A moment of love, anticipation, self-love, longing and peace. Mark Bridges articulates the dress of Peppy Miller here played by Bérénice Bejo to stand out from the background curtains and wall. He designed/chose the dress with stripes and swirly motifs, of sequins in patterns which all separate her from the surroundings. Because the film was transferred into black and white, Mark Bridges had to be mindful of this phenomena so that depth and the dynamic use of space with figure is maintained visually and carries the story in an exciting way. Mark Bridges does this brilliantly.
Above is a black white collage of some ladies in contemporary 20’s fashion. I created it. The ladies are connected to the abstract trees. In this case I had to separate them away from their environment because the patterning that is in their garments is also in the trees. Close to camouflage. This is the opposite to what Mark Bridges had to resolve. His characters had to stand out in the sets at all times.
To freshen your memory, watch the trailer of THE ARTIST by Director Michel Hazanavicius if you can. You gotta love the 20’s style.
Patterns, simulated textures and odd juxtapositions are revealed here in quirky perspectives. Castle Diaz presents female beauty as a kind of half hollow statue where Rauschenberg meets Duchamp meets Vogue’s Erte with Art Deco flair. We certainly construct our identities with a relationship to our inherited past.
Whether the flora and fauna of the environment take over in ambiguous disguise
or if provocative hidden agendas trap our identity with pseudo disregard,
wouldn’t it be fun to just throw away all our knowing baggage and pretend we were something else, utterly?
According to Versace, women no longer have a role in the world of fantasy but are about the real world. Women have an obligation to show their strength, diverse beauty, and intelligence. Does fashion represent the woman differently today than it did ten years ago? In my opinion, back then, fashion was caught up with revealing our sexuality, and sensuality self-consciously. I think now, the crux is what we do with our empowered selves because sharing that power is what will make a difference. The alchemy between inhabiting clothing and audience will persuade new justices, new identities and therefore new tolerance and new inclusive liberation. Maybe this is what equality means.
Sounds like we better show ‘m how it’s done, be the present, and strut the future with our own voices.
A dream of mine is to costume dress and set design a film narrative or stage that takes place in the 20’s. That dream might be near or far, I don’t know, however in the meantime, I thought I would share some of my favorites from that time period. Now, if this dream doesn’t come true? Well, obviously I will then have to throw a 20’s dress up party. That would mean everyone who attends the ‘partay’ is living in a 20’s fantasy as well. Just for a sec let’s marry and attend a je ne sais quois Great Gatsby-esque kind of decadence.
Great Gatsby theme
It is close to summer, a time for weddings; the ideal party that grooves at every hour, into everlasting forevers.
1920’s wedding flapper dress
The drape, the fall, the span of form with accessory, the heavy with light fabrics and the slight contrapposto take us into the 20’s mood of dress.
vintage wedding dress
The details of pearls and appliqué, beads and feathers, the transparency and opaque, while loose and assembled offer a comfortable possibility and for the ‘partay’.
To indulge you a little bit of vintage silver screen hollywood is here. Yolan Cris is a remarkable fashion house in Barcelona http://www.yolancris.com/yolancris/us/
Her pose feels stiff and contrived, however her gown is more unfixed than those of today and carries a more detached allure. Ballet shoes might also indicate her identity with performance.
Like architectural space, the space of garment as container manipulates our behavior to move around in the world specifically. Garment is contingent upon context. Whether we are in the first photo or the one above sophistication and elegance is declared and has us piping a long cigarette in our satin robes lying languid on the couch in a never-ending daydream. Clearly we can’t wear athletic attire and arrive at the Carnegie smelling of sweat. What is appropriate or inappropriate become the codes of fashion that organizes our lives. If we decide to wear skirts, bodices, short or long hemlines, flared, sheath, slip, statement to gown dresses once again our behavior and the movement of our body will change depending on the occasion, the environment and our level of inner security.
Which time period would you see yourself in? Which cultural force do you identify with? Which figures would you like to have known? For me the allure of the 20’s is significant because women were freer from the constraints of history and the importance of the suffrage movement is radical. I would love to have been friends with the Lost Generation- F.Scott Fitzgerald, Earnest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, lived in an Art Deco house, painted with the Surrealists, and Expressionists. Even though the Great Depression was around the corner, the 20’s zeitgeist explored new extravagant lifestyles and supported the fervor around industrial progress. The appeal of the jazz buzz, the silent movies, the Charleston, the hair, Picasso, the travel all to lift humanity…and of course because of the recycling in fashion history, the fantasies of 20’s dress allows us to attend many more partay’s.
