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NEAR WHICH EXISTED

Photography by Anders Edström

Styling by Moreno Galatà

Model Emma Willow

From the latest issue of LURVE.

Lurve Consulting: Jay Z wears Riccardo Tisci x Nike AF1 sneakers

Lurve Consulting: Beyoncé wears Messika jewellery

Kai Altoff

 

Michael Werner Gallery

 

Kai Althoff, born 1966 in Cologne, currently lives and works in New York. For his first show with Michael Werner, Althoff will present a new body of work comprised mostly of paintings and drawings. Having turned into a heavily opinionated and high-strung personality, which seems to brood with anger that unloads fast, Kai Althoff wishes to create an antidote to this state of mind, by work that aesthetically calms the soul and seeks to feed a notion of shelter in an elegance reflecting the utilization of art in the homes of people with good taste and intellectual brilliance in times long passed. As soon as this notion seems to be satisfied, he starts to wrangle equally with the content and comfort and ultimate value of such work, which if successful, results in a void that defies words and emotions to be expressed without causing nausea. He seems to wish his art to embody the hefty balance between spirituality and adornment. But spirituality and adornment are no enemies, - rather both are to discover their natural unification within the feeble attempt to make life bearable.

 

For more information please visit: http://michaelwerner.com/exhibition/3309/press

MATTHEW BARNEY: CROWN ZINC

 

Sadies Cole 

 

In his third exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ, Matthew Barney presents a series of new sculptures. They have their origins in his 2014 film River of Fundament, a six-hour tour de force which premiered at the English National Opera this summer to wide acclaim. Each work condenses the film’s dominant themes – death, rebirth, and the twilight era of modern America – into totemic sculptural form, while invoking the complex personal iconography that Barney has developed over his twenty-year career.

 

Featuring an operatic score by Jonathan Bepler, River of Fundament transports the myth-laden narrative of Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings (1983) – itself based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead – into a contemporary American setting. The transmigration of the human soul (principally Mailer’s own) is symbolised by three iconic American cars: a 1967 Chrysler Imperial, a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, and a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. Each vehicle formed the centrepiece of an epic outdoor performance – staged between 2008 and 2013 in Los Angeles, Detroit and New York respectively – in which it underwent deconstruction and transformation echoing the distribution of Osiris’s body parts in Egyptian mythology.

 

Barney’s sculptures translate motifs from River of Fundament into autonomous works of art, bearing witness to these set-piece performances while recasting their themes of decay, regeneration and alchemical metamorphosis. Crown Victoria is a zinc cast of the third vehicle’s undercarriage, the prototype for which was created in an elaborate hieratic ceremony, BA (performed in New York in 2013). Sprawling and skeletal, it emanates the melancholic grandeur of an abandoned ruin or sarcophagus. Loops of corrugated tubing, arrayed like ribs along the chassis, evoke mummified remains; a large coiling pump speaks simultaneously of biological systems and insensate machinery. Marooned on blocks, the object stands both as a decimated vehicle and a body undergoing reincarnation: deposits of salt crystals at the two ‘poles’ of the sculpture seemingly presage a new transmutation.

 

In Crown Zinc a smaller fragment of the same vehicle has been cast in zinc and plated with gold. It is modelled on the grill from the Crown Victoria – an object that travels and transfigures over the course of River of Fundament. After being removed from the police car, it becomes the crown for which the Egyptian deities Set and Horus ritualistically compete. At several points in River of Fundament, a vehicle part is melted to produce a molten cast of an Egyptian Djed column (the symbol for Osiris’s spine, related to the Egyptian hieroglyph representing eternity and stability). This symbol finds a subtle manifestation in the mottled gold ‘pillar’ that clings like a shrunken fist or arcane seal to the immaculate plated surface of Crown Zinc.

