Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at the Met until August 7th

If you are in or near NYC, I really recommend seeing this show. It is one of the most inspiring things I've encountered in a long time. Alexander McQueen is, in my opinion, the only high profile fashion designer who has successfully incorporated art to the level that the line completely blurs on many occasions. In some cases the art is more prominent and in some cases it's the fashion, but in all cases, McQueen was serious and genuine about expressing very deep life experiences. He was conscious of taking inspiration from cultures that could not afford to buy the materials generally used in high fashion, and was careful to use natural materials that could be found and fabricated within those cultures. He was conscientious of ridiculous body image in contemporary fashion, and redefined it with both clothing form and model. He was passionate about his ancestry and his contemporaries as well as the natural world around him.

The room "Cabinet of Curiosities" displayed McQueen's blurring of art and fashion the most successfully. It held headpieces and jewelry that were almost incomprehensible in their ingenuity and craftsmanship. The videos of the "fashion shows" were performance pieces that sent chills down my spine. You can see some of them here.

The Met can be overwhelming in scope, and after seeing the above show, I couldn't make it through the whole museum, but the show
Night Vision: Photography After Dark
was excellent.

"Untitled" Daido Moriyama, 1978

"Untitled", Kohei Yoshiyuki, 1971

"Ionian Sea, Santa Cesarea" Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1990

"Woods Twilight" by Edward J. Steichen, 1899

A few other highlights...

"Evening in the Studio" Lucien Freud, 1993

"Head I" Francis Bacon, 1947

"Self-Portrait" Leonora Carrington, 1937–38

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