Free Floating Anxiety 1 thru 4 is one of a series of drawings soon to be silkscreened onto textiles for my upcoming robotic interactive installation. This continuous field is an amalgamation of various eco-systems colliding, overlapping and interrupting one another in open space. It reveals a shared world beneath the surface of life where biological, fungal, granular, mineral, and industrial shapes forge, float, bump and transform with one another.
FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 1
I marvel at the complexities of human and non-human eco-systems where the organic and industrial/artificial meet.
FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 2
FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 3
FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 4
This is my imaginary world of these probing interactions. Miraculously there seems to be space for all.
Below are a few designs for some upcoming garment installations…I am inspired by eco-systems in nature specifically here -fungal life…
Fungal design 1
fungal design 2
More updates to come, always in process, baby steps make life happen…
I don’t need to explain these incredible collections nor interpret them, you might see glimpses of the Cubists, a few riddles, ironies and the nonsensical, regardless marvel in the human genius of our creative spirits….pretty darn kool.
and then turn this one up really loud, lay back and enjoy the purity of the entire collection, you might even weep it is amazing…it just gets better and better…
and notice how the artist is present in the first and last…what do you make of that?
IN this last fashion performance there is something about the ‘ordering’ of human and space in our daily life. The day is a contemplation as much as it is an interaction of forces, how we land and inhabit our human form and feeling in space, the memories a space contains whether they are of shared or isolated experiences. Space has lightness as much as gravity. I am engrossed less with the fashion here than I am with the construction of mood and invisible space.
Do you think about your relationship to space? How do you feel in open spaces vs tight spaces vs cluttered spaces vs highly ordered minimal spaces? Perhaps in heavy spaces we feel the lightness of being and in airy spaces we feel incredibly grounded…
Proximity to one another and isolation from one another takes on a whole other set of psychological implications and I am not sure DRESS has anything to do with that other than it can externalize inner pressures and expressions of the self in the variety of environments we move thru daily.
‘Character’ uses a number of devices to reveal itself in narratives such as On the Waterfront and Moulin Rouge. Psychological tension, the allure of beauty and connection and the context of which time period, which social class, is it comedy or tragedy are all affiliated with the role of character.
With Terry and Edie the love scene is obvious, we want them together, it is just a matter of time in the story and on it goes. The pauses, gazing interest between them and background music seep into the longings of the viewer, there is no escape we are trapped by their iconic stature and beauty.
Moulin Rouge was fun too. The possibilities of love, those original feelings of exuberance always hit the heartstrings of the poet, the lover and eros the muse. Here there is no hidden psychological tension instead we glimpse at the full expression of love’s range, the impossibly true and fleeting, all externalized and shared to its audience.
For me Brando is real, complex, unpredictable while Moulin Rouge is addiction, potential, suffering and fantasy. Both equally powerful.
Costume Design carries the story. On the Waterfront boxer Brando wears his checkered coat and corduroy pants which in a black and white film add as much visual texture as his scarred eyebrow. Eva Marie Saint is incredibly feminine regardless of what she wears. Old black and whites don’t have to work hard in creating character, their cinematic elegance and simplicity keeps them in a genre of utter classiness.
In Moulin Rouge the colors, music, sets and costumery are outrageous and glorious.
When you reflect back on those seminal ‘love’ moments in your life, don’t they seem momentous, blinding and make you smile? and they take you right back to the exact time, place and people. It’s as if memory and our emotional responses to our experiences is the world of our soul.
Being human is a full experience. How rich we all are!
If you live in Central Vermont you are probably wondering where winter is. It will come soon enough and S’AMUSE wants you to know you will be prepared for when it does arrive. We have THE aviator cap you have been waiting for…wait I know…my daughter here is bummed there is no snow on the ground. We are doing our best to make the most of the sunshine, wet roads, outdoor soccer, and climbing trees.
It is pretty easy to order a cap all you have to do is head over to Etsy here https://www.etsy.com/shop/SAMUSE and order one. They come in olive, grey, hot red, deep cherry, denim blue, royal blue, caramel, and deep purple.
Did you know they have organic velour interiors? they are reversible, and buckling is antique brass.
You can wear other hats under, hoodies over and they are convenient to throw into a small purse.
Made locally in Vermont from friendly Italian leather yours will last you a lifetime.
All for $125!
It is best to order before December 15th on my Etsy site as shipping at this time of year is crazy.
