10 posts tagged "Neville Wakefield"
“It’s mysterious stuff from outer space,” said curator and Playboy‘s director of special projects, Neville Wakefield, at David Yurman’s Vestry street studio last night. He was referring to a piece of Gibeon meteorite, which, named for Gibeon, Namibia, where it struck a billion years prior, was on display. The occasion was the unveiling of Yurman’s new menswear collection, aptly dubbed Meteorite. To fete the launch, Evan Yurman—the jewelry brand’s heir apparent—asked Wakefield to create a presentation that highlighted the lineup’s overarching intergalactic feel. “I wanted to narrate the story of [transforming] the raw material from space into product,” Wakefield told Style.com. The room was staged with a projection of the moon on one end and the meteor on the other, with the label’s pieces raised on pedestals in between. The electronic sounds of French band Air played ever so softly in the background. Continue Reading “Close Encounters of the Jeweled Kind” »
The famous old dodge—”I read Playboy for the articles”—is getting a contemporary update. Thanks to a revamp and a prominent new hire, you can now look at Playboy for the art.
The magazine recently signed curator Neville Wakefield as its special projects director, and he’s been working on some highbrow—albeit playful—extensions. His first official venture involved commissioning three artists (Aaron Young—left, Malerie Marder, and Alex Israel) to create work presenting the 2013 Playmate of the Year, Raquel Pomplun, within the context of art. “I think it’s a reimagining of what Playboy can be,” said Wakefield, who’s working on another art-centric supplement for November.
The effort got us wondering: When is a picture art, and when is it erotica? “I think it has a lot to do with context,” offered Wakefield. “Porn has an efficacy when it comes to arousal, but [these works] are meditations on a person and a condition, so in that respect, they are art.” We put the question to the artists themselves; their original works debut exclusively here.
Playmates are “always working with their bodies,” said Aaron Young, so he covered a nude Pomplun neck-to-toe in paint and had her press her body (in one case, dragging her) across canvas for a series inspired by Yves Klein’s press paintings. “This definitely has rich and deep connections to art history,” he said. “I mean, there have been so many different kinds of nudes, why not work with the most popular nude in America?
The bottom line: Is it erotica? “If somebody has a good enough imagination, I’m sure it probably could be. But I think that expressing an idea through any medium can be sexy. I mean, I find dry conceptualism sexy, sometimes.” Continue Reading “Playboy‘s Artist Pals Are Rethinking Sexy—But Is It Porn Or Art?” »
Since his retirement from the world of fashion, Helmut Lang has devoted himself full-time to art—often art that devotes itself to literally tearing up his fashion. For his latest show, the archive seems a bit safer from the scissors; the more than 20 new pieces in Helmut Lang: Sculptures, opening May 5 in New York, are mostly created from rubber, foam, plaster, sheepskin, and tar. Co-curated by Mark Fletcher—recently honored at the Art Production Fund’s annual gala—and Neville Wakefield, the show features both wall-hung works and freestanding monochrome sculptures, which Lang describes as his most figurative work yet. Judge for yourself, left. And if you’re inclined to make a weekend of it, the first New York installment of London’s Frieze Art Fair arrives that same weekend, erecting what its founders claim is the largest temporary structure ever built on Randall’s Island, complete with a pop-up art world hangout (that’d be a Sant Ambroeus café) and parties thrown by Mulberry and Net-a-Porter.
Helmut Lang: Sculptures runs May 5 through June 15 at 24 Washington Square North, NYC. Frieze Art Fair runs May 4 through 7 on Randall’s Island, NYC; for more information, visit friezeartfair.com.
The fashion world (especially of the Internet variety) worked itself into a tizzy this month when details emerged about Helmut Lang’s latest art exhibition. The much-missed designer was planning to turn back to his own work—with a shredder.
For Make It Hard, which opens today at East Hampton’s Fireplace Project, Lang went into his archive and literally shredded 6,000 vintage pieces from his namesake label to re-create them as sculptures. The scraps, mixed with plastics, metals, furs, skins, feathers, and hair, became floor-to-ceiling columns (above). Lang acolytes bemoaned the loss of so much irreplaceable fashion; Women’s Wear Daily wondered if the designer (left) was trying to erase the past. But the unsentimental Lang disagreed. “No, this is not an effort to erase the past,” he told Style.com. “It is a circumstantial effort in favor of new creative endeavors.”
“In 2009-2010, I donated a large volume of my body of work in fashion to the most important fashion, design, and contemporary art collections worldwide,” Lang went on. “After a fire in the building where our studio in New York is located, which could have destroyed the rest of the archive, and after going for months through the pieces to see in which condition they are, I slowly became intrigued by the idea of destroying it myself to use it as raw material for my art.”
If the destruction of 6,000 pieces of Lang is enough to strike fear in the hearts of the label faithful, they ain’t seen nothing yet. The designer hinted that the show, curated by his friend Neville Wakefield, is “basically a capsule version of a much larger show to come.” (He also reaffirmed that he’ll be working only in art, and not returning to fashion.) “You have to work hard and you have to recognize when [fashion] evolves into something interesting and be able to let go of it when the work is interesting enough to fight you back,” Lang shrugged. “I’m familiar with that procedure…It was a cathartic experience, which led to an interesting and positive energy.” Title notwithstanding, “once the decision was made, it was actually not that hard.”
Make It Hard runs July 22 through August 8, 2011, at The Fireplace Project, 851 Springs Fireplace Road, East Hampton, N.Y., www.thefireplaceproject.com.