 

Was takes the form of a vitrine containing a silver crow bar laid against a tubular mass of sulphur. The crow bar figured prominently in the stand-off between Set and Horus. This assemblage encapsulates the antithesis between creation and destruction that pervades River of Fundament: the crow bar appears simultaneously to carve out and chip away at the ‘raw substrate’ of the luminous green sulphur, sculpting it in the same moment as assailing it. Such a dualism inevitably recalls other cycles of production and destruction – from the geological to the corporeal. Referring to Mailer’s novel, Barney has commented that “you have elemental waste coming from the earth like sulfur, molten iron … [These] elements are interchangeable with the waste products of the body.” The show will include two new sculptures, Head of Norman III and Head of Young Hathfertiti, created using the ‘water casting’ process whereby molten metal is poured directly into water. The heads’ unique contours form naturally as the zinc cools and hardens in the water. Combining ancient methods of casting and gilding with emblematic materials – zinc, gold, crystals, silver, sulphur – Barney’s latest works reach into the murky recesses of ancient history and the human psyche. Within their spectacles of metamorphosis, his enduring artistic concerns – whether with alchemy or occultism, vitality or waste, eros or thanatos – well into view.

 

For more information please visit: http://www.sadiecoles.com/press/176

Mario merz 

 

Pace Gallery

 

Pace London, in collaboration with Fondazione Merz, is honoured to present a momentous exhibition of the late Italian artist Mario Merz from 26 September to 8 November 2014 at 6 Burlington Gardens. Featuring works from the 1960s to 2003, this retrospective marks the first major UK gallery staging of the artist’s work in more than twenty years and Pace’s first exhibition of Merz’s work.

Merz reacted against the dominant trends in art from the 1950s and 1960s, rejecting the mythic aspirations of movements like Abstract Expressionism in favour of a more grounded art rooted in simple materials and nature, prompting his inclusion in Italy’s loosely organised Arte Povera movement. Merz’s presiding interest throughout his career was the transformation of materials by placing them in contact with alternate forces of energy, drawing his art into a more organic state. “I work from the emotions I get from the archetypal structure that cancels the material. Then, once I have procured the object I try to take possession of its structure with my hands, arranging it in various positions till I feel it is in unison with me physically…,” Merz said. “In fact the point of my work is to regain possession of ‘things’, by avoiding filling them out with projections, and to keep their limited but individual primary presence alive in myself.” This preoccupation—what curator Harald Szeeman called Merz’s “interior necessity”—inspired the range of Merz’s formal motif, including the igloo, nature, tables, neon lighting, and the Fibonacci sequence, all of which feature in the exhibition.

The exhibition’s centerpiece is Spostamenti della Terra e della Luna su un Asse (Movements of the Earth and the Moon on an Axis) (2003), a three-domed installation and the final igloo he made. Merz began constructing igloos in 1968 using a variety of materials, and this particular one combines many of these earthen and industrial objects—metal rods, neon, clamps, clay, glass and stone—in its tripartite structure. Merz’s igloos are among his most iconic works, providing a free-standing and independent form to affect material energies, however impermanent or precarious they may be. “For him it is the act of building, not the finished structure that is meaningful. Building is a journey through the territory he works in, so his process is determined by the conditions he finds, his materials—whether man-made or natural—depend upon what is locally available,” wrote curator Germano Celant.

The artist’s interest in light and energy found its most enduring expression in his use of neon tubes. Merz employed neon lights on materials such as bottles, synthesizing the industrial qualities of the tube with the chemical and its immaterial radiance. In Igloo con vortices (Igloo with Vortex) (1981), on public view for the first time since his 1989 retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Merz placed a blue neon light amidst a swath of bundled brushwood leaning against a mixed media rendering of a cone and dome. “The neon is experienced as an energetic flux or spear of light that passes through the object, thus destroying the idea of the solidity of the object,” wrote Celant. “Punctured by the neon, the object becomes annulled as an icon but it is redefined as material; the neon abandons its own physicality and becomes light.”

