Friday, August 4, 2017

I dreamed a world and called it love




Greetings from Aspen, Colorado!

I'm in town for Art Crush, a yearly benefit for the Aspen Art Museum that draws artists and collectors  alike to the mountain town.  I donated a custom Artfully Awear garment to their benefit collection, and all proceeds go toward funding the museum and its programs.  I can't wait to find out who ends up with one of my pieces!

The dress I'm wearing here is hand-painted using metallic paint on vegan leather, and the inspirational work is Jim Hodges' I dreamed a world and called it love #8 and #9.  I'd only seen photos of this artwork while making the dress, and it was so much more complex in real life.  It is made of glass on canvas, and each piece is cut and fit to the next piece.  It was a tough concept to recreate as something wearable!  Luckily my sparkly shoes capture the reflective nature of the glass.

Thanks to Amy Phelan for inviting me to Wine Crush, and to the Aspen Art Museum for hosting me for their benefit!

Photos by Emily Hoerdemann.



Monday, July 31, 2017

#AArtxFashion: Miljan Suknovic and Artfully Awear






















Last week, I celebrated the launch of my first capsule collection of clothing in collaboration with artist Miljan Suknovic.  
Even as I type these words, it seems a bit surreal that Artfully Awear has taken the form of an actual clothing collection!  It's an understatement to say that I'm excited.

Miljan and I have been friends for about a year and a half, during which time I've visited his studio on numerous occasions and always gleaned inspiration.  When Dreams on Air asked him to do an installation of work in their SoHo store, we knew it was the perfect time and venue for us to do something amazing together.  I got to work making a collection of garments inspired by his work.

Ahead of the event, Miljan installed a number of his large-scale pieces throughout the boutique, and created an awesome window display featuring his paintings as well as one of my garments.  On the evening of the event, we hosted over 200 people for champagne and a viewing of the work, including a photo booth (with hand-painted wearables) and a live painting demonstration by yours truly.

We were surrounded by all of our friends and received such an overwhelmingly positive response to our work together.  All of my hand-painted garments sold out!  It was truly one of the best and most memorable nights of my life!

Photos by Peter Sealy Art & Photography and Dezfitmedia
Model: Luiza Farber

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ROBERT OTTO EPSTEIN











I met Robert Otto Epstein a few years ago, while he was working on his 8Bitterized paintings and drawings.  I was intrigued by the (as I thought) obvious connection to technology and of course the vibrant color palette, and I got to know him through a few conversations about his work and visits to group shows.  Most recently, I was struck by his portraits at VOLTA in NYC.  When I saw that his work would be included in a two-artist show at Hionas Gallery in Chinatown, I decided to reach out to him about a collaboration.

In chatting about his work, I found out that it references much more than technology.  In his words, "When I was first painting, I randomly came across a knitting pattern magazine on eBay.  So I started out painting sweaters, cardigans, jackets, and skirts.  Over time, I noticed that the knitting instructions take on a grid format.  Each square and each symbol represented a different color and that's how I got into the abstract form of painting and drawing." Basically, Robert was Artfully Awear all along!

When asked about his newest series of portraits, three of which are included in the Hionas Gallery show, he said he started out searching the internet for high-resolution images, and eventually landed on celebrities as subject matter, after exploring gallerists and athletes.  The painting that I chose as inspiration for my jacket is based on a portrait of Olivia Munn.  We both had a laugh when I told him how difficult it was to capture the expression in his painting - and he reminded me that each portrait naturally contains a likeness to its artist, so of course mine would have appeared different than his.

Instinctively, I asked him what's next, and he said he's very interested in pursuing wall-sized paintings.  It took many hours for me to hand-paint the skirt and jacket inspired by his work, so I immediately understood how intensive the process would be to paint a grid on a surface the size of a wall!   He also joked that perhaps a fashion line should be in the works.  I'd wear it!

Robert's work is on view at Hionas Gallery until May 26th.

Photos by Kathy Paciello.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

KUSAMA KIDS







My very favorite thing about Artfully Awear is seeing how others are inspired to create their own wearable art.  Leila and Jonah, along with their mother Stephanie, created these fabulous polka-dotted shirts for their visit to the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum. Stephanie said they were inspired by my Artfully Awear ensembles.  In her words, "The exhibit is so interactive already and interacting with your clothing brings it to the next level."  Have you ever seen a more adorable duo?!  It looks like Leila and Jonah had a blast wearing their Kusama shirts in her infinity rooms!

