The Japanese-born artist Mariko Mori, creates work featuring cybergeishas and other Manga-influenced characters. Moriko Mori has long made art characterized by a sci-fi sensibility that seems ineluctably linked to the city and the future. Her work also touches on a number of subjects like adolescent fantasy, narcissism, pop culture, religion & fashion.
Mori is fascinated by the way contemporary Japanese society balances technology, fantasy, and humanity. With an affectionate perspective on her native country, she explores the way fantasy and reality overlap in contemporary Japanese consciousness. Hers is a world where cartoon characters step out of comic books to stalk the real streets and real people withdraw from their grim routine to lose themselves in cartoon fantasies.
The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute, celebrates the late Alexander McQueen’s extraordinary contributions to fashion. From his Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final runway presentation, which took place after his death in February 2010, Mr. McQueen challenged and expanded the understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity. His iconic designs constitute the work of an artist whose medium of expression was fashion.
The Romantic Mind
Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims (MA Graduation Collection), 1992
Pink silk satin printed in thorn pattern lined in white silk with encapsulated human hair
“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”
McQueen doggedly promoted freedom of thought and expression and championed the authority of the imagination. In so doing, he was an exemplar of the Romantic individual, the hero-artist who staunchly follows the dictates of his inspiration. “What I am trying to bring to fashion is a sort of originality,” he said. McQueen expressed this originality most fundamentally through his methods of cutting and construction, which were both innovative and revolutionary.
Matthew Barney is the producer and creator of the “CREMASTER” films, a series of five visually extravagant works created out of sequence (“CREMASTER 4” began the cycle, followed by “CREMASTER 1,” etc.). The films generally feature Barney in myriad roles, including characters as diverse as a satyr, a magician, a ram, Harry Houdini, and even the infamous murderer Gary Gilmore. The title of the films refers to the muscle that raises and lowers the male reproductive system according to temperature, external stimulation, or fear. The films themselves are a grand mixture of history, autobiography, and mythology, an intensely private universe in which symbols and images are densely layered and interconnected. The resulting cosmology is both beautiful and complex.
Nicola Costantino was born in Rosario on November 17, 1964. While she attended the course of Fine Arts at the National University in Rosario, her interest in new artistic materials and techniques led her to research and work in craft workshops and factories. At ICI Duperial, she experimented with silicone molds and matrices on polyester resin apt for flexible polyurethane foam injection. Her skill in this technique proved decisive for the development of her work, and enabled her to achieve the real-object perception that would become characteristic of Nicola’s art. Since she was a teenager, Nicola had worked in her mother’s clothing factory. In that world of fashion, she developed her skill in clothing designs and patterns. In 1990, the rest of her family moved to Chile.
In 1995 she started to experiment with an almost exact copy of human skin made in silicone that she used for the production of her clothing. Also, she made her first coat with navels and human hair, which she herself wore during her frequent trips to New York and Los Angeles. Fashion, a topic that had been present throughout her life -along with consumption and the human body as a tool of seduction-, has finally become a recurrent theme in her work.
In 2003, she started her project Savon de Corps, with soaps made with a part of her own fat obtained from a liposuction. She held a solo exhibit of her Boutique at Senda Gallery, in Barcelona’s Paseo de Gracia, a street where the world’s most glamorous clothing brands are based, and other exhibition with her whole work at Casal Solleric, Palma de Mallorca, both in Spain.