Merz also used neon in Linea (Line) (1991), a work that straddles the line between painting and sculpture, depicting the first nineteen terms of the Fibonacci sequence in blue neon on a raw canvas suspended from a metal frame. The mathematical sequence, in which each term is determined by the sum of the two previous values, became a hallmark of the artist’s practice for its resonance with both the spiral and nature, as many interlocutors have cited Fibonacci’s sequence as mirroring organic patterns. Spirals recur in several works in the exhibition, including the sprawling, installation Une Ouvrée, une mesure de terre qui donne un portrait bien terrestre (1986), a rectilinear spiral of mesa-like concrete blocks and firewood on view on the gallery’s second floor. The spiral functioned as an allegory for growth and development, spawning outward to grow and incorporate more space, but also change its form and energy. “If you make an assemblage, you create a sort of concentrated power that transmits a naturally more optic emotion, but also a feeling of presence.” The spiral echoes the tables Merz made and painted throughout his career, which served as a stage for his assemblages but also connected to broader formal and conceptual ideas of line and space. “I reject linear, one by one, or assembly-line fabrication of spaces. I reject the idea that there can be a fixed number of people in a space,” Merz wrote in 1973.

The exhibition includes sculptures and works on paper that express some of his most enduring motifs. Merz’s interest in art emerged during his imprisonment in 1945, while detained for anti-Fascist activities he began regularly drawing spiraling forms without lifting his pen from the page. These activities combined with his reaction against the Italian state informed his desire to defy the status quo of art through a turn toward simpler materials and imagery. The works on paper, although drawn from various points in his life, speak to Merz’s sustained investment in the ideas that inspired his art, depicting spirals as well as organic form with a range of materials and objects such as raincoats, which became a hallmark of many of his mixed media and two-dimensional works. These works, and the exhibition as a whole, attest to his pursuit of a distinctive and avant garde project steeped in new ways of making art. Merz said, “I think that everything has already been destroyed and, as far as I’m concerned, I want to put things right again, really clean things out.” 

 

For more information please visit: http://www.pacegallery.com/london/exhibitions/12688/mario-merz

kerry james marshall: look see 

 

David Zwirner Gallery

 

With a career spanning almost three decades, Marshall is well known for his paintings depicting actual and imagined events from African-American history. His complex and multilayered portrayals of youths, interiors, nudes, housing estate gardens, land- and seascapes synthesize different traditions and genres, while seeking to counter stereotypical representations of black people in society. Engaging with issues of identity and individualism, he frequently depicts his figures in an extreme opaque, black colour, which stylizes their appearance while being a literal and rhetorical reference to the term black and its diametric opposition to the white “mainstream.” With art history today acknowledged as having been written from the perspective of white Western artists, Marshall assimilates the limitations and contradictions inherent in its styles, subjects, and chronologies, creating highly personalised works that appear recognisable and unfamiliar at the same time.

Marshall also produces drawings in the style of comic strips, as well as sculptural installations, photography, and video. Like his paintings, these works accumulate various stylistic influences to address the historiography of black art, while at the same time drawing attention to the fact that they are not inherently partisan because their subjects are black.

For his first show with David Zwirner, Marshall will present new paintings that collectively examine notions of observing, witnessing, and exhibiting. While central to the relationship between viewer and artwork, these overarching concepts are typically steeped in conventions that render them passive acts. Yet, Marshall’s works subtly defy genre expectations and invite idiosyncratic, often ambiguous interpretations. Entitled Look See, the exhibition takes its point of departure in the etymological difference between looking and seeing, which embodies varying degrees of attentiveness. While “looking” is generally understood to be a removed, detached action, “seeing” involves perception and making connections between elements.

