The information available for the V&A’s latest exhibition, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s instantly inspires thoughts of the 2003 film Party Monster. Those who have seen it will remember that this riddling film is the true story of Michael Alig, a deluded Club Kid party organiser who moved to New York and entered a dark yet glamorous world. The 1980s was an incredibly creative decade in which the fashion of the club was slowly but surely carried onto the catwalk in the major capitals of the world. The many sub-cultures that formed and which still exist today, in some form or another, were founded on the basis of the nightlife in clubs. Curated by Claire Wilcox, V&A’s Head of Fashion, the exhibition covers the sub-cultures and their distinctive fashions, as well as the interpretations of now renowned fashion designers on the fashions of the club scene.
The Edinburgh Art Festival returns to Scotland from 1 August, immersing the city in cultural explorations of art. Running until 1 September, the festival features no less than 50 exhibitions across 30 venues. Celebrating the location of Edinburgh and the many gallery spaces across the city, the event is the UK’s largest annual festival dedicated to visual art. Alongside the many exhibitions and events there is an ambitious commissioning programme that takes art out onto the streets. Looking at the theme Parley, the commissioned works explore communication either with the city or with audiences.
Review of PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Costume Institute at the MetropolitanMuseum of Art, New York
Punk was an attitude and an aesthetic, a movement which provoked anti-establishment with exhibitionist flair. According to John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), “Punk was like nothing anybody had seen before, like nothing. Punk was fearless. Utterly fearless.” With this fearlessness came its unabashed fashions, its intended chaos of cut-offs and chains which has been captured and appropriated by high-end designers into relics of couture. PUNK: Chaos to Couture, at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nods to the birthplaces of punk before progressing through a series of four Do-it-yourself themes of punk fashion.
Born and bred in Zurich, Play Hunter is an artist, author and creative entrepreneur. Studying Fine Arts at Saint Martins College of Art, London, Hunter set up her website Playlust back in 2007. Six years later, what began as just a space for portraits of artist friends, transformed into a hub of artistic discussion across the world. Aesthetica speaks to Hunter about her inspiration, her exhibitions and her first photo book Now & Wow – A Style Hunter’s Book of Photographs.
At Aesthetica we like to keep an eye on emerging artists, and one of the best ways to do that is to take note of the numerous degree shows open this summer. Picking our ten favourites, we count down the best art presentations this June. We also take a moment to interview a few successful graduates, to investigate the value of an art degree and the benefits of their chosen Universities. Running from Glasgow to Plymouth, we give you a snippet into each show. Keep an eye on the blog for interviews with graduates in the next few weeks.
Italian photographer, Daniele Tamagni, comes to ArtEco to exhibit a collection of works from 2007 to date. Global Style Battles is a diverse selection of images, celebrating music and fashion in a colourful display of photographic skill. Running 24 May until 22 June, the showcase includes pieces like The Flying Cholitas, Playboys of Bacongo, Havana Glam and Afrometal. A street photographer, Tamagni has traveled to places as exotic as Africa and Cuba.
Film-maker turned fashion designer Miles Aldridge has delivered seductive sirens silk-screened in an electrifying palette to the forefront of the fashion world for 15 years. Although beginning his artistic career in the studios of Central St Martins, his photographs are heavy with references to 1950s America, reminding of Stepford wives and the blinding lights of Hollywood.
For the third year, the Palace Art and Craft Fair returns to London, 17 – 19 May. Organised by the team behind the highly successful and well established Brighton Art Fair, MADE LONDON and MADE BRIGHTON, this year the fair becomes an art, craft and design fair; a small scale more intimate event showcasing highest quality and original contemporary art and design across all media. Located in the beautiful grounds and main building of Fulham Palace, the historic Tudor/Georgian Palace, formerly the country home of the Bishops of London right by the river at Putney Bridge, is the perfect spot for perusing and purchasing art.
Since 1988, Tate Liverpool has been the home of some of the world’s most important art works and attracted 15 million visitors. Opening its doors on 24 May, 1988, the gallery has become the most visited venue for modern and contemporary art outside of London. The gallery has already received several birthday wishes in the form of postcards, letters, emails and artworks, from Wayne Hemingway, Anthony McCall, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha, Bob and Roberta Smith, Zarina Bhimji and Colin Self. From 17 May until 2 June, Tate Liverpool will be celebrating in style with a specially curated exhibition entitled Tate Liverpool is 25.
The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, open PUNK: Chaos to Couture this May. Running 9 May until 14 August, the exhibition collates one of the most significant and political forms of fashion as it explores punk’s influence on high fashion. Beginning at the birth of punk in the 1970s, PUNK: Chaos to Couture spans the transformation of the movement, concluding with its resonating impact today.
Claire Aho has produced a prolific output, covering editorial, advertising, fashion photography and reportage. From this substantial body of work the selection of photographs exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery were taken between 1950 and the late 1960s. In the early 1950s, Aho opened a commercial studio in Helsinki. Here she undertook every aspect of the image making process: casting, styling, lighting and developing. This exhibition focuses on her studio work.
When an important, popular figure dies, fans seem to need more than their legacy – more than their work – to remember them by, to cling to them through. Physical mementoes, objects – things which that specific person touched, used, loved – are obsessed over; particles of skin and saliva on a napkin George Harrison used take on strange importance. Voyeurism and celebrity obsession have grown to a point now where people are paying up to $15,000 for a pair of stained underpants worn by Elvis Presley, a rumoured million for a pair of John Lennon’s glasses, and, perhaps most bizarrely, $45,000 for a set of three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe’s chest. However, this strange obsession we seem to have with the physical remnants left in the wake of our popular icons can be traced back a surprisingly long way. Darwin’s beard, for example, Abraham Lincoln’s hair and even Galileo’s finger have survived decomposition and remain, today, preserved behind glass for us all to gawk at.