Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years, A Retrospective

The House at the End of the World, 2005 By David LaChapelle Studio Viktor&Rolf, Bedtime Story, ready-to-wear collection, AW 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion royalty Viktor&Rolf, are celebrating a 25 year retrospective at the Kunsthal gallery in Rotterdam, Holland. From May through to 30 September 2018, fans of the designers can get an up close and personal viewpoint of some of their most famous and innovative pieces. From the theatrical Van Gogh Girls of 2015, the iconic 2010 Chainsaw Massacre collection, with gaping, gravity-defying holes in each piece, to the overtly padded 2005 Bedtime Story collection, consistently taking the designer’s concept of ‘Wearable art’ to the highest levels of art and dramatic haute couture.

Russian Doll, haute couture collection, AW 1999

 

Canadian curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot has worked directly in collaboration with the Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren,  to create a thoroughly intriguing exploration into the various areas of inspiration in the designers’ World. Enabling the general public to view in accurate detail, the construction of each iconic runway couture garment and a glimpse into the genius psyche of the Viktor & Rolf partnership.

 

Van Gogh Girls, haute couture collection, SS 2015

 

In their own words: “We often play with the idea of two people being one, or both of us being of one mind, and we play with our image to express that.” This theme is visible throughout the retrospective, showcasing the power of two creative minds in creating serious art-based fashion and then fabricating these mind-bending concepts into reality. These show-stopping and notable couture pieces by the design duo are now all available for scrutiny at the Kunsthal, a homecoming for the Dutch designers.

 

Viktor&Rolf by Anton Corbijn Amsterdam, 2018

 

Over 60 haute couture pieces from the designers’ archives have been carefully selected by Loriot for the Kunsthal retrospective, including stage costumes created for ballet and operas, alongside special pieces, such as the costume created for Madonna’s 2016 Miami Art Basel fundraising concert. New works from the latest collections, ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ and ‘Action Dolls’ are also displayed for the first time within the retrospective.

Solidifying Viktor&Rolf’s 25 year journey to date within their home country of Holland, the retrospective features their strongest collections, marking a chapter of exceptional high couture work and achievement so rarely achieved by designers within fashion. The fact that the duo have also managed to remain as unpredictable, ground-breaking and art-driven within that timeframe, well, we cannot wait to witness the next 25 years of their creative partnership.

 

Getting There

Rotterdam or Amsterdam airport is only a short (less than an hour) flight from London. We flew from Heathrow to Amsterdam via British Airways and the flight only lasted a mere 45 minutes. A train shuttle will then quickly transport you across to Rotterdam with the metro system being extremely easy to navigate on arrival.

 

Accommodation

The 5 star Design hotel, Mainport is offering a Viktor & Rolf Hotel package for visitors of the Kunsthal. Upgrade your visit to the exhibition by booking the V&R hotel package, which includes a City XL room, entrance to the Kunsthal ‘Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years’, a signed catalogue of Viktor&Rolf, a poster, the champagne breakfast buffet on the relaxing riverside terrace, cocktail bar, rooftop swimming pool, gym & sauna. Mainport is ideally located at the shores of the Maas in the city centre and it’s then only a short walk or metro journey into the town centre.

Book here: www.mainporthotel.com/en/viktorrolf
The offer is 144.50eu per night until the 30th September.

 

Places to Eat

Heroine Restaurant

Unique 70’s inspired decor combined with cosy fine dining.
Address: Kipstraat 12, 3011 RT Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 310 0870

Supermercado

A unique concept restaurant & bar situated in a disused Swimming pool,  featuring Mexican & Latin-American cuisine. After the meal the rooftop turns into a dance party for a fun dining experience.
Address: Schiedamse Vest 91A, 3012 BG Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 404 8070

Ayla

Mediterranean food suitable for lunch, brunch, bites, dinner or drinks.
Interesting food combinations & killer cocktails.
Address: Kruisplein 153, 3014 DD Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 254 0005

David LaChapelle solo exhibition in Holland

Good news for modern man: the future is bright. If you need any convincing to pop over to the pretty city of Groningen in Holland, the David LaChapelle solo exhibition should sway you in the right direction. Not the most obvious place to showcase the photographer’s raunchy images (after all, he has a history photographing Beyonce, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga), but this latest anthology returns to his artistic roots, and complement Groningen’s old town juxtaposed with modern buildings, which nestle on the canal in the north of the Netherlands.