Works on view depict a series of characters amid ornate backdrops and dressed in outfits designed specifically for the paintings over a period of several years. Many emphasize the idea of display, such as Untitled (Crowning Moment), Marshall’s portrait of a young woman wearing an elaborate headband—based on a news photograph of a contestant putting on the winning crown at a beauty pageant—and Untitled (Beach Towel) in which the reclining female in a garden setting looks past the viewer to a camera not visible in the composition. In Untitled (Club Couple), a smiling couple poses blatantly as the male figure implicates the viewer in his plans by showing a small box with an engagement ring behind his girlfriend’s back. The exhibitionism inherent in such paintings—putting oneself on view—echoes the notion of pure presentation that runs throughout the artist’s new works. Marshall’s characters offer themselves to be looked at or are actively engaged with looking at something, including themselves.

Untitled (Mirror Girl), correspondingly, can only be seen in a mirror, where she appears to pose for her own enjoyment. In Untitled (Pink Towel), no indication is given to the identity of the woman, nude except for a towel that she holds up to casually cover her body. Looking straight at the viewer, her tilted head and pearl earring can be seen to imbue the everyday scene with an art-historical reference to Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s well-known portrait Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665).

In the large-scale Untitled (Studio), Marshall depicts the process of a model having her portrait painted. The messy paints smattered across the table, floor, and even the resting dog further offer a metaphor for the staged nature of each of the works. The sense of fabrication is underscored by the unconventional clothing worn by most of the characters, created for the series as for a play or a movie. Yet while their peculiar combination of realism and fiction can be seen to connect the works conceptually—and also defines an immediacy rarely found in contemporary painting—each retains a singularity that seems to suggest that nothing has come before it. In Untitled (Blot), a single abstract canvas, also on a large scale, underscores the delicate link between representation and the real world more generally. As with Marshall’s wider oeuvre, fabrication here becomes linked to the realisation that the history of art as we know it is itself a construction of particular cultural and political perspectives, and always open to reinvention.

 

For more info please visit: http://www.davidzwirner.com/exhibition/kerry-james-marshall-2/

ANTEROOM

Photography by Andrea Artemisio

Styling by Carolina Prada Bianchi

Model Izabella Bielawska

From the latest issue of LURVE.

Paul mccarthy: ws sc

 

Hauser & Wirth London

 

Paul McCarthy, one of the most provocative and influential voices in multimedia, sculpture and performance art, unveils new paintings in his first exhibition devoted to the medium since the 1980s. McCarthy’s paintings represent the latest iteration of two major ongoing projects within his multidisciplinary practice: White Snow and Stagecoach. In both series, archetypal American narratives are pitched against human drives and desires, and examined with McCarthy’s characteristic wit and subversion. Informed by his own tradition of improvised performance, scatological performative practices are played out on the canvas in a charged, gestural painting style motivated by material experimentation and psychological processes.

The White Snow project began as a suite of drawings in 2009, which drew on the fairytale Snow White and explored the multilayered references within the original German folk story and its commercialised 20th century versions. The series has since evolved into a multi-platform narrative of McCarthy’s own making, incorporating sculpture, performance and the epic installation ‘WS’, presented at the Park Avenue Armory, New York in 2013. In the WS paintings, McCarthy restages moments from his ‘WS’ performance and invents new scenarios entirely, recasting familiar characters in unfamiliar guises.

McCarthy combines his two central motifs with the language of painting as subject matter in itself, invoking the art historical canon as a framework for his narratives; in two paintings, McCarthy reworks the formal compositions of Edouard Manet’s ‘Le déjeuner sur l’herbe’ (1863) and ‘Olympia’ (1863). White Snow, usually a paragon of feminine virtue, is depicted as a garishly made-up, despoiled protagonist. In ‘WS, Dior’, McCarthy casts White Snow as Manet’s Olympia, but here she is an assertive figure aware of her seductive power as she regards a moustachioed character resembling Walt Disney in the foreground. Walt Disney continuously reappears as a character within McCarthy’s WS series as the pathetic and semi-autobiographical figure Walt Paul. Formally figured as Michaelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ (1498 – 1499), McCarthy creates a caricature of Christ in the arms of the Virgin Mary in the painting ‘WS, Christies’, where the central characters are replaced by farcical renderings of Walt Paul and White Snow and the gender roles are reversed.

