Hypnotic Layers

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A favorite of mine in the Op art scene, Philippe Decrauzat’s pour tout diviser. at Elizabeth Dee Gallery represents an optical journey through space and perception. Rooted in the traditions of Op art and Minimalism established in the 1960s and ‘70s, Decrauzat is a true master of Moiré. Moiré is the effect of a combination of two systems, combining two graphic layers that vibrate optically. In this installation Decrauzat mimics the architecture of the façade by creating seven new gallery walls in which for his works spanning the complete width of its corresponding architectural intervention, to hang. Emanating my own hypnotic pull is a magic dress of cascading ruffles from Marc Jacobs. The swirling layers of organza in the realm of Decrauzat’s magenta and cyan paintings is all too mind-bendingly real.

Marc Jacobs organza gown, Marc Jacobs wool-blend leggings, Tibi alpaca/wool mules

Elizabeth Dee Gallery, Philippe Decrauzat, pour tout diviser.

Photographs by Tylor Hou

Expressive Vision

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Tom Wesselmann’s career was one of exploration and vision. He sought to give form to his own personal discoveries of what was beautiful and exciting to him. Here we focus on an overarching theme in his work, the celebration of female allure. Amongst Wesselmann’s striking large scale shaped canvases and freestanding paintings, I introduce another compositional layer through the provocative shades from the Nars Audacious Lipstick Collection. To me these works convey Wesselmann’s genius of composition and distinct ability to reinvigorate intimate objects through their portrayal at a grandiose scale. Representing the evolution of his work following his Great American Nude Series and collages incorporating advertising ephemera in the 1960s for which he became known as one of the founders of the American Pop Art Movement, Wesselmann’s work supersedes the term “Pop Art.” Truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen or experienced before is Wesselmann’s, Bedroom Painting #32, shown above. Continuing to explore the ideas and media that fascinated him in the sixties, the seventies marked his creation of these large multi-paneled works. Consisting of five freestanding canvases, the paintings move into sculptural space spurring a new level of interaction and contemplation with such elements that could be found on your nightstand, a striped vase and picture frame containing the artist himself. A rare beautiful moment allowed me to step into the composition as if in a surrealist dream, like a fallen petal in my red velvet Rosie Assoulin dress and dramatic Nars lipstick in Vivien. Once again conveying Wesselmann’s ability to represent a still life composition with a twist of abstraction is Black Bra and Green Shoes, playing on the intimacy of these two objects intertwined, I chose a 3.1 Philip Lim slip dress and a sweep of Nars lipstick in Julie. The experience I had here in the presence of the great artist’s work was a gift that relayed the importance of process and growth, one that caused me to reevaluate the conceptual underpinnings and evolution of my own work. This push I think can be seen directly in the realization of these portraits, where a new subtle emphasis is placed on elements of my own form, here a visually expressive attention to lip color through the super saturated rich matte shades of the Nars Audacious Lipstick Collection. I have to express my deep thanks to The Wesselmann Family for allowing me this transformative experience and to Greg Allen-Muller for providing deeper insight and in turn reinvigorating my own work. A must see retrospective of Wesselmann’s innovative body of work opens at the Cincinnati Art Museum on October 31st.

Above left: Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Painting #32, 1976-78 x Nars Audacious Lipstick in Vivien, Rosie Assoulin dress

Above right: Tom Wesselmann, Black Bra and Green Shoes, 1981 x Nars Audacious Lipstick in Julie, 3.1 Philip Lim slip dress

Above center: Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Painting #32, 1976-78 x Nars Audacious Lipstick in Vivien, Rosie Assoulin dress

Cincinnati Art Museum, Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective, October 31, 2014 — January 18, 2015

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Samantha Dametta, Photographs by Tylor Hou

All art is © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Masters of Form

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One must look back to look forward. My experience at the Art Gallery of Ontario was the first of its kind. Although up into this point I’ve focused on the works of contemporary artists, here I collaborated with the Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew to recontextualize the works of two great masters for AGO’s Michelangelo: Quest for Genius. As part of Holt Renfrew’s Italian Immersion celebration, Michelangelo’s intricate drawings and Rodin’s elegant sculpture were paired with the stunning Fall 2014 pieces of six great Italian designers. Playing on elements such as form, texture and scale, the graceful compositions that result reflect the essence of timeless design. An honor to be a part of this homage to Italian art and fashion, the rest of the fairy tale story unfolds here on Holts Muse.