David LaChapelle The Rape of Africa

Known for producing experimental fashion editorials, commercials and music videos for high profile clients, LaChapelle has worked with every big name in the industry, and is one of the most respected and in demand photographers around the world; So it is interesting to find that the Gronginger Museum, already owns one of his controversial, hyper stylised works, and is the place he chose for his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands.

To the broad minded Dutch nation- naked bodies, interracial relationships and liberal religious views are widely acceptable, and a show that comments on sexuality, birth, death and nature in an idyllic, utopian world would appear to be the perfect partnership. Taking over the modernistic Museum (which was redesigned by Philippe Starck and Alessandro Mendini) adds a unique, modern focus to the university town. Situated in a central location on the canal, and directly opposite the ancient architecture of the train station it offers a juxtaposition of eras, but this is something that works so well in Holland.

A bit of a rebel himself, LaChapelle ran away to New York aged 15, and worked as a busboy in Studio 54. Immersing himself in glamorous New York disco scene, he got to know the “It” crowd and partied with the movers and shakers of the eighties pop art scene including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It is also where he was introduced to Andy Warhol and his infamous “Factory”. Already photographing people, LaChapelle soon gained recognition for his uniquely raw images. Snapped up by Warhol, he became the photographer for ‘Interview’ magazine and exhibited alongside other 80s pioneers Doug Aitken and Karen Kilimnik.

His style emphasising lewd, larger than life subjects became him trademark, and he embraced the flamboyant characters of the nineties and noughties. Celebrities, high fashion magazines and advertising clients were queuing up to get immersed in La Chapelle’s irreverent gaze- where anti-perfection was approved and surrealism encouraged.  However, the celebrity bubble seems to have peaked for LaChapelle, as his more recent work is a much more personal representation of transfiguration, regaining paradise, and the notion of life after death.

David LaChapelle The Rape of Africa

Breaking boundaries, La Chapelle uses fine art as a basis for his work and is the first to admit he explores the darker side of reality. Often using props, he is the master of creating make believe worlds where anything is possible. The hyper-real landscapes blend urban and suburban environments to create a make believe setting which is also super real and accessible. This form of art is contrary to what other commercial photographers were presenting, and opened up a niche market for emotions.

In fact, after shooting every celebrity (and their dog) in 2006, he stepped away from commercial work, retreating to an isolated former nudist colony in Maui, Hawaii to focus on fine-art photography and farming. Whether this break was a rejection of the fast moving lifestyle where celebrity photography comes with its own celebrity or it was a time to reflect as he openly talks about his friends who died of AIDS, his consequential work has a more personal influence.

David-LaChapelle-The-House-at-the-End-of-the-World-2005

‘Good News for Modern Man’ is filled with sins and redemption is a deeply personal insight into LaChapelle’s life. With over 70 pieces, the narrative is as jerky as it is unanticipated, yet it seems to flow. Clearly inspired by fine artists Edward Hopper, William Blake and the Old Masters, LaChapelle has a knack of combining the two disciplines -fusing photography with art; Resulting in large scale representations of joy, lust, and paradise which are symbolic and timeless.

Mostly, these works reject the material world and are deeply spiritual or religious, with obvious reference to the greats. In particular, you can recognise Michelangelo’s ‘Renaissance’ in ‘The Deluge’ series. An immersive piece of art which engulfs the viewer in the ginormous seven metres wide span. On closer inspection you can see the sitters are big names from celebritydom, with Kanye West as Jesus, Lil’ Kim as the Virgin Mary and Naomi Campbell as Venus, which might be highly irreverent for some.

Part of LaChapelle’s work is tongue in cheek. Courting exploitation, he chooses religion to express popularity; Nothing is sacred or forbidden and his modern day representation of religious icons brings a new dimension to opinions of life after death and questions the metaphysical side of life.

With a clear shift in focus from commercial commissions, this exhibition displays LaChapelle’s personal and intuitive concepts. Split into categories. ‘New World’ shares his personal search for Eden using thinly disguised biblical references which have the background of his sanctuary in Hawaii. However these pieces are seen more as art than photography as the two disciplines are fused to produce hyper-surreal images which burst into thousands of colours in front of you.

Lachapelle-blancanieves

The exhibition will no doubt question the viewer’s spiritual beliefs, and LaChapelle even questions himself on how long modern art actually lasts. It is a must-see for anyone with an inquisitive nature as the show is not just about the artworks, but is an important slice of history which makes a profound commentary on the contemporary world.