Stagecoach is McCarthy’s second long-term project, based on the film of the same name, a 1939 American Western starring John Wayne. The movie follows a group of strangers travelling across the United States in a stagecoach pursued by Apache Indians. Here, McCarthy uses the Western as a recognisable structure from which to form alternative interpretations; the SC works focus on social interaction between the genders and ‘saloon girls’ reappear as central characters. A repeated castration theme is conveyed through textual references scrawled across the paintings like a mantra: ‘CUT OFF THE HEAD / CUT OFF THE PENIS’.

The Western genre is central to American masculine identity, and here McCarthy restructures reality using Hollywood’s tactics. He alludes to classic icons of martyrdom whilst exploiting film stars as characters in a sexual vaudeville. ‘SC, Leonardo DiCaprio’ can be read as a profane version of St. Sebastian, as the composition centres around a figure with hands tied symbolically behind its head and with legs spread wide. McCarthy employs a wealth of art historical references to render his figures as powerless and impotent; even the horse, conventionally deployed as a symbol for military prowess, is represented here limp and pink, barely capable of supporting his charge. Together, the SC paintings function as unscripted storyboards in which McCarthy reverberates between the central Stagecoach motif and male icons of the film industry in a series of sexual dreamscapes which form a starting point for a future Stagecoach performance and film.

McCarthy employs collage throughout these paintings, uniting a host of seemingly unconnected reference material such as ripped fragments of high-fashion magazines, images sourced from the Internet and three-dimensional objects including synthetic wigs, a pair of boots, a coffee table and soft toys that are wedged forcefully through the surface of his paintings. Within these works, McCarthy expertly weaves the history of painting with contemporary motifs in dramatic scenes that expose latent desire and exploit the uncomfortable space where childhood innocence meets adult knowledge.Exhibited alongside his paintings, a room of Hauser & Wirth’s Savile Row gallery is devoted to new drawings related to both White Snow and Stagecoach.

 

For more information visit: http://www.hauserwirth.com/exhibitions/2252/paul-mccarthy-ws-sc/view/

Pierre HuyGhe: in.border.deep

 

Hauser & Wirth London

 

Hauser & Wirth is excited to announce Pierre Huyghe’s inaugural exhibition with the gallery. Huyghe works across media to create situations, cutting through time and boundaries, highlighting concepts of separation. ‘IN. BORDER. DEEP’ features all new work including film, site-specific sculpture, and a series of aquariums. Viewed as a whole, the exhibition reveals a chronology which spans 30 million years until the present day.

The starting point in the exhibition’s overarching chronology is a film in which Huyghe uses macro- and micro-scopic cameras to record insects encased in amber. It is a navigation through stone, in search of the earliest known specimen caught mid-copulation 30 millions years ago. The audio of Huyghe’s motion control camera whirring has been retained and heightened, a soundtrack that recalls the sensation of a mechanical shuttle. In these consecutive frames Huyghe explores an instant frozen in time.

A primitive stone tool lies in sedimentation on the gallery floor, marking the origin of man and the development of rudimentary engineering. For the site-specific work ‘The Clearing’, situated on the gallery’s far wall, Huyghe has mechanically sanded down layers of paint from the wall’s surface to reveal expanses of colour that had previously been covered over. Huyghe’s interest extends beyond the line and colour created by ‘The Clearing’ and into the geological formation of the wall; the limestone in the resulting deposit refers back to the particles that emerge from human remains. Huyghe explores the wall as a living artefact, and highlights the perpetual transformation of the gallery as a sphere.

