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August 22 2014

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7 posts tagged "Laurie Simmons"

Inside Duro Olowu’s World of Rebellion

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Duro Olowu
Duro Olowu

Two years ago, London-based designer Duro Olowu brought a collection of globally sourced inspirations to Salon 94′s Freeman Alley space. The wares were combed from all over the world—from his birthplace in Lagos, Nigeria, to the quieter corners of his adopted hometown—and included such cherished ephemera as vintage Parisian Deco wallpaper and feather-lined lamps from Uganda.

Now Olowu is expanding upon his 2012 show with More Material, an exhibition that opened last night at Salon 94 on the Bowery and brings together works from the likes of Carrie Mae Weems, Juergen Teller, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, and more, alongside colorfully curated home items from vintage dealers near and far.

“The show is really an extension of my last show,” related Olowu. “[This time] I really wanted to show the rebellious side of women, the way they’re represented, and the way they represent themselves with elegance—elegant rebellion.”

Duro Olowu

Swooping fashion illustrations by Antonio Lopez (“They’re very, very alluring without being vulgar—a new rebellion,” noted Olowu) rest alongside documentary street photography from Sandy Kim (“I just see a cool tomboy who wants to have fun”) and more overtly political/feminist-leaning works from Weems, Sherman, and others. As in the case of the original rendition, there’s also a shop selling new Duro Olowu pieces, as well as artworks—a Lopez, a Lorna Simpson—and hand-selected vintage house and jewelry objects.

“It’s going to be up for a month and a half, and I’d love for people to experience the beauty and integrity of the incredible mix of artists and ceramics and great jewelry and just feel empowered,” said the designer. “I’d like young girls, older women, and middle-aged ladies to feel empowered by wanting to be individual.”

Photos: Courtesy Photos

Charlotte Olympia Steps Up for Art

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CHARLOTTE OLYMPIA and GAGOSIAN GALLERY Present Stepping Up For Art

Last night at the Gagosian Gallery’s Madison Avenue space, twenty of Charlotte Olympia’s signature Dolly shoes were radically reinterpreted for the sake of art. Aptly dubbed Stepping Up for Art, the exhibit—on view for three days—saw twenty contemporary artists including Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Sachs, and George Condo (above) use the high-heeled platform as a blank canvas.

The project’s chief architect was not the brand’s London-based designer, Charlotte Dellal—although she was in attendance and in utter awe of her refashioned platforms—but 16-year-old India Wolf, the daughter of artist Maya Lin and collector Daniel Wolf.

“India approached me after having seen the hand-painted shoes I had done at Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbour during Art Basel Miami—they were painted in the style of contemporary 20th-century artists like Picasso—and she said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we actually did them with living artists in their own way rather than imitating?’ I thought it was a fantastic idea,” offered Dellal.

One year later, Wolf, with some help from her parents (“They advised me in the beginning about how to write the proper letters and how to ask the right people,” she said), was able to secure the participation of leading contemporary artists. Shoes were slashed by Sarah Sze, burned by Tom Sachs, bound by Christo, and photographed by David Levinthal. She also partnered with Studio in a School, a nonprofit organization that promotes arts education in New York City’s underfunded public schools.

Five schools—including PS 196 Bronx, PS 45 Queens, PS 16 Staten Island, PS 39 Brooklyn, and PS 75 Manhattan—also contributed their inventive Dollys to the show. “The kids’ work is so surprising, they don’t disappoint, either,” offered Thomas Cahill, president and CEO of Studio in a School. “That’s one of the lovely things about [Stepping Up for Art], the process and the respect for their work is mirrored by the whole respect that the Gagosian gallery has…these kids will have the memory of this forever.”

For Wolf, this night would surely be more memorable than prom. The Dalton sophomore and toast of the party wore Charlotte Olympia’s blank-canvased Dollys paired with a Spring ’14 Mary Katrantzou graphic print dress. “I’d love to work in art and fashion when I’m older,” she said, later citing Oscar de la Renta and Christopher Kane as two of her favorite designers. “I mean, I don’t wear their clothes. They’re too expensive,” she said with youthful modesty. “Half of my wardrobe is J.Crew and Madewell.”