The exhibition LaChapelle: Good News For Modern Man can be seen from 21 April to 28 October 2018.

Head to Groningen for the exhibition and stay the weekend. This up and coming city is well worth a visit and only two hours from Amsterdam, you can have the perfect weekend away!

Jesus is my homeboy

FACTBOX

Gronginger Museum

*Hotel*

A pretty, listed 4star hotel,  dating back to the 15th century.

NH Groningen Hotel de Ville

Oude Boteringestraat 43-45, 9712 GD Groningen

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*Canal Trip*

The perfect way to see the city without walking across the cobbles.

Rondvaartbedrijf Kool

Stationsweg 1012, 9726 AZ Groningen

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*Restaurant*

Delicious, healthy modern cuisine. Open late, but must book.

Brasserie  Midi

Folkingestraat 42, Groningen

Robert Sheehan Brings Cartoons To Dalston With Joe Sangre’s Exhibtion “The God Damn Beauty Of It All”

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 23.35.20

A cartoon show will fill the basement of BSMT’s space as of this week. Produced by Irish actor Robert Sheehan who will be appearing in FAULT issue 22, the exhibition will showcase an abundance of cartoons inspired by the Great Depression, courtesy of artist and filmmaker Joe Sangre.

Accurately entitled “The God Damn Beauty Of It All”, Sangre’s work is heavily rooted in the 1930s depression era with a 1980s counterculture aesthetic. Keeping Max Fleischer’s work at the conceptual forefront (also known as the father of animation and no, it wasn’t Disney who thought of it first), the cartoons have their own language and ambiguity.

Born and raised in the suburbs of North London, Sangre’s early years have been heavily influenced by counterculture rebellion amongst youngsters. Artworks from bands like the Black Flag, The Minuteman and Subhumans were formative influences on his early conceptual developments and strokes of it resurface in his work.

MerryGoBye-ByeWebImage_FotorTheQuitterPink_Fotor

The core subject matter of his upcoming show is the 1930s depression era, used merely as a reflection of modern times, as opposed to a sentimental nod. The cartoons emphasise even further the fact that one of the strange characteristics of contemporary bourgeois life is the sheer pleasure we take in inverting it, our darker natures finding pleasure in allusions to misery.

As Sangre said, the fact of the matter is that “using bold images in mainly black ink allow me to take sometimes complex issues or feelings and represent them visually with simplicity, but at the same time leave a certain amount of nuance or ambiguity. I have to remind myself that I’m not making bumper stickers or greeting cards, at least not until Hallmark offer me a good price for my tattered, soiled mattress of a soul.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 23.42.00

The exhibition will be running on 5 Stoke Newington starting December 11th and will last until the 17th. The artworks will also be available for purchase at the gallery.

 

FAULT Interviews Pullman London Artist in Residence Louisa Gagliardi

Louisa Gagliardi Pullman LondonSwiss graphic designer and illustrator Louisa Gagliardi was perhaps an unlikely winner of Pullman Hotel’s artist in residency competition. Run in conjunction with Wallpaper* Magazine, artists were invited to submit work based around the hotel chains theme of ‘Our World is Your Playground’. As the winner, Louisa was awarded £10,000 and a week-long residency in the St Pancras, London hotel to create work inspired by the space. What she has created combines surrealism and an almost unnerving ‘Alice in Wonderland’ quality with a modern, graphic design twist. Though quite a commercial style, we spoke to Louisa at the unveiling of her work to understand a bit more about why this brief was made for her.

Why did you put yourself forward for the residency?

I saw the announcement and honestly, it was written for me! The ‘Our World is Your Playground’ for me it was this image of furniture and design elements and in my illustrations that’s exactly what I do. I use what’s around me and I create surrealist compositions so I had to apply.

You’re only 26, this must be exciting…

Yeah, it comes at a perfect time because I just opened my own studio in 2015 so it’s also a great help. It’s the moment to do all these extraordinary things and it’s good promotion.

How have you incorporated the theme of ‘Our World is Your Playground’ in the pieces?

In my work I use a lot of space, a lot of architecture, a lot of design elements and objects so the hotel was the best playground ever because of all these different spaces in one place. You have restaurants, a gym, concert room, lounges and all this different furniture, so I had all these elements to play with. I just take a picture and retrace it and it’s mine. So it was a great playground!