Three aquariums placed in the gallery contain biotopes transplanted from Monet’s ponds in Giverny, the geo-engineered site made in 1893 and the subject matter of his ‘Nymphéas’ paintings. The water lilies floating on the surface of Huyghe’s ponds can be viewed constantly. The sides of the aquariums are encased in switchable glass that conceals their contents, then randomly exposes the living organisms that lie under the surface of the painted subject. Unlike Huyghe’s previous aquariums, the focus of these pieces is the sunken man-made objects that have been modified over time by natural elements. The lighting sequence for the aquariums is programmed according to a fast-paced rendering of the variations in weather conditions as recorded at Giverny between 1914 and 1918, when Monet painted the ‘Nymphéas’, now situated in the Musée de l’Orangerie. The sequence for each aquarium spans a specific, symbolic length of time: the shortest day of the year in 1914, the autumn of 1917 and the entire four-year period.

Upon entering the gallery space, the viewer encounters a reclining figure, a concrete cast of part of a monument originally created for an exhibition in 1931. In its current state, the sculpture is headless and overgrown with moss. It contains an internal heating device that roughly mirrors the human circulatory system, encouraging the growth of vegetation. The viewer is able to sense a body temperature emanating from the sculpture’s surface.

The ‘Human Mask’ film is inspired by a real situation in Japan, in which a monkey – wearing the mask of a young woman – has been trained to work as a waitress. The film opens with footage of the deserted site of Fukushima in 2011, the camera functioning as a drone scaling the wreckage. This is followed by scenes of the monkey alone in her habitat, silhouetted against the empty, dark restaurant. In this dystopian setting, an animal acts out the human condition, trapped, endlessly repeating her unconscious role.

 

For more information visit: http://www.hauserwirth.com/exhibitions/2232/pierre-huyghe-br-in-br-border-br-deep/view/

Andro wekua: Some pheasants in singularity

 

Sprüth Magers London

 

For his first exhibition with Sprüth Magers, Andro Wekua will transform the London gallery by installing a wall constructed of rough breeze blocks, partially obscuring the view into the space through the large bay window. While from the exterior the blocks will be untreated and exposed, the interior side of the wall will have a smooth white surface as if to disguise it from within, allowing the wall to blend seamlessly into the interior space. Within the gallery, Wekua will suspend from the ceiling a life-sized sculpture of an androgynous adolescent.


Known for his uncanny evocations of architecture and memory through exhibitions that imply a non-linear narrative, Wekua here creates a psychologically charged interior. A figure, at once robotic and lifelike, is isolated in a clean gallery space, behind a forbidding block wall that restricts the view to the outside world. The device from which the figure hangs suggests a playground swing, yet he or she hangs in a physically impossible position. Wekua poses questions about interior and exterior, private and public space, performance and imprisonment, revelling in an ambiguity that serves to provoke the viewer’s imagination.


The exhibition will also feature a group of paintings that combine portraiture, abstraction and figuration. Whether the characters in the paintings relate to the sculpture is unclear, and Wekua invites us to make our own connections through his work. 

 

For more information visit: http://www.spruethmagers.com/exhibitions/370

WEDDING DRESSES 1775-2014

 

The Victoria & Albert Museum

 

Want to see some of the most impressive and famous wedding dresses? Then make sure you head to the V&A now or before March 2015. With individual styles of the wedding dress created by designers such as Vera Wang, Charles Fredrick Worth, Gareth Pugh and John Galliano. 

 

There is a wedding dress for every woman, whether it’s Margaret Whigham, Harriet Joyce, Kate Moss, Katie Shillingford or the Duchess of Cambridge. Women with particular taste. Silk, gold, purple, silver, white, hat or veil, Dolce & Gabbana or Chanel shoes. What’s more interesting is what’s happening around them at the time, to influence the design of the dress. Who designed their dress? How long did that beading take? What material was used? 

 

From big hips, skinny skinny waists pulled in by magical corsets to loose, no corsets and avant-garde styles. The exhibition presents the changes in style due to social and political changes around the brides at the time. For instance, due to sexual freedom and women’s rights progressing, the 1960’s saw young British designers creating designs and shapes that had never been seen before.