Mint Your Own Minter

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RxArt's new coloring bookThe nonprofit RxArt is dedicated to bringing art into hospitals and health care facilities to raise patients’ spirits. But it’s nice to remember that the charity doesn’t observe only the see-but-don’t-touch approach to fine art. In addition to commissioning installations, RxArt also publishes an annual coloring book, illustrated with line drawings from such artists as Marilyn Minter, Laurie Simmons, Richard Prince, and Christian Marclay, to distribute to the younger clients it serves. This year’s edition, sponsored by Warby Parker, includes peel-off stickers by Ai Weiwei and a pair of cutout glasses by Parker, too. Want to get your hands on one? In addition to being donated to children in RxArt’s participating facilities, it is also sold to benefit the organization on RxArt.com and at Warby Parker outlets nationwide beginning November 13. Minter’s and Simmons’ pages debut exclusively here. A little crayoning goes a long way.

Marilyn Minter's pages from the new RxArt coloring book

Illustrations: Marilyn Minter, Courtesy of Warby Parker

Light Bright: James Turrell Opens at the Guggenheim

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James Turrell's Aten ReignFor the past fifty-some years, James Turrell has been manipulating light to dramatic—and quite often hallucinatory—effect. His magnum opus, for instance, the thirty-five-years-in-the-making (and counting) Roden Crater , turns Flagstaff’s volcanic crater into a celestial observatory. A recent work in Las Vegas gives CityCenter’s Louis Vuitton boutique a neon-lit makeover, and his latest effort, dubbed Aten Reign, converts Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Guggenheim Museum into a mesmerizing neon-lit vortex.

“The show has been in development for about six years, and it was a very complicated construction and design process,” explained associate curator Nat Trotman from the base of the Guggenheim’s rotunda, which has been transformed into a spiraling, shimmering kaleidoscope of shifting color-fields. “This building is very idiosyncratic—you can’t just build anything here.”

The installation makes specific use of the Guggenheim’s soaring, elliptical curves and skylight, adding aluminum plates encased with PVC-covered LED lights to Wright’s base to give the space the feel of a giant, tripped-out lamp. Usually covered with art, the walls are stripped bare, and the viewer is left to look up and take in a seductive, hypnotizing loop of vibrant, alternating blues, greens, pinks, purples, and so on. And at the exhibition’s opening last night, guests such as Ralph Lauren, Francesco Clemente, Jenny Holzer, Laurie Simmons, and Agathe Snow wandered the museum’s ramps, sipping champagne while taking in the multicolored glow.

“Light is a powerful substance,” said Turrell. “We have a primal connection to it. I form it as much as the material allows…. My desire is to set up a situation to which I take you and let you see. It becomes your experience.”

James Turrell opens today at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and will run through September 25.

Photo: Scott Rudd 

Laurie Simmons’ New Collaborator:
Gossip Girl

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Gossip Girl returns to the air tonight at 9 p.m., and sources tell Style.com it’ll have a new guest star: contemporary artist Laurie Simmons (right, with gallerist Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn). The “Pictures Generation” photographer and portraitist appears on the show to create a commissioned portrait of the van der Woodsens—one that, one presumes, will hang alongside the Richard Phillips they’ve already got. It isn’t the first time the fashion and style world has reached out to Simmons: Thakoon collaborated with the artist on a series of prints for his Spring ’09 show (blooming roses with human legs, in tribute to her Walking and Lying Objects series from the eighties). Nor is it Simmons’ first turn onscreen. She had a starring role—as a contemporary artist who shoots miniature interiors, not unlike her own work—in Tiny Furniture, her daughter Lena Dunham’s award-winning indie film.

Photo: Courtesy of Salon 94