Above left: Michelangelo, Man with Crested Helmet, c.1504 x Valentino dress

Above right: Auguste Rodin, Adam, c.1881 x Dolce & Gabbana dress

Lower right: Michelangelo, Studies for the Head of Leda, c.1630 x Michelangelo, Studies for the Staircase of the Library of San Lorenzo, Column Base and Figures, c.1525 x Stella Jean shirt & skirt

Lower left: Auguste Rodin, Eve, c.1883 x Fendi jacket, pant & shoes

AGO, Michelangelo: Quest for Genius, October 18, 2014 — January 11, 2015

Hair & Makeup by Simone Otis, Photographs by Chris Nicholls

Master of Composition & Color: Tom Wesselmann

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An experience that left quite an impression on me, I had the privilege of spending time in the studio of great American artist Tom Wesselmann. The excitement I felt from seeing his works pulsating with color and almost exploding off the wall was paralleled by the desire to create a portrait series that would convey the constant reinvention and experimentation that was characteristic of the artist himself. In his work Wesselmann sought to make figurative art as thrilling as abstract art. As seen here in his Sunset Nude with Palm Trees, radiating lush exoticism, enveloped in tropical vegetation and lit by a sanguine sunset. In honor of his explorations in elemental beauty and the 20 year anniversary of Nars, a line that captures the same modern classic aesthetic, I created a series of vibrant pairings each with a different shade from the Nars Audacious Lipstick Collection. My own explorations in the relationship between beauty and art begin here, in the studio of Tom Wesselmann, with luscious layers of visual intensity created through the provocative shades of Nars.

Above center: Tom Wesselmann, Seascape #10, 1966 x Nars Audacious Lipstick in Lana, Givenchy dress

Lower right: Tom Wesselmann, Sunset Nude with Palm Trees, 2003 x Nars Audacious Lipstick in Janet, Cushnie et Ochs teal dress

Lower left: Tom Wesselmann, Dinner at the Museum of Modern Art, 2000 x Nars Audacious Lipstick in Liv, Cushnie et Ochs dress

Cincinnati Art Museum, Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective, October 31, 2014 — January 18, 2015

Makeup by Julio Sandino, Photographs by Tylor Hou

All art is © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Shifting Perspectives

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The horizon line has always done something for me, in perspective drawings, in nature, and here at Jack Shainman’s The School. My mind always seems to frame objects or people in the context of their surroundings, be it a built or natural environment. Here at Shainman’s group show, Mise en Scène I am constantly brought back to the beautiful tension between the raw and pristine. The works, the space, allude to the obsessive creative process, constant reinterpretation, reappropriation, with hopes for a fresh arrival. Moving across the wall with promise is Yoan Capote’s epic seascape ‘painted’ with fishhooks and nails, while downstairs El Anatsui’s aluminum and copper wire piece drapes in one monumental poetic gesture. Entranced by the tactility and movement of the work swirling around me, I paired this textural wool flared Bouchra Jarrar pant with a faded yellow and heather grey striped sweater from Gap. My Styld.by story concluded with a simple classic elevated by a forward dramatic shape. While I am fully seduced and transported by Jack Shainman’s space in Kinderhook, at the last moment Enrique Martinez Celaya’s painting of two figures on a dock against the sea is a much-needed reminder of where I stand.

Gap striped crew neck sweater, Bouchra Jarrar flared wool pant, Delpozo sandals

Jack Shainman Gallery: The School, Mise En Scène

Photographs by Tylor Hou

Schoolgirl Classic

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Rarely does a building strike me as this. Jack Shainman Gallery: The School, is quite possibly perfect as far as my architectural ideals. A small journey outside Manhattan in Kinderhook, NY lies this beautiful gem, home of the former Martin van Buren School. Renovated by the Spanish architect Antonio Jimenez Torrecillas, the design is a genius incorporation of the school’s original Palladian bones, pared down to what I would call a machine for viewing art. Compressed space leads into the grandeur of the former gymnasium, classrooms are transformed into intimate gallery spaces. In keeping with the concept of an indigenous architecture is Shainman’s current group show, Mise En Scène, with such masters of reappropriating material as El Anatsui, Kay Hasan, and Tallur L.N. Works that nod to the past while looking forward, hence my Styld.by modern schoolgirl ensemble. A look focused on simple classical lines and prints, composed of this primary red Gap mock turtleneck and Harvey Faircloth tartan skirt. Unable to cover all subjects in one go, more school in session after the break.