Louisa Gagliardi illustrator

What have you most enjoyed about the residency?

When I arrived, I went up to my room and it’s a penthouse suite! To be honest it was amazing. On the top floor with a crazy view of the city, honestly it was three times the size of my apartment! I really enjoyed that. I love hotels but I never quite experienced a hotel like this so it’s going to be hard to go back to a normal room. Everybody here was so super nice and I felt quite at home pretty quickly.

What are you planning to spend the £10,000 on?

Well, like I said I just opened my studio so it’s going to mostly go into that, security and invest also in some personal projects that I want to pursue. It’s a great help for a starting illustrator.

Your work includes some elements of surrealism. How do you unleash your imagination?

Well, I look a lot at art. I’m a big fan of Picasso and de Chirico, so I spend a lot of my time looking at images. I guess somehow it all mixes together with my own personal ideas so I think that it’s art history that helps me unleash it and transform it into a more contemporary translation.

Louisa Gagliardi artist

Louisa Gagliardi answers questions from the crowd at her exhibition

Do you have any favourite pieces that you’ve created while you’ve been here?

I’m really focussed on these miniature objects which, to me, are very iconic of hotels: mini shampoo, the mini sewing kit. I also then decided to use some architectural spaces and blow some objects up within this space. There are a few of the restaurant and on top is a collage of a giant lobster and for me this one is really fun. It’s a bit of a reference to Jeff Koons as well and it’s almost like an advertisement.

What’s your FAULT?

Well, now it might be being too used to hotel life!

International Alert opens ‘Peace From the Street Up!’ exhibition

ART4PEACE exhibition

As part of International Alert’s Talking Peace Festival which takes place throughout the month of September in London, an exhibition of urban art is on display at the Old Truman Brewery in London. The pieces, all exploring themes of ‘peace’, have been donated by artists from all over the world including Egypt, Syria, France, Italy, Chile and Nepal, as well as the UK. Legendary DJ turned visual artist Golide has also donated artwork.

The exhibition, titled ‘Peace From the Street Up!’ is open every day until 20th September from 12pm to 8pm at Shop 12, Dray Walk, The Old Truman Brewery, London. A live mural will be created on 19th September at the exhibition with the pieces auctioned off to raise funds for International Alert on 2nd October at The Club at The Ivy.

Street art for peace

Urban Art International Alert

 

No Entry artwork

Lights of Soho – the global home of creative neon art

Lights of SohoLights of Soho is the new hangout where the neighbourhood’s creative community meet under the glow of seedy neon signs in a former brothel to conspire, collaborate and create. Not only is it London’s first gallery dedicated to light art, but with the addition of a members’ bar in its basement, it aims to become a hub for the meeting of minds.

The venue may be new but the ambience isn’t; reviving the days when Soho’s notorious sex industry lit up the narrow lanes in hot pink and the cheap prices of the area brought in artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, designers and the like. In keeping with the current interest to uphold the district’s creative legacy despite the rapid gentrification, Lights of Soho has landed just in time to send the message that they too want to keep Soho’s ne-on!

Lights of Soho basement

The first exhibition is called City Lights and brings together world-renowned artists and up-and-coming names in one space, earning the gallery the title of the ‘global home of creative neon art’. For the first time ever Tracey Emin, who has helped popularise the use of neon in art, is exhibiting alongside Chris Bracey, known as ‘The Neon Man’ for his iconic strip club signs which appeared all over Soho in the 1970s. Other artists in the group exhibition include Gavin Turk, Chris Levine, Christian Furr, Rob & Nick Carter and Rob Montgomery. At the private view, sponsored by Hoxton Gin, we discovered artworks ranging from poignant statements about love emblazoned in neon, to a Mona Lisa-esque lenticular of Kate Moss, to classic commercial signs promising ‘models upstairs’. The space is a spectacular visual overload.

City Lights at Lights of Soho opens today at 35 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0RX until 5th July. Open Mon-Sun 11am until 8pm. For membership enquiries visit www.lightsofsoho.com.

