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Art Digest (November 16—22)

By November 22, 2020 No Comments
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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest (November 16—22)

Terms like ‘sustainability’, ‘recyclable materials’ are trending today, inter alia, and especially in the field of fashion, but what’s behind those beautiful words? Dow Jones Sustainability Index annually names clothing brands who call themselves eco-friendly not in vain. Sometimes it takes time to change the policy of the company or personal attitudes and habits, but it’s certainly worth it. Actually, waiting can sometimes be a good thing. Just look at the Moncler ex-creative director Alber Elbaz who took a five-year gap before launching his own brand. Or the King of pop art Andy Warhol who failed to publish some of his most tempting early works in life but his followers did it for him. Change for the better is yet to come, just pave your way and keep moving, albeit slowly.

F A S H I O N 

The eco-friendliest from fashion: Dow Jones Sustainability Index marks Moncler

In case you didn’t know, Dow Jones Sustainability Index is a group of benchmarks for investors evaluating the stock performance of the leading companies on the market. Considering economic, environmental and social responsibility criteria, DJSI annually comes up with the rating of the ‘very best’ manufacturers in various sectors. The Italian luxury fashion brand Moncler famous for its ski wear was recently conferred the leading position in the category ‘Textile, Apparel & Luxury Goods’ of the DJSI rating. And you know what’s best? Moncler has been the leader already for 2 years running.

While Moncler’s CEO Remo Ruffini solemnly claims, sustainability is an increasingly strategic asset in the development of the company (and there is hardly any room for doubt with the Moncler’s ‘Born to Protect’ new sustainability plan), some other fashion brands seem to have lagged far behind. The non-profit organization Remake didn’t include H&M and Uniqlo in its sustainability ranking, as the both brands have failed to score at least 50 out of the 100 points required. 

Alber Elbaz is back to big fashion (not empty-handed, of course) 

Casablanca-born fashion designer Alber Elbaz (b. 1961) is no stranger to the world of haute couture. After taking positions at a few fashion houses, he finally joined Lanvin as the brand’s creative director in 2001. 14 years later Elbaz announced his exit from the company, which was officially associated with the disagreement between the designer and Lanvin’s major shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang. Meanwhile Alber Elbaz didn’t waste his time giving lectures all over the world and working independently, also as an artist.

A year ago the designer expressed his determination to return to the game planning to found his own brand. Initially to be named as AZ Fashion, Elbaz’s brainchild has been recently launched, five years after Alber Elbaz left Lanvin. The newly-minted AZ Factory falls under the portfolio of the Swiss Compagnie Financière Richemont, with the first collection by the brand being presented at the upcoming Paris Fashion Week in January. According to Alber Elbaz, AZ Factory is not a revolution, not an evolution, (but) a reset. The designer sees his mission in combining function and fashion and helping people to be a better version of themselves, by no means trying to transform his customers.

A R T 

Visiting Noguchi Museum? Buy a print by Futura and Murakami 

Remember us talking about the graffiti artist Futura aka FUTURA 2000 at the previous digest? He has recently engaged in cooperation with the late sculptor Isamu Noguchi at the NY-based Noguchi Museum, which resulted in the ‘Futura Akari’ exhibition (on view through February 28, 2021). To commemorate and promote the show, the museum launched a series of print editions designed by FUTURA 2000 and Takashi Murakami. Nothing to expect here but a win-to-win collaboration.

In August 2020 Futura was to have his solo show at Kaikai Kiki Gallery (Tokyo, Japan) founded by Takashi Murakami himself to showcase the artists chosen. However, the pandemic interfered with the plans adjourning the exhibition until summer 2021. In the meantime, Futura and Takashi are, so to speak, shaking hands under the roof of the Noguchi Museum symbolizing the cultural dialogue between Japan and the US and selling off their prints. The rule is one (printed edition) per person, otherwise, the release is fairly available to the museum’s customers. 

Andy Warhol’s intimate drawings released for the first time 

At a time when Andy Warhol or, to be more precise, Andrew Warhola was conquering the New York’s art scene while still a young shy man, he barely regarded his interim drawings as serious art. Trying to sell some of his sketches to glossies, Andy scribbled for the soul, depicting the subjects of his inspiration. Oftentimes Warhol would get the attention on young nude men as if he had seen many in the rise of his career. Naked, aroused, engaged in sexual acts such as fellatio or masturbation, the characters of Warhol’s early works embody a highly tabooed theme even for such a fast-paced environment as New York’s society in the 50s.  

Despite all fears, the future King of Pop Art dared to show his exposed images to Bodley Gallery, one of the premier art galleries in the Big Apple in 1956, but he never got to publish the drawings in a monograph. Today 33 years after Andy Warhol’s death, the world-famous German publisher Taschen showcases 300 of the artist’s bold sketches selected by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The collection is published on the pages of ‘Andy Warhol, Love, Sex and Desire, Drawings 1950-1962 book, which is released in a limited number of 7,500. Order one of the numbered copies now, on the publisher’s website.

P H O T O G R A P H Y 

Foam Talent 2020 goes digital (now you can discover the winners) 

It’s the end of 2020, and that means Foam traditionally announces this year winners of Foam Talent. Visual artists under the age of 35 selected by the Amsterdam-based photography organization are annually granted with such worthy prizes as a publication in Foam Magazine, participation in a travelling group exhibition and a chance to have their works added to Art Collection Deutsche Börse.

Since Foam Talent 2020 can’t reach the planned locations like Paris and London to organize the winner’s show, the entire initiative moved digital without any difficulty. Among the 19 winners of the year there are aspiring photographers from Nigeria, Brazil, Italy, France, Switzerland, Canada, US, China, Thailand, Greece, and other countries. Enter the talent.foam.org platform to discover all the works or, at least, enjoy our brief selection above. 

On the cover: ‘Stay Soft’ by Micha Serraf (Zimbabwe). Courtesy of Foam Talent

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