Gap mock turtleneck sweater, Harvey Faircloth tartan tulip skirt, Maison Martin Margiela leather wedge sandals

Jack Shainman Gallery: The School, Mise En Scène

Photographs by Tylor Hou

Modern Baroque Details

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Details are everything as evident in the magic of Jacob Hashimoto’s multi-colored collaged kite elements and the exquisite moments such as the concrete tiled beading seen in the Chanel Fall 2014 Couture Collection. Channeling the vibrance that is derived from beautiful juxtapositions I carry this through every detail. Here I document the complete look journey, through makeup, hair, and nails. I fell for the delicate heavy metal makeup look that Andrew Sotomayor for Chanel Beauty gave me, a modified version from the Fall 2014 Haute Couture runway. Staying Chanel through and through, manicurist Gina Viviano recreated Jacob’s mosaic patterned kites on my nails using Chanel’s Frenzy nail color as a base and then layered on the graphic shapes with Eastern Light and Orage. Lastly, my beloved friend and hair stylist, Cosma De Marinis drew inspiration from the giant floating cubes in the installation and built a geometric sculpture on top of my head by way of a tea box. Full detail disclosure of all things beauty below.

Andrew Sotomayor (Chanel Beauty): I adapted this look from the makeup for the Fall 2014 Haute Couture show and tweaked it to suit Pari. To get the look yourself, follow my tips below.

Since the look involves a very shimmery lid, I chose to start with the eye makeup first. First, I applied the silvery-white Illusion D’Ombre in Fantasme across just the mobile part of the lid using Large Shadow Brush #25. I added some into the inner corners as well using the Large Tapered Blending Brush #19. To help the cream shadow stay put, I pressed the lightest and the medium shades from Quadra Eyeshadow palette 93 Smoky Eyes, right on top. Using a patting motion helps to press on layers of shadow and increase the shine.

To get the winged cat eye effect, I used the La Ligne De Chanel Noir Lame cake eyeliner, three different ways. First, I wet the Precision Liner brush #13, picked up some liner, and swept it across her lashes. I used Contour Shadow Brush #14 to smudge the liner into the roots of her lashes. Then I used the liner again and a “press-and-drag” motion to create the wing, starting from the outer corner of the eye and pulling towards the center. Finally to create that deep dark line on the inner water line, I applied liner through the entire lower line on both eyes. I had Pari “squish” her eyes shut nice and tight to transfer liner to the top eye, then repeated the action once more. It stayed through the entire shoot without touching up, and it’s still the easiest product to remove at the end of the day.

I took the darker shade of Ombres Constraste Duo in Taupe Delicat through the brows using Angled Brow Brush #12, then made the brow crisper by sweeping the lighter shade across the brow bone using Concealer Brush #10.

To make Pari’s lashes look even fuller I used my favorite Chanel mascara, Inimitable in Black. I applied one coat, curled, and then applied a second coat. The trick is to press the narrow half of the brush right into the roots of the lashes. When you pull it away, it appears that you’ve applied eyeliner right between the roots of your lashes. I haven’t found another mascara that can do this.

To perfect the skin, I misted her lightly with Hydra Beauty Essence Mist and a pea sized amount of Hydra Beauty Gel Creme. Then, to give the skin brightness, and help the foundation apply more easily, I applied a Hydra Beauty Gel Creme all over using Foundation Brush #6. I wanted to just add some warmth, and a bit more polish without excessive coverage, so I used the same brush to apply Perfection Lumiere Velvet #40 Beige all over. To ensure that the makeup was perfectly blended, I went over it again with a clean Blending Foundation Brush #7. Not only does it make sure that the product disappears into the skin, it also gives it more of a glow. It’s the same effect as polishing a jewel.

