Scarlett’s Letters: Art + Fashion
Dearest James & James —
What to write about for my first letter to PFC? There’s so much I want to talk about. Better start with the basics. And the basics in my life are art and fashion.
As you know, I am the 80’s love child of an avant-garde artist and a visionary nomadic Hun, and was co-parented by a community of drag queens in the throes of the transgender underground punk scene. I grew up in Downtown LA’s garment district, by day playing in a forest of fabric rolls, by night dragged from one art event to the next, sometimes even hooked into absurdist art happenings in the back of alleys or seedy, smoky clubs. From then on art and fashion have not only been an education but also the currents of my life.
Since the moment I came into the light of reality, I’ve been driven to make art, whether with a brush, a concept, in the kitchen, performing on a stage or merchandizing a store. Instead of a Jack-of-all-trades imagine a princess-of-many-métiers.
So there you have it: art and fashion is in my blood, it’s my family, it’s me.
As you know, the art season is sweeping the globe in a tsunami of fairs and shows. So art it should be. And fashion.
Art season, fashion season. When you go to so many art fairs, the bounty of objects — many times much of what you’ve seen before ornamented with happy surprises — starts to feel like the relentless production the fashion world is known for.
What’s more, art fairs are sales events, bolstering their link to fashion weeks; it’s probably one of the most ungenerous ways to appreciate contemporary art, much like walking into a designer’s showroom is exciting yet overwhelming.
Unlike fashion, the larger portion of the art presented does not only compel an aesthetical regard, but also demands and challenges intellectualized analysis. Great work questions our philosophical framework. After an hour of staggering between booths of visual consumption, I feel quite dizzy and maybe even a bit nauseous, a kid in the candy store who has eaten more than her stomach can hold.
I am no art critic and I struggle to retain names even of the artists I like. That being said, for my first letter, I thought I’d share a few highlights that captivated or disturbed my eye; without jugement de valeur as we say in French – discomfort is often more revealing and informative then pleasure.
The fairs so far: Fiac and Paris Photo (Paris, France); Artissima and Paratissma (Torino, Italia); and a few exhibitions outside of the madness of civic centers. Exhibitions include Pierre Huyghe at the Pompidou (a must see for those planning a trip to Paris over Christmas); a selection of Pinault’s collection at La Conciergerie; Mark Handforth at Franco Noero (Torino); Andrei Molodkin show Immigrant Blood at Patricia Dorfmann (Paris).
I’ve attached some pix from my tours of the art fairs below. Enjoy!
With love from Paris,
[heading]My Art Fair Scrapbook[/heading]
5. Ai Wei Wei’s iron-tree shadow, Fiac
6. The Axe falls on another day, Fiac
7. Organic Manipulation = Pollution, exhibition during Fiac
8. Flesh Manipulation, exhibition during Fiac
9. Blues cries the soul, Paris Photo
10. Diverging Directions, Paris Photo
11. Exhibit Exhibition, Paris Photo
12. Triptych reflections in Digital landscapes, Paris Photo
13.Berlin Sound art, Artissima
14.My Parsian promenade, past and present puzzle, Artissima
15. Petit bateau, Artissima
16. Ball massage, Artissima
17. Chick Boy, Paratissima
18. Geometrical failure, Paratissima
19. Leftover Amazonia women, Paratissima
20. Burning world, and my first art fair acquisition, Paratissima
21. Lypo Bronze, Paratissima
22. Manifested nightmares, Paratissima
23. Marionettes at Guido Costa Gallery, Torino
24. Bird boy with Bee Queen in the background, Pierre Huyghe
25. Pink sand mountain, Pierre Huyghe
26. Hand prints on ice, Pierre Huyghe
27. Hermit crab with Brancusi shell, Pierre Huyghe
28. Bill Viola hold your tongue, Pinault collection
29. BurKKKa, Pinault collection
30. This old man played knick knack with his beer, Pinault collection
31. A study on madness, Pinault collection
32. 2nd study on madness, Pinault collection
33. Back to the Blue Ranch, Pinault collection
34.Capricorn candles, Mark Handforth
35. Capricorn electric, Mark Handforth
36. Mommy Dearest’s worst nightmare, Mark Handforth
37. Immigrant Blood, Andrei Molodkin
38. Man gives blood for art, Andrei Molodkin
39. Assassins and Ghosts, Royal Gallery
40. Samson and Delilah, Royal Gallery
41. La Belle’s empathy for the Beast, Royal Gallery