Chainsawing Their Way Into The Windows Of Barneys-------
Last night, the chainsaws were going full-throttle at Barneys New York’s midtown window display studio. The six artists who make up Paintallica—roughly an art-world supergroup, comprising six more or less core members and a variety of guest stars, who join forces every so often to install themselves in a space and not leave until a piece is completed—were hacking away at giant tree trunks, which are to end up, eventually, in Barneys’ 60th Street windows. The artists and the retailer invited Style.com in for a peek behind the scenes.
The occasion for the displays: the debut of Adam Kimmel’s collaborative collection with workwear wonks at Carhartt. The collection will share one window with the Paintallica creation and one with a piece being installed by California artist George Herms. Both Dan Attoe (above), the de facto spokesperson for Paintallica, and Herms are Kimmel stalwarts. Last season, Kimmel collaborated with Attoe on a Pacific Northwest-inspired collection, as well as a film to screen alongside it. And Herms (below is one of the grizzled, grand old men of American art who modeled the collection Kimmel showed at Pitti Uomo in 2008, and later appeared in his lookbook.
“He was working a few years ago on a line based on the Beat generation. Tony Shafrazi said, you know, Adam, one of these guys is still wandering around the hills of California, so he sent him out to Dennis Hopper and Dennis sent him to me,” Herms explained. For his window, he is creating saturated collages, culled from magazine images, over which he’s laying melted metal sculptures he calls “barbecued moon rocks” (below). At a party tonight for finishing touches before the windows go up on Thursday, Herms will be barbecuing smaller versions made from DVDs over hot plates.
Paintallica’s, too, was in the early stages of completion at the beginning of a long night. “It’s a lot of improvisation,” Attoe admitted. “It’ll come together as we’re working on it.” The department store display is a new medium for the artist, as it is for Herms. “This is our first store window,” said the outdoorsmanly Attoe, who befriended Kimmel over chopper-riding, four-wheeling, and shooting. “I don’t know if it’ll be a recurring thing for us—I kinda doubt it.”