 

Katie Shillingford’s dress was by far my favourite. Maybe because it was something you would never imagine to be a wedding dress. The dress hanged so delicately and mystically like candle wax dripping off her body along with a veil (by Stephen Jones) knotted at the top into two ponytail’s.

 

The exhibition presents innovation for the wedding dress and shows us how the 21st century wedding dress could be almost anything. A 60s style gogo dress or a grey, gothic elegant evening gown. The wedding dress is something that will always be around but will continue to evolve along with cultural change.

 

Go see for yourself the exquisite designs and dress making by Charles James, Christian Lacroix, Gareth Pugh, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano. Time to appreciate their hard work and vision.

 

Full price admission £12.00, for more information visit http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/wedding-dress-1775-2014/

 

Article by by Bronwyn Stemp

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MANISH ARORA & ALCANTARA: DREAM MAKERS

 

Alcantara, the Italian brand of a unique proprietary technology material which combine aesthetic, technical and sensory qualities mostly used in the car and fashion industry, set up a collaboration with one of the most esteemed names in Paris fashion week and ex Paco Rabane artistic director : the Indian designer Manish Arora. We met him and M. Andrea Boragno, CEO of Alcantara at the Paris Motor Show where they present « Life is Beautiful », the installation of their collaboration.

 

You both define your works and yourselves as dreamers. « Can you imagine ? », « Can you dream ? » and « Indulge your imagination with an extraordinary material that offers infinite possibilities of expression » are the catch phrases of Alcantara. Manish Arora you said once that your work was about fantasy, about a dream and about what you feel. Then, we saw you both doing a fashion show at a car show : Alcantara at the last Car Design Night in Beijin and Manish Arora at the Buddh International Circuit in India. So seeing you two working together at the Paris Motor Show 2014 is not really surprising, but still…

 

Why this collaboration, and how do this come together ?

 

A.B : We met very recently and we discovered that it will be a way to fit together, because we saw his creativity and we thought that from with his creativity could have come a very interesting possibility of interpretation of Alcantara.

 

M.A : Alcantara is a material which everybody knows about and I think they were the one who invented the suede, which is still I think the most material on it’s own. I think it’s a thing that nobody could ever compete with. And they met me, they were looking for installation or something like that for the car exhibit but when we met is when we realized we got along well and we thought it was good to create something which is happy because I think the brand itself is a very family brand.

 

For you, how is fashion related to cars ?

 

M.A : Because they are the common factor. Alcantara is the common factor between cars and fashion.

 

A.B : Many car brands, they are looking for the connexion with fashion. I think about Mercedes with his fashion week. All the fashion shows all over the world, and many of the very important brands, they are looking for a trend in the industry that has became a lifestyle. So, as a matter of fact, we have an extremely important presence in automotive industry, especially in this part of the market. But we also are in fashion because it’s important.

 

Manish Arora, we’ve seen you use your creativity in fashion and some previous collaboration as Monoprix, Swatch or Nespresso, but never yet for Art itself as an installation, why this choice ?

 

M.A : Because they asked me. It’s as simple as that.

 

Your installation which represents a house is called « Life is Beautiful », and happiness is a major theme in your work in fashion. Why is this so important ? What is your definition of happiness ?

 

M.A : Happiness can be something very basic. Happiness can be a new pillow cover before you sleep, I think that’s happiness. But to put that across, I thought if they got me in the project, my ideology of « Life is Beautiful » works like that. Even if we have bad days we still work thinking. And I thought it was the best way to do this project to bring some happiness in it. I think everybody needs happiness these days.

 

Positive psychology says that we think we first have to get succes in order to be happy, but that in fact it´s the exact opposite, you have to get happiness to then be successful. Are you a supporter of this philosophy? Are you trying to make people happy through your work?

 

M.A : That was a very complicated question. All I can say is I think that happiness comes before being rich or poor and you can be poor and happy.

 

Article by Alexandra Lefevre

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