FAULT Favourite: Yoko Ono collaborates with Tiger on ‘Conceptual Photograpy’

 

The inimitable Yoko Ono, creative legend and FAULT Favourite, has collaborated with Danish brand Tiger on a new project- a conceptual art book centred on the idea that art should be accessible to all. The 159-page hardback, entitled ‘Conceptual Photography’, coincides with the artist’s latest exhibition, ‘Yoko Ono: One Woman Show 1960–1971’, taking place at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

coverA conceptual coffee-table tome, this project plays with words and photography in a beautifully poetic way, drawing the reader deep into Yoko’s wonderfully eccentric universe. A fantastical film script conjures a musical score consisting of an audience instructed to “hold bunch of white flowers, and pick them slowly”, whilst Ono urges the reader to “rearrange the photos in their mind.” By taking us on such an immersive journey between enigmatic narrative and poetic instruction, ‘Conceptual Photography‘ challenges us to perceive the world in a different way.

Two years in the making, Tiger and Ono have agreed to release the book for just £10-a nod to the idea of making the artwork accesible to all- and it is available in select Tiger stores across the UK. Mai Due Brinch, Concept Development Manager at Tiger comments, “Conceptual Photography breaks down genre borders, creating a fascinating ‘universe’ of text and images. The collaboration with Yoko Ono felt symbiotic given we share the same mission; to democratise access to art and move towards a truly inclusive experience, fair to both artist and spectator.”

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image courtesy of Yoko Ono and Tiger

 

Conceptual Photography is now available in selected UK Tiger stores. Yoko Ono’s exhibition entitled ‘Yoko Ono: One Woman Show 1960–1971’, at MoMA, New York, from May 17–September 7, 2015.

www.tigerstores.co.uk

FAULT Focus: Ewa Wilczynski’s ‘THROES’, The Royal Academy of Arts

 

Stood amidst an enchanted crowd and the dramatic grandeur of the Senate Rooms at the Royal Academy of Arts, with her large-scale paintings on the walls and metallic couture by Inbar Spector cascading around her, FAULT Favourite Ewa Wilczynski made a creative declaration that she is truly one to watch.

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

As Wilczynski’s debut solo exhibition, THROES marks only three years since the artist graduated in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins (by way of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.) As a document of how her artistic practice has taken shape, the idea of transition was central to the exhibition. The title itself – taken from one of the most striking works in the show – conjures ideas of being in-between emotional and physical states, with an undercurrent of violent intensity that permeates the dramatic power of the paintings. Rendered in thick oil, and in shades of violet, red, black and blue, Wilczynski’s works depict phantasmagorical landscapes where disembodied figures turn in circles around each other, recognisable as self-portraits but with a Surrealist gesture that dislocates them from the real world.

“I think of it as a collaboration; I paint my personal myth and you, the spectator, fuse your own personal world to it. The paintings become this thin place in between where the two worlds collide and internal polarity comes to the surface.

 

The paintings are a membrane-that skin between my world and your world.”

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

The real world is something that Wilczynski shows little interest in, and her work speaks to a mysticism and personal mythology that she frames in terms of philosophy and psychoanalysis. The work in THROES was influenced by Jacques Derrida’s ‘Hymen’ theory; centred on the interplay of inside/outside, the work becomes an intersection and membrane between the artist and spectator, with the painting (the hymen) as a sort of skin.

This blurring of boundaries in the work lends a certain vulnerability to its exhibition and existence in the gallery space. The scale and intensity of the paintings is almost overwhelming, not only for the viewer but for the diminutive physical stature of Wilczynski herself. Standing against her own canvases, the collisions of figures and thunderous elements tower above her, looming over her shoulders. At THROES, the high-ceilinged rooms of the Royal Academy were heavily scented with lavender, making reference to historical exhibitions of the Sublime, and one display cabinet consciously echoed the format of the Wunderkammer in Renaissance Europe. Combined with the grandeur and decorative interior of the Senate Rooms, and the chanting beat of an electronic paean devised and DJ’d by Alexander Price, the exhibition again challenged our modern standard for white-walled exhibition display.

“all of us have our own little worlds and our personal myths … within my work, the painting is almost a way to encapsulate that, and close that gap.”

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

Ewa has said that her next body of paintings will be different in aesthetic, and THROES is the supreme example of just how quickly styles and motifs emerge across her work. She has shown that her creativity and imagination are remarkably intense, matching her determination and work ethic (in recent months she has also collaborated on projects with Lulu Guinness and spent time with David LaChapelle in Los Angeles.) Having drawn so much attention and praise for THROES, we know we are not the only ones waiting with bated breath for her next offering.

 

www.ewawilczynski.co.uk

All photographs by Kurtiss Lloyd