Even the best of us needs a little concealer and I find that most of the time, one shade truly isn’t enough to look like you’re perfectly rested. To appear perfect Photoshopped even in real life try this! Apply Lift Lumiere in Apricot just to the inner corners to color correct any grey areas, then sketch Eclat Lumiere in 10 Beige Tendre under the entire eye and swept out across the cheekbones. Magic.

With a strong eye look like this, I like the face to be neutral, so I swept the Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base under the cheekbones for just a little warmth and a sculpted effect. I enhanced her cheekbones further using Les Beiges #50 for subtle contour. It was rainy outside that day, and I wanted to make sure her skin glowed without being too dewy, so I chose to highlight her cheekbones using Illusion D’Ombre in Emerveille using Blending Foundation Brush #7. It looks like dewy skin, but this technique ensures you shine only where you want to.

I love a nude lip, when it has just enough color to define your pout, and just enough pink to still look healthy. In this case, I applied Rouge Coco in Beige Felin, topped with Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Insouciance for fullness with a creamy shine.

Cosma De Marinis: To create Pari’s sculptural updo I began by drying her hair upside down. I started to give the hair some texture and brushed it into a high ponytail. I then put a cardboard tea box on top of her head, the two opposite sides of the box were cut out so I was to able to secure it firmly to the top of the head with bobby pins. Then I sectioned a thin veil of hair from the ponytail, sprayed it with Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hairspray and began creating the shape around the box continuing to section and wrap the hair until it was covered completely. I used the flat iron to smooth the hair and define the edges. Lastly, I used Kiehl’s Crème with Silk Groom for added luster and smooth texture.

Chanel Fall 2014 Couture

Mary Boone Gallery, Jacob Hashimoto, Skyfarm Fortress

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Andrew Sotomayor for Chanel Beauty, Nails by Gina Viviano for Chanel Beauty, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Couture in the Sky

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In my perfect world all collisions of art and fashion would come together as this. Here at Mary Boone Gallery, I found that glimmering pairing, one which holds a sense of possibility and pushes all things surrounding it towards inventiveness. At the heart of Jacob Hashimoto and Karl Lagerfeld’s creations is an evidence of the hand marked by an obsessive attention to detail delivered with flawless execution. That to me is perfection, modern and whimsical yet calculated so once put forth in its surroundings it can be set free. My heart can’t help but smile, at Karl Lagerfeld’s description of his Chanel Fall 2014 Couture Collection, “the whole thing is actually a journey from Corbusier to Versailles…” a magical one at that, where here we have his ruby red sculpted gown, laser cut and embellished with plastic rosettes. In a moment that is decidedly fresh, the molded dress is set free with a chic flat finished with ankle ribbons. Allowing me to glide amongst the landscape of floating cubes that is Jacob’s Skyfarm Fortress. Brutalist and light, architectural and wild, the juxtapositions that spur intrigue are represented on high. Explorations in the union of art and couture continue in my interview with the artist with more details into my bird like inspired look to come.

Chanel Fall 2014 Couture gown & sandals

Mary Boone Gallery, Jacob Hashimoto, Skyfarm Fortress

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Andrew Sotomayor for Chanel Beauty, Photographs by Tylor Hou

An Interview with the Artist: Jacob Hashimoto

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PE: My first impression of your work and the emotion I attached to it was the evidence of the hand. Your use of paper a very tactile material, collage, and the express knots all impart a sense of handmade. This is in great part why I was so thrilled to pair your work with the Chanel Couture pieces, the exquisite craftsmanship that goes into each piece. How did you start working with this material, why were you drawn to the medium?

JH: I started working with these kite-like elements nearly 20 years ago now when I was still a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At the time that I started using the kites, I was actually building them to fly in Grant Park and I guess that the craft and attention to detail migrated into my artwork. Materially speaking, I guess that my use of the paper, the wood, and the knotted strings all developed pretty organically out of my kite flying practice. Lots of people are curious about my nearly exclusive use of Japanese papers, wondering if it is somehow a reflection of my (half) Japanese heritage, but, truthfully, I think that I use it because it’s stronger, more supple, more absorbent, and simply better for my specific collage application. I’ve experimented with innumerable other papers, but keep coming back to wash. It has a range of properties that is intriguing and allows me to constantly experiment, adapt, and expand my visual vocabulary.