Our hunger for the light; the colorful, the sacred and the inexplicable comes with the tethered inescapable agent of a dark absence; where we weather with loss, the profane and a greedy curiosity. A curiosity that nails a kind of truth to the human mirror; of countless illusions tormenting us with constant frequency upon our psyche daily. While we like to think we can navigate our ‘desires’ that come from an unconscious greedy curiosity, we more often migrate between one deceptive appearance or impression to the next. Humans aren’t that complicated. We devour at rapid rates which ironically begets ‘more’ into the world and our box of pleasures never empty. To sacrifice any of our sensorial world would surely send us to a symbolic grave.
When I study the work of Rina Banerjee I admire her display of this human predicament. We are rich and textured, specific and peculiar and really good at making life up. The work of our imaginations is elemental and necessary, after all humans wouldn’t survive without sharing a story or two. For this and to the artist I am forever grateful.
The world of Banerjee is both personal and cosmic. She offers a fluctuating, dynamic universe that makes disgust look enticing, beauty to look ugly, the intricate look impossible. There is a kind of hypnosis that overwhelms me. This is true of our culture; the superfluous is intoxicating to the point where we become dulled, stuck and fruitless. However, when I study how she relates and combines with materials I know that if any part of her work came undone, Shiva would burn me to ashes! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva The coordinating and arranging, the aligning and the assembling of materials is like she is uniting all the differences of the world together. Very refreshing.
“Yes, and I think it is really important for me to share the storm of the world – when you can’t really ‘know’ any place, all the while being bombarded by everything that is out there. There is a sucking, pushing, throwing and falling in the process. It is both dangerous and exciting that I definitely like to bring to my work.”http://www.aaa-a.org/programs/presentation-by-rina-banerjee/
Three dimensional compositions come with harmonizing around the diagonal axis of contrasting colors and materials. Ropes, feathers, lightbulbs, tusks, synthetics, dolls, toys convene and stare at us and not for no apparent reason. This is the material world humans have created to satisfy our never-ending needs of pleasure and survival. And, this is ART. The artificial and the natural. We aren’t looking at these materials from the context they come from, our minds have already understood those implied associations. She offers another ‘whole’ fairytale world, a kind of myth-making about our current predicament of living on this planet.
“Difference must leave its cave and cease to be monster, not a level thorny and pointed pierce to emasculate the persistence of powerful middle -fat and feathery finds fault with it neck, arm and ankle” 2013, 2 x 3 x 1.3′ Media: feather fans ,light bulbs, glass tiger’s eye, feather trim, steel, plastic basket, glass beads, thread, ruffle trim, acrylic horm, ceramic horn http://rinabanerjee.com/artwork/3572277_Difference_must_leave_its_cave_and.html
I love knowing the Taj Mahal is white marble and pure in India and must remain so forever, but for some reason sensing it in cherry red hits the inferno of desire, temptation and abandonment.
Often her figures and assemblage sculptures have eyes and perhaps a face and I think this is important. To a Minimalist in the history of art https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=minimalism&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 it is overkill but its effect reminds us that perhaps there is an inseparable animating force both terrifying and nurturing that migrates in materials, nature and human life. A force that reflects our inner world, a force to be sensed and perceived along with a larger all encompassing impersonal perspective. The eyes are nuanced with character, a friendly reminder of ourselves.
Lotions and potions like rivers where in quick motion, as well as essential oils and culture’s notions, where these cultures would once be locked in harbor or empires court now took ride on the global, opened themselves up to mysterious and foreign incantations (2010), mixed media. Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris/Brussels.
With the work of Rina Banerjee there are no exceptions, nothing is excluded between the awkward and hip, mad and gay, strange and status quo, low-fi and luxurious, etc discerning a place for ourselves is perhaps the journey.
Rina Banerjee. She was now in western style dress covered in part of Empires’ ruffle and red dress, had a foreign and peculiar race, a Ganesha who had lost her head, was thrown across sea until herself shipwrecked. A native of Bangladesh lost foot to root in Videsh, followed her mother full stop on forehead, trapped tongue of horn and grew ram-like under stress, 2011; cowrie shells, rooster feather, gourds, acrylic horns, ceramic balls, plastic netting, amber glass vials, violet glass bulbs, false glass doe eyeballs, silk and synthetic Lanvin ruffled red dress; 73 x 65 in. dia. (185.4 x 165.1 cm). Copyright Rina Banerjee. Image courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA.
I like to think that the purpose of art is no different than an invitation to an exquisite ball, rise to the occasion and mingle in the fantasy. You never know who you will run into. Dark or light that is super-natural.