Have you created any wearable art?  I would love to see it!  Use the hashtag #ArtfullyAwear on social media to share your creations.


Monday, May 1, 2017

DESERTX






"Do you want to go to an art scavenger hunt in the desert?" Without hesitation, my friend Jayne responded, "I'm in!"

A few weeks ago, I flew out to Palm Springs from New York, and Jayne drove to the desert from her home in Los Angeles.  We immediately got to the task of locating sixteen different site-specific artworks, the Desert Exhibition of Art (or DesertX), which were sprinkled throughout the Coachella Valley. Our favorites are shown here: Tavares Strachan's I Am, Phillip K. Smith III, The Circle of Land and Sky, Doug Aitken's Mirage, and Claudia Comte's Curves and Zigzags, which I painted a dress to match.

The most fun part of the whole experience was driving through the desert to locate the works.  Even though the exhibition had a map, there was still some creative visualization involved in pinpointing the exact location of some of the pieces.  Being told to watch out for scorpions was another high point.  It was so interesting to see how the various artists created site-specifics works, and the different themes that emerged throughout.  All in all, it was a unique experience, and I'm looking forward to the next edition of Desert X!


Photos by Jayne Clark.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SUNFLOWERS




What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? –Vincent Van Gogh

There are a few artists that I love, but whose work I am afraid to try to recreate.  (Matisse is one of these artists.)  When the thing that inspires you is a masterpiece – something so beautiful and famous and even spiritual – it is unbelievably frightening to think that you may not be able to do it justice.  In preparation for my visit to Amsterdam, I began working on a jacket inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece, Sunflowers, 1889, which resides at the Van Gogh Museum.  I agonized for weeks before even starting the process, wondering if I’d be able to capture the essence of such a well-known and loved work of art.  In the end, I spent more time creating this piece than any other Artfully Awear project before.

On the day I was set to meet the painting, I arrived at the museum before it opened.  There was already a line of people outside waiting to get in.  Meri and I went inside, straight to the second floor, where the painting lives.  When the second door opened, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  There, on a wall to itself, was my inspiration in all its glory.  It was larger than I had pictured, even though I knew the measurements, and the colors and textures were even more vibrant and detailed than any photo could have shown.  I was overwhelmed.  After an emotional moment, we spent some time taking photos with the piece.  After the photoshoot was finished, with a museum employee before exploring the rest of the museum.

We discussed the way that social media has impacted the museum experience, and provides visitors and staff a multitude of new ways to engage with art and to share their experience with others.  I marveled at how I was inspired by a work of art that was three thousand miles away from my home, and how I was able to connect with it through digital images – but how important and meaningful it is to actually see the painting in real life.


Thank you to Meri for taking the photos, to the Van Gogh Museum for having me, and, of course, to Vincent for inspiring us long after his time on the earth.  

Photos by Meri Feir.





Tuesday, March 14, 2017

GUGGENHEIM VISIONARIES




There is a joke amongst my art-loving friends: if anyone asks "What's at the Guggenheim right now?" we always answer, "Kandinsky!"
Vasily Kandinsky is the artist I most closely associate with the museum, and for good reason: his work made up the initial collection that launched the Guggenheim to be what it is today.
In the current exhibition, Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim, the work of Kandinsky is seen alongside work by Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Alexander Calder, among others, whose presence in the collection established the museum as an elite institution.  The exhibition also delves into the history of the museum, and highlights some of the individuals who were necessary in building such a prestigious collection: Solomon R. Guggenheim, of course, but also Hilla Rebay, Justin K. Thannhauser, Karl Nierendorf, and Peggy Guggenheim.  It is an interesting curatorial perspective, one that is very institution-specific, and helped me to appreciate the museum's holdings in a much deeper way.

For this dress, I chose two works by Kandinsky: the front (not shown) is inspired by Several Circles (January - February 1926) and the back is inspired by Composition 8 (July 1923).  This is the first time I've combined multiple works into one garment, and it was fun to think about curating an outfit like one would curate an exhibition.

Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim is on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City until September 6, 2017.

Photos by Mark Rosen.