PE: The sheer number of kite elements in your Skyfarm Fortress and perfection in the alignment of the different cubes within the grid is absolutely awe-inspiring. One cannot help but think about the labor intensive, somewhat obsessive nature of the work. I was wondering how many kite components make up the piece, how long did the install take, and how many people were involved?

JH: I think that there are between 20 and 30 thousand elements in the artwork, but I honestly didn’t count. I do know that I arrived on site with about 30 thousand square elements….and we took some home. The installation itself took about a month working with my seven assistants.

PE: Although there is a rigidness attached to the labor and the use of a Brutalist architectural grid, the balletic components seems to free the work of any type of heavy quality and there is a simplicity in the understanding of how something is made. Are you personally attracted to work that is minimal in the sense that one can see how it is made or are you too interested in work where the process is a mystery?

JH: Good question. I like that there’s very little mystery in how the artwork is actually made. It’s the labor and the focus and the precision that drives it to the next level. Obviously, a lot of the specific design decisions may seem like a mystery to those outside my head, but I think that, for the most part, it’s pretty simple to see what I have done and how I’ve done it. And, that’s a good thing.

PE: Karl Lagerfeld said of his Chanel Couture Fall 14 line in which I paired with your work that the collection is representative of “a journey from Corbusier to Versailles…”, a union between the Brutalist and baroque. Can you speak about the tensions in your own work and how the bringing together of aesthetic opposites can lead to something entirely fresh and dynamic?

JH: That’s a nice Lagerfeld quote and a good idea on his part. I’ve always felt that working in abstraction, it is an absolute necessity to create a context within the artwork for one’s particular visual vocabulary. Obviously this isn’t a new or uncommon idea, as juxtaposition or the collision of aesthetic counterpoints has been evidenced in artworks for a long time. In my case, the artworks are built on a rigid grid structure and that is the foil, against which, the organic, flowing compositions are positioned. Given this grid of units, all of the experiments and elements of chaos that I develop within the work are given context in the piece. Things have meaning because of context and I think that juxtaposition of opposites is a terrific device to give new meaning to the artwork. At the same time, through such universal devices, I’m to continue to participate in the very human exploration of language and meaning.

PE: I of course see many common threads in your work and this couture collection. The idea of this landscape of patterns that you’ve created in an environmental installation I could see being translated into collaboration with a clothing designer. Is this something you would ever be interested in, are there are any designers you especially admire?

JH: I have to admit that I’m a bit of a philistine when it comes to fashion…..given that however, I certainly know that I owe a great debt to the textures and design decisions that drive fashion’s creative engine. It’s everywhere in the art world and the city’s landscape. We’ll see what the future holds in regards to fashion collaborations, but if the project and the designer is curious and the project is fun, I’d be completely willing to jump. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of projects to keep me busy in the studio.

PE: As I seek surrounding myself with art and architecture for inspiration and to take myself out of my own head. As an artist and with the expectation to be constantly creating, what is refreshing to you, where do you go or what do you do?

JH: I have very simple tastes really. I like to ride my bicycle and I like to spend time upstate where it’s quiet and I can take time to think and dream about new projects and possibilities. While I’ve lived in cities for most of my adult life, I really prefer the quiet, boring, mundanity of the country. It’s the best place for me to work, think, and invent.

Chanel Fall 2014 Couture gown & sandals

Mary Boone Gallery, Jacob Hashimoto, Skyfarm Fortress

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Andrew Sotomayor for Chanel Beauty, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Silver Lines

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A raw, refined aesthetic combined with the layering of textures and materials make up the surrounds of Jason Gringler’s studio. His glass paintings are at once minimal and complex, solid yet evanescent. The perfect place to go and clear my head and to create my next Gap Styld.by session. Playing off the existing dichotomies, I threw this Gap oversized western plaid shirt over my favorite Helmut Lang leather leggings. To add a kick I finished the look with my new Saint Laurent glitter boots, the silver lining to these pared down basics.

Gap shirt, Helmut Lang leather legging, Saint Laurent glitter boots

Jason Gringler, Studio

Photographs by Jason Gringler