems more influenced by the movies, by the sub or superhumans in "Edward Scissorhands" or "Alien". Those films draw attention to the body's dynamism and power in a twisted way, and so does he, but in a more exquisite, crafted way".

It's a must read.

(Pictured: Jacob Epstein "Rock Drill" 1913 and Gareth Pugh - Autumn/Winter 2008)

Monday, October 27, 2008


No, actually, it was Space Furniture for an intimate soiree on Monday night with the sometime designers for Edra, the Campana Brothers, who, rock star like, are on tour in Australia to showcase new and iconic pieces.

These pieces are often dismissed as purely ornamental or "furniture on acid", but once seated, your mind is altered. Edra ingeniously fuse form and function, which is obviously what places them at the top of the design game.

Furniture lovers spotted were: Frances E Parker, Julie Ewington, Robert Leonard, Amelia Gundelach, Brian Steendyk, Ingrid Richards and Tim Hill.

There was something highly addictive about lolling about on the black velveteen "Boa" lounge (pictured) drinking G&T's on a Monday evening.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Unknown Patterns of Existence

An empty space is the silence that exists between 2 points somewhere in the cosmos. Has your subconscious emerged yet? If not, you obviously don't get the work of Eugene Carchesio on now at Qld Art Gallery: "Someone's Universe: the art of Eugene Carchesio".

The opening night event was held Saturday and it was an interesting mix of art + fashion world types and the noticeable inclusion of Eugene's close knit posse of musicians, artists and writers. Apparently the scene-shy artist stood by a blank wall to escape the masses, but ended up being feted like a pope by his adoring fans. Was there actual kneeling?

The "Party Like it's 1999" QAG gang (Angela Goddard, Tony Albert, Amelia Gundelach et al) hit the night spots (The Joynt, Lychee) post opening into the wee hours of Sunday morning in an effort to dismantle the patterns of their universes.

See this exquisite show until 1 February 2009.

Ultra Art

"Random Access Memory" by Rebecca Ross. There are some forward thinking fashionistas in Brisbane after all! Ultra Suite have been at the forefront of the art meets fashion concept for quite some time. They take it seriously - even Scott Redford featured at one stage.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Work by Cindy Sherman


Ricky Swallows?

Well, only his pride.

First the Venice Biennale, now the QUT Student Guild and none of the art world cogniscenti are safe. The Histrionics (hailing from Melbourne) do their thing in Pollock-style suiting and with an acid tongue. Rirkrit Tiravanija, Ricky Swallow, Julian Schnabel and Richard Serra are all lampooned by this outfit. The crowd was a mix of art world types (Andrew Wilson, Amelia Gundelach and Robert Leonard) and pashing, pool playing students. Danius Kesminas works his overhead projector to the max, providing lyrics for all to witness. There was partial nudity, motorcycle cop sunglasses, cowboy boots, faux guitar smashing and the crowd was intermittently harassed by Kesminas.

All the art scathe and faux rock star antics aside, The Histrionics sure know how to rock out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Dirty Minded Satirical Psychotic Comedy

A sex addict and colonial theme park worker, Victor Mancini, has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mom's hospital bills while she suffers from an Alzheimer's disease that hides the truth about his childhood. He pretends to choke on food in a restaurant and the person who "saves" him will feel responsible for Victor for the rest of their lives. There is more, but to tell would ruin the film.

Written by Chuck Palahnink [Fight Club], it is sure to have the same level of social commentary and bleakness.

I’m not sure about you, but any film with key words such as: chapel, pantyhose, colonialism, loneliness, sex standing up and absurdism and starring Sam Rockwell is a must see. Starts 30 October 2008.

History v Birth

An interesting combination of shows is currently on at the Institute of Modern Art, Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. The gallery is split in 2 and is showing a 20 year retrospective of one of Queensland's most interesting artists, Diena Georgetti.

At the same time, artists at the beginning of their careers are showing: Silvana and Gabriella Mangano, Laith McGregor, Ross Manning and Eric Bridgeman. It makes for an interesting mix. Showing until 29 November 2008.

The opening night party was one not to be missed as it was attended by hordes of gorgeous Y-Gen art students in all their finery. The evening ended late at Isis Bar with Max Delany from MUMA still in a gregarious mood and entertaining everyone with his amusing tales. Wherever does he find the energy?

Hussein Homage

Subject: Hussein Chalayan
Venue: London’s Design Museum
Dates: 21 January – 17 May 2009

This “designer” in the truest sense of the word is being lauded in what should be a must do destination for anyone serious about "fashion meets design". In his 15 year career, Chalayan has collaborated across disciplines with musicians, anthropologists, industrial designers, DNA experts, jewellers and textile designers.

He once buried several of his designs in his back garden and then later dug them up to see what effect the earth and minerals had had on them. We can only be in awe of his authenticity of practice.

Checking flights now.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gleeson v Ksubi

The recent news of James Gleeson's death brought his work back to our conciousness. It made me think of the recent Ksubi collection (modelled by a "pared back" Abbey Lee). Who said art and fashion are not sometime lovers.

People in Glass Houses

Lina Bo Bardi would have to be on any staunch modernist's list.

Bo Bardi was born in Rome, Italy, on 5 December, 1914. She graduated from the Architecture College of Rome University and, after having begun her professional life, she moved to Milan where she started to work in the office of GiĆ² Ponti.

Bo Bardi’s most recognisable construction, the "Glass House" was concluded in 1951. Built on a 7000 m2 piece of land, it was the first residence in the Morumbi neighborhood. It was gradually surrounded by species of the Atlantic Forest and its garden is, nowadays, a preserved sample of the old Brazilian Forest with rare plants.

Poignantly, she died in her own "glass house".

The Velvet Hour

Givenchy reference boots - snake sculpture by "hobbyist sculptor" - Gaetano Pesce, 1969 "Up" series chair.

Synecdoche, New York

A movie to yearn for. Written and directed by Charlie Kaufman and produced by Spike Jonze, the basic premise is as follows: Caden, the main character, is a theatre director. After the inception of his new play, he discovers that his various autonomic functions are shutting down one at a time. The movie goes into themes such as the nature of family, of home, and of male-female relationships, all while blurring reality and representation in a nature.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jan van der Ploeg

Dreaming of these works for interiors ... with 20th century wooden chairs ... that combination of plastic and earth.

Future Historica

Alexander McQueen presented what is surely the most memorable, inventive, articulate and conceptual collection of the 2009 Spring/Summer collections. Oh, but there is Margiela... more later.

European Modern

2007 - Travelling the "Grand Art Tour": Munster Sculpture Park, Geneva, Zurich, Istanbul, Athens and ........ Venice.

The Dark Crystal

Black perfection. Shades of Margiela, exaggeration of form, high drama. One of "The Sartorialists" cleanest shots of the recent Spring/Summer collections.