So often artists set about conveying an idea without mastering the means. Not so with Alexander McQueen. He used his extreme mastery as a tailor to convert the runway into a gallery - his collections did not simply have inspirations and themes, they communicated so eloquently and dramatically.
From May 4th to July 31st, 2011, the Met is showcasing a retrospective of McQueen’s work entitled “Savage Beauty”.
McQueen’s words “It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle—everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.”
Alexander McQueen you left us way too soon.
Apart from being inspired by the wondrous result of McQueen emptying his fascinating mind onto the runway, we have been left with a stunning example of what can happen when an artist marries impeccable technical skill with ideas and creativity.
The enthusiasm needed to motivate someone (or a group of people) to hand paint and hang over 9,500 eggs in a tree might be what draws me to “OCD” art/creation. And it is impressive when you see Oksana Mas’s recreated renaissance paintings (15,000 hand painted eggs) and spheres (3,000 eggs).
It is complex, challenging, time-consuming, arguably unnecessary and illogical and the drive to create these pieces is one of my favourite things about humans.
O. Nick. Cave.
Meet Me At The Center Of The Earth. Seattle Art Museum. You have until June 5th. GO. Go now because you may need to go twice.
I had the book, so I knew what to expect, real is always so much more though and I was exhilarated. Walking among the fantastic “sound suits”, my awe started giving way to panic. Nick flings too much inspiration, too many ideas and Time started pressing on my head. There is just not enough time - although Nick seems to have a secret store (or many minions). His gorgeous, labour intensive creations have a variety of messages. A reaction to the Rodney King riots, Nick created his first soundsuit using twigs as fur for a manbeast. His other work talks about black culture, community, re purposing overlooked and forgotten objects and materials - many suits are conceived while sorting through diamonds-to-be in thrift stores.
In their own sound shirts we worked on to wear to the exhibition (their shirts really helped them anticipate and engage with the art), my small boys danced themselves dizzy along with the huge, energetic projections. In Nick’s suits of vivid, dyed human hair and raffia, people as wild shamanistic creatures dance, fall from the sky and roll themselves into massive woolly pompoms... GO.